Cooney Center Fellowship on Digital Media and Children's Learning

Cooney Center Fellows participate in a wide range of projects and, in doing so, develop broad exposure to scholarship, policy, and practice in the field of digital media and learning. This professional development program offers opportunities to:

  • Conduct research on digital media use among children and families;
  • Publish research that responds to practical industry and practitioner needs;
  • Expand the influence research has in government, education, philanthropy, and industry decision making; and
  • Develop new skills and perspectives that are critical to becoming a leader in the field of digital media and learning.

The Fellowship

One Fellow is selected per academic year. For the duration of the one-year program, the Fellow works in residence at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, which is located in New York City. Fellows play a substantive role in ongoing Cooney Center projects and initiatives, and participates in the day-to-day operations of the Center, including publication production, planning periodic convenings, and contributing to the website.

The fellow will receive a stipend of up to $50,000 for the period of one year. He/She may also pursue financial support through outside contracts as long as they do not conflict with the fellowship residency requirements. Unfortunately, the Cooney Center cannot provide relocation expenses or health care benefits.

Fellowship Activities

  • Learning Together: We explore and support the role that intergenerational engagement with media can play in children’s learning. The Families and Media Project aims to unearth the potential that media may have for enriching family learning and routines. To accomplish these aims, members of a multi-institution consortium are conducting studies that link large-scale data with in-depth illustrations. Findings are being translated for educators and media designers interested in designing content, products, and educational programs that positively impact the learning, communication, and lifestyle needs of families with children. The Aprendiendo Juntos (Learning Together) Council is a multi-sector group of researchers, practitioners, media producers, and policy experts who seek to identify new models and practical strategies to improve educational outcomes for Hispanic-Latino families through the wise deployment of digital technologies.
  • Literacy by 10: We explore and support models that will advance every child’s literacy skills by age 10. Seeding Reading is a series of articles, analyses, that were produced as part of research for Tap, Click, Read, a book by Lisa Guernsey of New America’s Education Policy Program and Michael Levine, to explore early education and parenting initiatives that are harnessing new technologies. In addition, the Cooney Center and First Book are collaborating on the First Book Digital Marketplace, a new content distribution system that will curate—in addition to already established print book titles—a series of “high quality” e-books, apps, and digital games intended to brandish the literacy, STEM, socio-cultural knowledge and skills of underserved children and youth across the US.
  • Playful Learning: We explore and support the potential that digital games may hold for learning through research, design and policy initiatives including the National STEM Video Game Challenge. The National STEM Video Game Challenge motivates interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning among America’s youth by tapping into their natural passion for making and playing video games.

Desired Applicants

The Cooney Center Fellows Program attracts a wide range of applicants with expertise in digital media and/or in the fields of communication, child development, education, learning sciences, psychology, computer science, design, and public policy. Current and former fellows have led research investigations and published reports and articles on digital media innovations, industry trends, and policy solutions. They have also developed public presentation and media outreach skills, organized major cross-sectoral convenings, and contributed to the overall growth of the Cooney Center. We are seeking early career investigators, including recent graduates of master’s and doctoral programs. Applicants from ethnic minority and underrepresented populations as well as international applicants are encouraged to apply.

Application date
4 Apr 2016
1 academic year
America United States Mid-Atlantic
Humanities Media Studies Social sciences Pedagogic & Education Research
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
US$ 50.000