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Media, Inequality & Change Center


Join the MIC Center's mission to create more democratic media systems that serve community needs.

The MIC Center has several projects currently under way that aim to expand and democratize local media institutions. These include expanding internet access through policy interventions that foster alternative models of affordable and reliable internet service, ranging from community mesh networks to municipal broadband services. Another set of projects critically examine local news media infrastructures to assess how they are serving community information needs.


About MIC and the project:

The Media, Inequality & Change Center occupies the intersection of technology, policy, and social justice. It is committed to studying the political economy of social problems, media, and democracy, while engaging local activist projects, and drawing connections with national and international social movements.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone is acutely sensitized to how vitally important reliable and affordable internet access is to almost every facet of our daily lives. After many months of virtual learning, remote working, telehealth, Zooming with our friends and loved ones, it is no longer disputable that the internet is far more than a luxury—nice to have if one can afford it—but an absolute necessity. Increasingly, broadband is understood as a core infrastructure—on par with water and electricity—upon which our basic ability to communicate with one another depends. Modern society simply cannot function without it. Yet the U.S. continues to suffer under a decades-old digital divide that disproportionately harms marginalized communities, especially communities of color and poor households. What are the structural causes of these digital inequities and what are the systemic solutions?

With these questions in mind, this research will build on the MIC Center’s ongoing analysis of Philadelphia residents’ access to broadband services during the pandemic that show a racialized digital divide resulting in part from “digital redlining” based on unaffordable services. Working with researchers and advocacy groups in Philadelphia and beyond, this project will develop a policy advocacy approach to expanding municipal broadband internet access.

About the position:

  • PhD in communication or related field, with an emphasis on political economic analysis.
  • Experience carrying out independent qualitative and quantitative research.
  • Experience presenting data in compelling and accessible ways.
  • Strong writing skills, including experience writing for non-academic audiences.
  • Experience with survey design and analysis a plus.
  • Excellent networking skills, ability to cultivate relationships quickly, and experience with activist organizing a plus.
  • Familiarity with and connections to Philadelphia-area community groups also a plus.

First-year postdoctoral researchers will receive a minimum stipend of $66,300 commensurate with prior postdoctoral experience and serve in a 12-month appointment, beginning September 1, 2024. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a taxable relocation allowance of up to $1,000 for domestic relocations and up to $2,000 for international relocations as well as $3,000 in travel/research expenses for work conducted in the center. Postdocs and their dependents are eligible for health insurance under the University of Pennsylvania’s plans outlined here:

All postdoctoral fellows must submit documentation to demonstrate eligibility to work in the United States. Non-US citizens selected for this position will be required to apply for an appropriate US visa. It is expected that the fellow will be present on campus in Philadelphia, where they will receive a workspace.

Submitting Your Application

You must have a PhD or be receiving your PhD by July 2024.

In order for your application to be considered, please send the following materials:

  • Cover Page – include your name and contact information, dissertation supervisor name and contact information, defense date (if degree not awarded), and a short statement of institutional fit (not to exceed 300 words) – explain how your background and experience aligns with MIC’s mission and would be applicable to the Center’s research in media infrastructures and broadband access.
  • CV– list degrees, peer-reviewed publications, academic non-peer-reviewed publications, public scholarship, invited talks, conference papers, other relevant qualifications, specific research and language skills.
  • Up to two publications (not to exceed 50 pages in total).

All materials should be sent as a single PDF document to by June 30, 2024.

Additional Information

If you have additional questions, please email

The University of Pennsylvania is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. For more information, go to

Compass Logo over and image of the US Capitol Building


For more than a decade, a consortium of Communication doctoral programs has sponsored a select group of Ph.D. students to spend a summer in Washington, D.C. These COMPASS Summer Fellows have a front row seat to learn about U.S. federal policymaking as they make their own contributions to the policy process through their research and writing. 

Photo Credit: Harold Mendoza / Unsplash

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Milton Wolf Seminar on Media & Diplomacy

Launched in 2001, the annual Milton Wolf Seminar Series addresses developing issues in diplomacy and journalism – both broadly defined. Guests include those working for state and multi-lateral organizations, journalists, representatives from media and internet company, academics, and graduate students.