The annual Summer Doctoral Programme (SDP) is one of the highlights of the OII’s year. It brings together outstanding doctoral students from around the world for a fortnight of study with our faculty and colleagues in a multi-disciplinary environment that aims to provide constructive advice and support for students’ doctoral thesis research. Although students are together for only a brief two weeks of intensive teaching and learning, the peer-groups established endure over the years and deliver concrete examples of research collaboration via publications, conference panels and grant applications.
The programme is structured around daily lectures, seminars and methods classes, aimed at developing student thinking on a range of issues central to the Internet. Tutors are drawn from the OII’s own faculty, with additional guest seminars by visiting faculty. In order to provide useful advice for managing dissertation research we select tutors applying a wide range of disciplinary and methodological approaches and encourage our speakers to offer frank insights into how they have faced and overcome challenges in their own projects. Students are also expected to present and discuss their own thesis research in order to gain personal feedback from faculty and students.
The atmosphere is open, exciting, challenging, and intense. Students meet and work with a diverse group of colleagues (a considerable benefit where students may not have large academic peer-groups working on Internet-related issues in their own departments) and are exposed to a range of different disciplinary research cultures, perspectives and ideas. In order to support the development of strong peer-group connections we also provide a variety of social events which (when in Oxford) have included formal and informal dinners, a local ghost tour, football or tennis matches and the opportunity to get rather wet punting along Oxford’s beautiful rivers. Student feedback for the programme has been consistently excellent.
The SDP travels overseas every couple of years to enable us to involve a broader range of institutions and faculty (Beijing 2005, Boston 2007, Brisbane 2009 and Toronto 2013) and has already gathered more than 300 alumni, many of whom are now in tenure-track positions across the field. In the words of the SDP Convenor, Dr Victoria Nash: “What has most thrilled me over the past eleven years is not the calibre of the participants (generally outstanding) or the range of tutors we have been able to attract (pretty stellar). No, it’s what comes out of the Programme at the end of the two weeks – genuine lasting friendships and strong academic partnerships that have generated some really great results.”
To join the growing SDP community: make sure to apply!
Programme Director: Dr Victoria Nash (Director of Graduate Studies, OII)
Administrator: Pauline Kinniburgh (Events Officer, OII)
Partners and Support
We are grateful for support over the years from The Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School; The Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California; the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology (QUT); The Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute; The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania; The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; the School of Informatics at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo; the School of Journalism and Communication, Chinese University of Hong Kong; the Singapore Internet Research Centre, Nanyang Technological University; the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI), the Faculty of Law, and the Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation (iCi) at Queensland University of Technology (QUT); the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; the i-School, University of Toronto; the Center for Digital Discourse and Culture, Virginia Tech.