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The Internet and Society Fellowship is internationally focused and offers a unique opportunity for innovative thinkers who wish to engage in the exchange of research and to set up new initiatives. Currently we are not accepting any more applications and ask for some patience.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, travelling around the world has its limitations, but this should not be a brake on academic exchange and networking. Therefore we use the opportunity and welcome applications from all over the world for our first virtual fellowship programme in 2021. We now invite applications from early and advanced researchers with diverse backgrounds and professional experiences, who wish to contribute to the range of the institute’s transdisciplinary Internet research.

The HIIG provides a dynamic and intellectual environment for fellows to pursue their own research interests and actively shape their stay. We encourage and invite fellows to virtually collaborate with an international and interdisciplinary team of researchers and offer a number of opportunities to share and discuss their ideas. These include, but are not limited to:

  • writing and publishing papers in one of our open access publications
  • commenting on current developments in your field in form of HIIG blog posts
  • holding presentations in one of our virtual lunch talks 
  • engaging in joint projects with other fellows and HIIG researchers
  • participating in webinars and skill sharing sessions
  • enjoying a virtual coffee, having some inspiring conversations and meeting our research directors and senior researchers during our regular fellow coffee talks

Key Areas

For our 2021 class of fellows, we consider applicants who intend to pursue topics that fall within one of our research programs or groups. Please read the information on each of the linked websites closely, and position yourself and/or your project within the program that best suits you.

  • The evolving digital society: How do discourses on and imaginaries about AI, platforms and robots shape the development of policies, technologies and theories – and vice versa?
  • Data, actors, infrastructures:  How can we make data held by private and public organisations usable for scientific purposes and for the general good of society, and still take legal, ethical, economic or organisational challenges and legitimate interest of all stakeholders into account, i.e. without resorting to “silver bullets” such as “open data” or “data sharing”?
  • Knowledge & Society: The change in knowledge production, organisation and dissemination through digital innovations: What could be new knowledge practices and organisational principles for knowledge societies? How can digital innovations benefit scholarship?
  • Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Society: Understanding, informing and co-creating innovation and entrepreneurship in a digital economy & society: How do organisations create economic and social value using digital technologies related to artificial intelligence, open innovation, the Internet of Things, and platforms?
  • AI & Society Lab: Exploring the concrete changes and challenges artificial intelligence introduces and their societal implications: What profound social changes go hand in hand with an increasing integration of AI in political, social and cultural processes? How can AI infrastructures be developed and deployed in order to achieve the common good?

Things to consider

Time Frame: Fellowships may range from a minimum of 3 months to a maximum of 6 months within the time span from May 1 to December 31, 2021.

Financial Issues: The fellowship is unpaid.


  • Master’s degree, PhD in process/planned (Junior Fellow) OR
  • Advanced PhD, post-doctoral researcher (Senior Fellow)
  • Fluency in English
  • Research experience and a research project of your own that you plan to pursue

Application documents

  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae
  • Motivation letter explaining your interest in the HIIG Fellowship, research background, and your expectations (1 page)
  • Research outline including A) your project, and how it responds to one of research programs, B) the specific work you propose to conduct during the fellowship, C) deliverables, products or outcomes you aim to produce (max. 3 pages)
  • Optional: one writing or work sample covering internet research (in English or German)

Please read our FAQ and review the information carefully before applying. If you have any questions, please send an email to The deadline was 22 November, 2020, 11:59 p.m. Currently we are not accepting any more applications and ask for some patience.


Nadine Birner

Former Coordinator: The ethics of digitalisation | NoC

Fellows & Visiting researchers

Early-stage researchers from around the world research at HIIG about internet and society.
Get to know our current fellows

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