Apply for Assembly 2019

Program Information

Interested in joining Assembly? Read on for more information about the program and how to apply.

Assembly gathers a small cohort of technologists, managers, policymakers, and other professionals to confront emerging problems related to the ethics and governance of artificial intelligence. Over four months, participants engage in a design-thinking process, a course led by Harvard and MIT faculty, and a collaborative development period to explore hard problems with running code. Learn more about the program.

During the development period, the cohort divides into teams to create actionable projects that address real-world problems, either as part of ongoing Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative work or as part of a new Assembly project. For example, last year, teams built a prototype to circumvent facial recognition systems using adversarial attacks, developed a playbook for cities interested in purchasing or developing AI systems, and created a prototype of a dataset “nutrition label”, among other projects.

Assemblers are supported by Berkman Klein Center and MIT Media Lab staff and are advised by a board of academics, tech industry professionals, and artificial intelligence experts.

Logistical Considerations

Dates: Assembly will run from March 11 to June 15, 2019.

Time: Participants are expected to participate full-time for the first two weeks of the program, and half-time for the remaining twelve weeks of the program.

Location: In-person attendance in Cambridge is required for the first two weeks and final few days of the program. For the remaining twelve weeks, in-person attendance is encouraged and has shown to be most successful, but it is not required. Regardless of location, participants must be accessible and available to collaborate with their teams.

Stipend: Participants will receive a $2,500 stipend.

Other considerations: In order to join the Assembly cohort, participants must sign a Contributor License Agreement that enables the release of Assembly products under open source licenses and confirms that their employer does not own or have rights to their Assembly contributions.

International applicants: Selected participants must have the ability to engage in collaborative research and receive a stipend.

Selected participants already in the United States with an existing visa must consult with their immigration sponsor for the correct mechanism to allow for collaborative research and receiving a stipend. Unfortunately, B visas and the visa waiver program do not allow for these activities, and we cannot accept them.

For selected participants outside of the United States and without an existing visa, we will explore sponsorship in the J-1 short-term scholar visa category to allow collaborative research and to receive a stipend. We work with the Harvard International Office (HIO) to sponsor visa paperwork for eligible selected applicants. An outline of the visa application process and requirements may be found on the HIO website.


Apply to join the 2019 Assembly cohort! The application has three parts: 1) applicant information, 2) short-answer questions, 3) resume & references.

We are looking for applicants who have an interest in artificial intelligence and governance issue, as well as experience in one or more of the following areas:

Applications open on Tuesday, July 24 and close Sunday, September 2, 2018.


Why Apply: Testimonials from 2018 Assembly Participants

"Assembly provides the space and support to investigate major socio-technical issues of the day. But more than just a space for learning, Assembly also brings together a group of kind and intelligent peers, mentors, and advisors to help direct and shape the work. I am appreciative for having had the opportunity to gather and build alongside such amazing people, and look forward to continuing to build with these people for years to come," Kasia Chmielinski

"I deeply enjoyed the experience of participating in Assembly. The people I met and the conversations we had throughout it were fantastic. I learned a lot during the program and would highly recommend applying to anyone considering it!," Josh Joseph

"The Assembly program brings together thought leaders and practitioners across industry and academia. It is an invaluable experience in diving into some of the most challenging technical questions of our time with a cohort of experts, with institutional support from both Harvard and MIT, and with a stellar cast of advisors and mentors from across industry, academia, and government. It is also a lot of fun, and many of us will remain friends, colleagues, and collaborators for years to come," Kathy Pham


Assembly is a project run out of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the MIT Media Lab. The project is part of the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund.

If you have any questions about the program or would like to get in touch, please email us at