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Photo: Jan Kopankiewicz

Weizenbaum Research Fellowship

As one of founding partners of the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society, University of Potsdam is awarding Junior Researcher Fellowships as well as Senior Researcher Fellowships for the years 2018, 2019, and 2020. Visiting fellows will be hosted at the Institute for a period of one to three months. They will have the opportunity to conduct research on-site in Berlin, one of Europe’s most vibrant cities, working for one of three research groups hosted by University of Potsdam: “Digital Technologies and Well-Being”, “Digital Integration” and “Education and Training in the Digital Society“. Below we summarize some important information with regard to the fellowship:

What are the goals of research fellowship?

The aim of the research visits is to develop collaborations with the Weizenbaum Institute and help to position it as a leading research institution world-wide. Research stays should be related to the research areas of the Weizenbaum Institute’s research groups and should lead to publications and to the preparation of interdisciplinary collaborations. 

Who are the people involved in the research projects?

Depending on the research group, we have different group compositions. You can find all details about researchers involved by following these links:

Prof. Hanna Krasnova is the principal investigator for these two groups. Annika Baumann and Antonia Köster are leads for Research Group “Digital Technologies and Well-Being” and Research Group “Digital Integration” respectively. Prof. Norbert Gronau is the principal investigator and Dr. Gergana Vladova is the lead of the research “Education and Training in the Digital Society”.

Considering the size of the groups, the fellowship offers a working environment which highly encourages collaboration. Therefore, expectations for the fellow revolve around creating research output and collaboratively working with the team. Projects resulting in publications are highly encouraged.

Photo: Jan Kopankiewicz

What is the amount of funding?

The fellowship offers attractive funding and depends on the academic status of the applicant, which will cover the costs of stay in Berlin and beyond. The size of the Junior Researcher Fellowship is approximately 3.280 Euro per month. The funding for research groups “Digital Integration”, “Digital Technologies and Well-Being” and “Education and Training in the Digital Society” will be provided directly by the University of Potsdam. 

What is the exact location of the Weizenbaum Institute?

Weizenbaum-Institute for the Networked Society is located at the heart of Berlin, a few steps from S-Bahn station Zoologischer Garten. The exact address is: Hardenbergstr. 32, 10623 Berlin.

Types of fellowships | Current status of an applicant

Only fellows who are currently employed at their home institution can be accepted as fellows, since fellows are given a contract as a visiting researcher. We differentiate between two types of fellowships:

  • Junior Researcher Fellowships are specifically designed for scholars at the intermediary stage of their academic career. Researchers who have finished their doctoral studies and are currently employed as post-doctoral fellows elsewhere are encouraged to apply.   
  • Senior Researcher Fellowship targets assistant, associate, full, and emeritus professors.

What information do I need to provide for the application?

There is no specific form you have to fill out. However, your application must include:

  • a curriculum vitae (CV)
  • a list of publications
  • a two-page project description (we recommend getting in touch with us beforehand to make sure your suggested research project fits research interests of corresponding research group), including work program for the research stay
  • information about previous work (optional).

Please note that applications should define target outcomes clearly (i.e. publications, grant proposals, etc.). The applicant’s CV and the fit of the project to the overall research program of the Weizenbaum Institute will be taken into account. Projects resulting in publications are highly encouraged.

Selection criteria

Research stays should be related to the research areas of the corresponding research groups and should lead to publications and to the preparation of interdisciplinary collaborations. Applications should define target outcomes clearly (i.e. publications, grant proposals, etc.). The applicant’s CV and the fit of the project to the overall research program of the Weizenbaum Institute will be taken into account.

Application deadline

Short-term planning: Fellows starting their research visits from 06/2018 through 12/2018 are asked to submit their application by February 28, 2018. The applications should be addressed to the research group to which the applicant would like to be associated.

Long-term planning: Overall, we accept applications throughout the year. There is no specific application deadline. Fellows will be accepted for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. However, we encourage to submit your application at least half a year beforehand to ensure smooth planning and preparation of your visit.

Photo: Jan Kopankiewicz

Short description of research groups (funded by the University of Potsdam)

"DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES AND WELL-BEING"

Social media, smartphone applications, wearables and other emerging technologies are transforming the society we live in today. These technologies change the way we develop relationships, communicate with one another, work, and spend our leisure time. Because such platforms increasingly permeate our daily routines, stakeholders have begun to raise issues about the meaning and long-term consequences of the changes they are bringing about. Proponents express strong optimism, linking the use of these technologies to significant benefits individually and socially; opponents raise the specter of increased risk and negative consequences like information overload, addiction, growing envy, decreased attention span, and loss of privacy. In light of this controversy, as a member of our research team, you will join us in exploring the impact of these digital technologies, especially social media, on individual well-being in a broader sense. https://vernetzung-und-gesellschaft.de/fg9/. Please send your application to Annika Baumann, annibaumannuni-potsdamde.

"DIGITAL INTEGRATION"

Social inclusion, a central component of any democratic society, has emerged as a particularly critical issue in the face of recent ongoing refugee crises. A sudden wave of migration has raised a number of challenges including operational ones such as expedient and unbureaucratic registration, provision of medical support, transportation and housing; as well as more strategic challenges such as equal access to education, employment, and housing, to name just three. Given the IT-savviness of so many of the refugees at present, social media and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) could become powerful tools in supporting integration processes. Up to now, however, the role of digital technology in supporting social inclusion is a research question that has hardly been investigated. As a member of our research team, you will join us in exploring the possibilities and potentials, as we seek to gain further insights into the role of ICT in social integration processes. https://vernetzung-und-gesellschaft.de/fg10/. Please send your application to Antonia Köster, akoesteruni-potsdamde.

"EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN THE DIGITAL SOCIETY"

Digital technologies increasingly place new demands on education, vocation, and the required competences of employees worldwide. At the same time, the long-term implications of these developments remain unclear. In light of the ongoing transformations, there is a growing need to consider what kinds of knowledge, education, and competence will be crucial for members of the workforce in the new digital age, and how this vital information can be effectively communicated. Indeed, how can schools integrate digital education into the classroom effectively? How do we design digital-competence training? What approaches can be taken to counteract the devaluation of occupational skills of some employee groups in order to ensure their long-term workforce integration? As a member of our research team, you will join us in exploring these and other challenges at the intersection of education and digital technologies. https://vernetzung-und-gesellschaft.de/fg7/. Please send your application to Dr. Gergana Vladova, gergana.vladovawi.uni-potsdamde.