Off Topic: Google Policy Fellowship Program: Call for Applications


The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) is inviting applications for the Google Policy Fellowship program. Google is providing a USD 7,500 stipend to the India Fellow, who will be selected by August 15, 2012.


The Google Policy Fellowship offers successful candidates an opportunity to develop research and debate on the fellowship focus areas, which include Access to Knowledge, Openness in India, Freedom of Expression, Privacy, and Telecom, for a period of about ten weeks starting from August 2012 upto October 2012. CIS will select the India Fellow. Send in your applications for the position by June 27, 2012.


To apply, please send to [email protected], the following materials:

1. Statement of Purpose: A brief write-up outlining about your interest and qualifications for the program including the relevant academic, professional and extracurricular experiences. As part of the write-up, also explain on what you hope to gain from participation in the programme and what research work concerning free expression online you would like to further through this program. (About 1200 words max).

2. Resume

3. Three references


Fellowship Focus Areas

  • Access to Knowledge: Studies looking at access to knowledge issues in India in light of copyright law, consumers law, parallel imports and the interplay between pervasive technologies and intellectual property rights, targeted at policymakers, Members of Parliament, publishers, photographers, filmmakers, etc.

  • Openness in India: Studies with policy recommendations on open access to scholarly literature, free access to law, open content, open standards, free and open source software, aimed at policymakers, policy researchers, academics and the general public. 

  • Freedom of Expression: Studies on policy, regulatory and legislative issues concerning censorship and freedom of speech and expression online, aimed at bloggers, journalists, authors and the general public.

  • Privacy: Studies on privacy issues like data protection and the right to information, limits to privacy in light of the provisions of the constitution, media norms and privacy, banking and financial privacy, workplace privacy, privacy and wire-tapping, e-governance and privacy, medical privacy, consumer privacy, etc., aimed at policymakers and the public.

  • Telecom: Building awareness and capacity on telecommunication policy in India for researchers and academicians, policymakers and regulators, consumer and civil society organisations, education and library institutions and lay persons through the creation of a dedicated web based resource focusing on knowledge dissemination.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Google Policy Fellowship program?
    The Google Policy Fellowship program offers students interested in Internet and technology related policy issues with an opportunity to spend their summer working on these issues at the Centre for Internet and Society at Bangalore. Students will work for a period of ten weeks starting from July 2012. The research agenda for the program is based on legal and policy frameworks in the region connected to the ground-level perceptions of the fellowship focus areas mentioned above.

  • I am an International student can I apply and participate in the program? Are there any age restrictions on participating?
    Yes. You must be 18 years of age or older by January 1, 2012 to be eligible to participate in Google Policy Fellowship program in 2012.

  • Are there citizenship requirements for the Fellowship?
    For the time being, we are only accepting students eligible to work in India (e.g. Indian citizens, permanent residents of India, and individuals presently holding an Indian student visa. Google cannot provide guidance or assistance on obtaining the necessary documentation to meet the criteria.

  • Who is eligible to participate as a student in Google Policy Fellowship program?
    In order to participate in the program, you must be a student. Google defines a student as an individual enrolled in or accepted into an accredited institution including (but not necessarily limited to) colleges, universities, masters programs, PhD programs and undergraduate programs. Eligibility is based on enrollment in an accredited university by January 1, 2012.

  • I am an International student can I apply and participate in the program?
    In order to participate in the program, you must be a student (see Google’s definition of a student above). You must also be eligible to work in India (see section on citizen requirements for fellowship above). Google cannot provide guidance or assistance on obtaining the necessary documentation to meet this criterion.

  • I have been accepted into an accredited post-secondary school program, but have not yet begun attending. Can I still take part in the program?
    As long as you are enrolled in a college or university program as of January 1, 2012, you are eligible to participate in the program.

  • I graduate in the middle of the program. Can I still participate?
    As long as you are enrolled in a college or university program as of January 1, 2012, you are eligible to participate in the program.

Payments, Forms, and Other Administrative Stuff

How do payments work?*

Google will provide a stipend of USD 7,500 equivalent to each Fellow for the summer.

  • Accepted students in good standing with their host organization will receive a USD 2,500 stipend payable shortly after they begin the Fellowship in August 2012.

  • Students who receive passing mid-term evaluations by their host organization will receive a USD 1,500 stipend shortly after the mid-term evaluation in September 2012.

  • Students who receive passing final evaluations by their host organization and who have submitted their final program evaluations will receive a USD 3,500 stipend shortly after final evaluations in October 2012.

Please note: Payments will be made by electronic bank transfer, and are contingent upon satisfactory evaluations by the host organization, completion of all required enrollment and other forms. Fellows are responsible for payment of any taxes associated with their receipt of the Fellowship stipend.

*While the three step payment structure given here corresponds to the one in the United States, disbursement of the amount may be altered as felt necessary.

What documentation is required from students?

Students should be prepared, upon request, to provide Google or the host organization with transcripts from their accredited institution as proof of enrollment or admission status. Transcripts do not need to be official (photo copy of original will be sufficient).

I would like to use the work I did for my Google Policy Fellowship to obtain course credit from my university. Is this acceptable?

Yes. If you need documentation from Google to provide to your school for course credit, you can contact Google. We will not provide documentation until we have received a final evaluation from your mentoring organization.


Host Organizations

What is Google’s relationship with the Centre for Internet and Society?

Google provides the funding and administrative support for individual fellows directly. Google and the Centre for Internet and Society are not partners or affiliates. The Centre for Internet and Society does not represent the views or opinions of Google and cannot bind Google legally.


Important Dates

What is the program timeline?

June 27, 2012

Student Application Deadline. Applications must be received by midnight.

July 18, 2012

Student applicants are notified of the status of their applications.

August 2012

Students begin their fellowship with the host organization (start date to be determined by students and the host organization); Google issues initial student stipends.

September 2012

Mid-term evaluations; Google issues mid-term stipends.

October 2012

Final evaluations; Google issues final stipends.

Rajiv Kr. Choudhry

Rajiv Kr. Choudhry

Rajiv did his engineering from Nagpur University in 2000 in electronics design technology. He has completed his LL.B. from Delhi University, Law Center II in 2006, while working as an engineer at ST Microelectronics in NOIDA. After his LL.B., he went on to The George Washington Univeristy, Washington DC to do his LL.M. in 2007. After his LL.M., he has worked in the US at a prestigious IP law firm based out of Philadelphia. Till 2014, he was Of-Counsel to a Noida based IP law firm where he specialized in advising clients on wireless, telecommunication, and high technology. Rajiv is a co-founder of RHA Legal, a New Delhi based law firm specializing in IP law, with a focus on high - technology, and patent law. His core IP interest areas are the intersection of technology and IP, Indian IP policy, innovation, and telecommunications patents. He is also an inventor with pending applications in machine-to-machine communications domain (WO2015029061).

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