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Research Fellow

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is seeking a Research Fellow with research and/or technical expertise on policy problems related to free expression, content moderation, and artificial intelligence. The Fellow will design and lead research projects that examine, for example, meaningful transparency on social networking services, automated content moderation, or recommender systems and media pluralism. The position also offers opportunities to research other emerging technology policy issues relevant to CDT, and to collaborate with CDT’s networks of external academics and partners.

This is a one-year full-time Fellowship, with the possibility of renewal for another year based on performance and availability of funds. The Fellow is expected to complete at least 2 CDT research reports during the year, with the additional option to complete at least 1 academic submission.

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of CDT’s research team, informing its policy agenda and contributing to cutting edge tech policy dialogue in the U.S., EU, and around the world. The position is based at CDT’s Washington, DC office, with some allowance for remote work.

About CDT

For twenty-five years, CDT has been a leading nonprofit public interest organization, working at the cutting edge of digital rights policy. With expertise in law, technology, and policy, CDT engages in a variety of strategies to enhance civil liberties and human rights in the digital age, including advocacy, public education, and research. CDT works on legislation, participates in agency rule-makings, engages in litigation, and fosters consensus-building among public interest and private sector stakeholders. Key issue areas include free expression, privacy and data, government surveillance, cybersecurity and standards, open internet, election security, and competition.

CDT is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and collaborates closely with its partner organization, CDT Europe, which is based in Brussels. For more information, please visit our website at

Main Responsibilities:

  • With the Research and Free Expression teams, design and implement research projects to address key policy problems related to free expression, content moderation, and artificial intelligence
  • Support the Research Team in identifying and designing other research projects that can inform the work of CDT’s policy teams; where relevant lead the implementation of these projects
  • Write concise and compelling analysis in a variety of formats, including blog posts, advocacy material, white papers, and reports
  • Develop partnerships with researchers in academia, industry, and civil society to further CDT’s research agenda
  • Work with the Communications Team to craft sharp, compelling messages for media and other audiences based on research outputs
  • Represent CDT through public speaking, participation in coalition meetings, and media interviews

Required Qualifications:

  • A graduate degree (e.g., Masters or PhD) in a relevant discipline such as computer/information science, engineering, economics, public policy, communication policy, etc., or similar research qualification and experience (e.g., work on the use of AI for content moderation at a company)
  • Demonstrated research experience in the form of publications (including reports, conference papers, peer-reviewed papers, etc.), presentations, or other research outputs
  • Experience in research design and implementation including experimental and/or quantitative methods
  • Commitment to work in an interdisciplinary research team
  • Excellent writing skills for communicating with technical, policy, and lay audiences
  • Genuine curiosity with an imaginative approach to research design and implementation

Desired Qualifications

  • Excellent public speaking skills and experience that can deliver CDT’s research and policy positions to a wide range of audiences
  • Commitment to preparing funding proposals for research
  • Expertise in other areas of CDT’s work including privacy and data, security and surveillance, and cybersecurity and standards
  • A critical understanding of how technology, policy, and law may have a disparate impact on individuals and communities based on race, gender, disability, income, immigration status, or other circumstances or characteristics
  • Good data visualization skills

Compensation and Benefits

Salary is competitive with public interest and government pay scales. CDT provides a generous benefits package that includes health care and dental coverage, a retirement plan, paid vacation, sick days, and parental leave.

To Apply

Please send the following to [email protected]:

  1. Cover letter, 
  2. Full CV, 
  3. One writing sample (e.g., a report or published paper)