Research Fellow

About us

The Knight First Amendment Institute works to preserve and expand the freedoms of speech and the press in the digital age through strategic litigation, research, and public education. We aim to be a vibrant community, a generator of new ideas, a distinctive voice for these fundamental freedoms in public discourse, and an effective defender of these freedoms in the courts.  More information about the Institute’s work is available at

The Research Fellow

The Knight Institute seeks a recent graduate to work with the Institute as a research fellow. Reporting to the Institute’s Research Director, the research fellow will play an important role in building the Institute’s research program and contribute to all aspects of the Institute's work. The fellowship is a full-time, one-year position based at Columbia University in New York City. The Institute anticipates taking on one fellow for this position beginning in the fall of 2019. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Support the Institute's research and public education programs by drafting reports, white papers, op-eds, and blog posts; representing the Institute in the media, as needed; and conceiving of and implementing public programs.
  • Identify research questions related to the Institute’s mission and assist in designing and executing projects to explore them.
  • Assist the Research Director in identifying and executing the research program’s medium and long-term priorities and goals.
  • Experiment with new formats and media for presenting research findings to a broad audience.

*Please note that while the research fellow will be included in discussions about the Institute’s litigation docket, the fellow’s primary responsibilities will not include litigation-related tasks.


Minimum qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree;
  • A demonstrated interest in issues relating to the freedoms of speech and the press;
  • A strong academic record;
  • Superior research, analytical, writing, and interpersonal skills. 

Preferred qualifications

  • Familiarity with the complex issues arising at the intersection of free speech and new technology.  
  • Graduate degree in law, journalism, or other research-related field.

Application process: 

Candidates must apply through Columbia University's Jobs At Columbia (JAC) portal at

Required Materials:

  1. Cover letter explaining your interest in the fellowship, including a description of any relevant life or work experience (Applicants who have access to external sources of funding should so indicate in their cover letter)
  2. Resume 
  3. Contact information for three references  
  4. Official or unofficial school transcript 
  5. One or two writing samples, at least one of which should demonstrate your research abilities

Additional information may be requested during the application process.