[artinfo] Fellowships on Open Information Policy (Open Society Institute)

Geert Lovink [c] geert at xs4all.nl
Sat Aug 27 17:33:11 CEST 2005

>by the OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE <www.soros.org>
>Deadline for applications: September 20, 2005
>Eligible are candidates from Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet 
>Union, and Mongolia, as well as Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and the 
>Middle East
>The International Policy Fellowship Program (IPF) of the Open Society 
>Institute has issued its annual call for fellowship proposals. Open 
>Information Policy is one of the program's focal areas this year. Here are 
>details concerning this area, taken from the IPF website at 
>Advanced by the internet, alternatives to long-standing intellectual 
>property regimes have created an environment to re-assess the relationship 
>between democracy, open society and new information technologies. The 
>promise of open source technology with respect to civil society and the 
>incalculable leaps in information production by means of open content and 
>weblogs present a new platform for civic participation. Whether and in 
>what form such promises can be realized lies at the basis of the research 
>questions below.
>** Weblogs & Civic Discourse. How does the rapid expansion of weblogs 
>alter news production and civic discourse? Can it counter ever-increasing 
>concentration of ownership in the traditional mass media? How do 
>traditional notions of editorial standards and journalistic 
>professionalism apply to this new medium? Is the 'blogosphere' an 
>enhancement of the public sphere, or does it threaten its disintegration?
>** Open Content & Sustainability. Open Access publishing is 
>revolutionizing scientific publishing. New alternative licensing systems 
>like Creative Commons support decentralized information production, by 
>making it easier for creators to share and permit re-use and modification 
>of their work, while retaining certain rights. What are the business 
>models that are developing around these commons-based models of sharing 
>freely online? These cases are by and large un-documented and seem to 
>contrast starkly with well-established economic and legal norms that rest 
>on notions of scarcity, exclusivity and controlled access.
>** Open Content & Standards. Wikipedia, a freely available encyclopedia, 
>is a visible and widely cited example of collaborative, distributed 
>knowledge production enabled by the Internet. Such models seem to have 
>great promise for more equitable access to knowledge; yet they also run 
>the risk of dispensing with editorial standards. How can quality standards 
>emerge in a distributed environment? Are they robust enough to be relied upon?
>** Open Source: Ownership and Control of Communications Technology. 
>Communications technology (both hardware and software, and the standards 
>on which most communications networks are based) is a key part of today's 
>infrastructure for civil society engagement. How do the different models 
>of ownership and control of the knowledge underlying this infrastructure 
>(expressed in technology standards and software, either open or 
>proprietary) affect access and participation by civil society, in 
>particular, civil society in developing countries?
>** Intellectual Property & Access to Knowledge: The case of Free Trade 
>Agreements. Intellectual property laws are a powerful instrument for 
>controlling access to knowledge, and in some cases to restrict free 
>speech. New standards shaped by rich-country interests are now being 
>globalized and imposed on poorer countries. In recent years, bilateral 
>Free Trade Agreements have become an important part of this process. How 
>do those free trade agreements undermine the rule of law and basic 
>principles of democratic lawmaking in countries around the world that are 
>signing these agreements?
>*All applications must be submitted online by September 20, 2005 from 
>* The International Policy Fellowships (IPF) program is calling for 
>applications for 2006-2007 fellowships. Launched in 1998 and affiliated 
>with the Open Society Institute and the Center for Policy Studies (CPS) of 
>the Central European University in Budapest, these fellowships support 
>analytical policy research in pursuance of open society goals such as the 
>rule of law, democratic elections, diverse and vigorous civil societies, 
>and respect for minorities. Each year the IPF program invites research 
>proposals that address critical issues in the development of open 
>societies. Successful applicants will demonstrate originality, sound 
>project design and the strong likelihood that their project may lead to 
>significant impact on policy.
>The IPF program seeks to enhance the quality of policy research in the 
>countries where the Soros Network operates, throughout Central and Eastern 
>Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Mongolia, as well as Africa, South 
>and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. It places strong emphasis on 
>independent research that is both rigorous and appreciative of practical 
>implications. Analysis and evaluation of existing policy contexts should 
>be based on explicit criteria and fellows should be able to communicate 
>their ideas and findings in a variety of professional and public settings. 
>*Applicants are encouraged to submit individual, practical and 
>policy-oriented research proposals in the following subject areas. The 
>product of each fellowship will be a detailed analysis of a major issue to 
>be published in English and translated into other languages:*
>*2006-7 Fellowship Issue Areas: General Framework: New Frontiers of 
>Democratic Politics*
>The Challenge of Wider Europe
>Open Society Promotion in Predominantly Muslim Societies
>Combating Open Society Threats
>Combating the Resource Curse
>Roma Exclusion
>Open Information Policy
>*Main Terms of the International Policy Fellowship Award* Fellows receive 
>supervision and support from a senior policy analyst * Fellows are invited 
>to Budapest in April 2006 for initial orientation to the program * 
>Optional specialized policy research and advocacy training courses in 
>Budapest * Monthly stipends commensurate with local salaries * Budget for 
>reasonable research, communications, travel, publication and advocacy 
>costs * Discretionary funding for conference participation
>*How to Apply* Applicants should carefully complete the online application 
>form found at www.soros.org/initiatives/ipf, which includes a project 
>summary, research proposal (maximum 4 pages), and a resume/CV including a 
>list of publications. Applicants may also include a letter of reference 
>from an affiliated organization and a writing sample on the chosen topic. 
>Those who have no possibility to access the Internet should send an e-mail 
>to fellows at osi.hu to discuss alternate application solutions. Applications 
>sent by mail, fax or e-mail will not be considered unless given prior 
>approval from IPF staff. Applications must be submitted online by* 
>September 20, 2005*. IPF does not consider late applications.

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