Summer Doctoral Programme (SDP) 2003

SDP2003 Oxford: 22 July - 9 August. 28 students and 18 tutors. Accommodation: Keble College. OII SDP 2003 Flickr Set

Summer Doctoral Programme 2003 studentsOur first Summer Doctoral Programme was held at the Oxford Internet Institute from 22 July to 9 August. One of the key aims of launching the Programme was to offer doctoral-level teaching to students from universities around the world, and to determine the potential demand for a full-time OII doctoral degree in 'Information, Communication and the Social Sciences' (since introduced in 2006).

You can read more about how and why the Programme started on the OII Blog: 'Quite simply, I think the Summer Doctoral Programme is one of the best things we do' [OII Blog, 15 February 2010]

The response to the Programme was overwhelmingly positive, with more than 100 applicants worldwide and offers of collaboration and support from top universities, including The Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School, and the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Several of the original 2003 students have since returned to the Institute to help teach on subsequent Summer Doctoral Programmes.

Academic Programme

The academic programme was streamed into five tracks of seminars and panel sessions: e-Government, e-science, policy and regulation, the Internet and everyday life, and general interest.

The e-Government track included seminars on 'the problems of e-democracy', political parties and NGOs online, e-representatives, and the Internet and democratization. The 'Everyday Life' track included seminars on Internet users and the excluded (looking at concepts and data), ICTs and poverty, blogging research, and WiFi. The e-science track explored Grid computing, multi-disciplinary perspectives on free and open source software (FLOSS), and the economic and social dynamics of online epistemic communities. The Policy track looked at gender and IT in the Islamic World; China, Google and ICANN ('Perspectives on Internet Governance'), IPR and the implications for free speech, and information warfare. A general interest track covered multi-method data collection, e-learning initiatives at the University of Oxford, and also included a panel that explored the relationship between academic research and the technology industry, with representatives from Cisco, Microsoft and Freeserve. The afternoons were devoted to student research seminars.

In addition to the research seminars, the first week opened with introductory sessions on theoretical perspectives on the Internet (from a Cultural Studies and Sociology perspective), sessions on ethnography, technology and design, and a seminar on the ESRC's 'Virtual Society' programme (looking at the Social Science of electronic technologies). Research methodology sessions covered online survey research, qualitative research methods, the ethics of Internet research, and legalistic approaches to studying the Internet. A series of sessions in the second week then pulled together key themes that had been explored throughout the programme: Intellectual Property Rights and the Internet, the Internet's impact on governance, how to enable Internet participation, e-democracy, and designing Infrastructures for e-science.

The social programme included three formal dinners at Keble College, two punting and picnic outings, a day spent in the Cotswolds, and a 'Shakespeare in the Gardens' performance of The Tempest.


  • Richard Allan, Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam
  • Ben Anderson, Deputy Director, Chimera, University of Essex
  • Stephen Coleman, e-Democracy Chair, OII
  • Paul David, Professor, OII
  • Peter Davies, Visiting Fellow, OII
  • William Dutton, Director, OII
  • Peter Ferdinand, Director, Centre for Democratisation, Warwick
  • Kris Kohen, Research Fellow, INCITE, University of Surrey
  • Chris Mann, Cambridge University
  • Robin Mansell, Dixons Chair in New Media and Internet, London School of Economics (LSE)
  • John Palfrey, Executive Director, Berkman Center, Harvard Law School
  • Richard Rose, Senior Research Fellow, OII
  • Christian Sandvig, Visiting Fellow, OII
  • William Steinmuller, Professorial Fellow, SPRU, University of Sussex
  • Jo Tacchi, Visiting Fellow, OII
  • Nina Wakeford, Director of INCITE, Surrey University
  • Steve Ward, Lecturer in European Politics, University of Salford
  • Steve Woolgar, Professor, Said Business School


Pauline Cheong, Karen Coppock, Elisabeth Deutskens, Zoe Dowling, Rita Ferreira, Urs Gasser, Michael Girsberger, Eugene Gorny, Richard Hodkinson, Justyna Hofmokl, Alison Humphreys, Ildiko Kaposi, Tracy L. M. Kennedy, Peter Kovalenko, Nimrod Kozlovski, Merlyna Lim, Kris Markman, Mira Nenova, Bradford Owen, Hernando Rojas, Arul Selvan, Elena B. Settles, Alek Tarkowski, Kaye Trammel, Brendesha Tynes, Shenja Vandergraaf, Pille Vengerfeldt, Perttu Virtanen


We are grateful for support from the following partners: 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), and The Soros Foundation's Open Society Institute.

  • The Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California
  • The Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School
  • Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology