Apply here!  Applications close on Jan 25, 2015, at 11:59pm.

Admitted students should plan to attend the DPSI Kickoff on Monday, February 2nd, 2015, from 5:30-7:30 and commit 6-8 hours per week over the course of the academic year.

The Digital Problem-Solving Initiative (DPSI) is a Harvard-wide pilot program that aims to bring together students, faculty, university officials, fellows, and staff to work in teams on practicable and concrete digital problems and opportunities.  It offers students and other participants a novel opportunity to enhance and cultivate competency with digital tools and online activity as teams engage with research, creative production, and policies governing the digital world.

DPSI provides an opportunity to influence the ways that Harvard approaches education and community. It’s an aspirational experiment with high hopes; you have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the program, and in turn Harvard, and perhaps the world.

Who Are We Looking For?
We are currently looking for committed and curious students from any and all corners of Harvard to participate in teams for the pilot. We are looking for people whose values, interests, and characteristics align with our principles, which include team-based problem-solving, community-building, collaboration, and more. You don’t need to consider yourself a geek, a hacker, or even someone deeply familiar with technology in order to be a good candidate; we’re interested in people passionate about learning and excited about making and designing.

Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible, you:

  • must be studying at Harvard and physically located in Cambridge, MA during 2014-2015
  • must be enrolled in a degree-granting program during 2014-2015
  • can come from any institution within Harvard
  • can come from any discipline or course of study offered at your institution

Components of the Program
Each student will join a team that will tackle the challenge of one of the Harvard-specific projects. Options for projects range from thinking about digital humanities repositories to improving the farmer’s market. Each team will be charged with defining its focus, devising its own model for working together, delivering concrete outputs that accord with its vision, and determining useful milestones along the way. Teams are also asked to meet once a week, as well as to document their work on a weekly basis on the DPSI site.

In addition to participating in direct efforts related to their team projects, participants will also benefit from the community that constitutes an important component of DPSI.  Developing a community of practice is one of the core aims; events, online discussion spaces, and more will help foster community growth.

Why Should I Apply?
DPSI offers you a novel opportunity to enhance and cultivate competency with digital tools and online activity as teams engage with research, creative production, and policies governing the digital world.

You will be invited to join the Berkman Center’s DPSI community and offered the opportunity to expand digital competencies and networks in a fast-paced and highly collaborative entrepreneurial environment.

You and your projects will be featured in web content and communications produced by the Berkman Center, as well as other partner institutions involved in the initiative.

Students participating in the pilot will not receive credit or compensation for the program. However, participants will connect with experienced mentors with broad networks and will have the opportunities to apply real solutions to hard problems in a range of sectors, to build something tangible and useful, and to inform the development of this exciting program.  

Time Expectations of Participants
We anticipate a commitment of approximately 6-8 hours a week from participants, and 8-10 hours a week from team leads (each team will have one lead).

Participants should be available to engage the program beginning with the Kickoff on September 11 (5:30-7:30), and are committing to participation throughout the fall semester.

How Can I Learn More About the Program?
Even if you choose not to apply (or are not a student), you will have opportunities to learn more about the emergent DPSI community, the associated work on use cases, and potential ways to get involved in the future. To submit your name and indicate your interest, please complete this form.

How Do I Apply?
Please submit your application here.

We are currently accepting applications, and will continue to do so through Sunday, January 25, at 11:59 PM ET. 

When we review applications, we may identify a team with which you would be a great fit, even if you did not select that team in your application. If this is the case, we will be in touch with you as appropriate to discuss potential plans.