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Titelbild hybrid fellowship 2022: Eine Frau mit langen Haaren steht im Halbschatten und wir durch ein Fenster fotografiert.

Internet and Society Hybrid Fellowship 2022: Call for Applications

03 November 2021

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) will be opening its (virtual) doors to new fellows in 2022! The fellowship is internationally focused and offers a unique opportunity for innovative thinkers who wish to engage in the exchange of research experiences and to set up new initiatives. Depending on your individual situation and the COVID-19 situation, the fellowship can be realised virtually, partly or even fully in person. Our fellows are part of an international team of researchers and participate in the institute’s various active projects. We encourage early and advanced researchers to apply.

We invite applications from researchers with diverse backgrounds and professional experiences, who wish to contribute to the range of the institute’s transdisciplinary Internet research.

Located in the heart of Berlin, the HIIG provides a dynamic and intellectual environment for fellows to pursue their own research interests and actively shape their stay. We invite fellows to 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 conversation and meeting our research directors and senior researchers during our regular fellow coffee talks

Key Areas

For our 2022 class of fellows, we consider applicants who intend to pursue topics that fall within one of our research programmes or groups. Please read the information on each of the linked websites closely, and position yourself and/or your project within the programme that suits you best.

  • The evolving digital society: How do discourses on and imaginaries about artificial intelligence (AI), anthropomorphised interfaces and robots shape the development of policies, technologies and theories – and vice versa? How can cross-cultural perspectives inform our understanding of technological change? How do we tackle the challenges that lie ahead for public discourse, such as competing media realities, misinformation or deep fakes?
  • 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 organizational challenges and legitimate interest of all stakeholders into account, without resorting to “silver bullets” such as “open data” or “data sharing”?
  • Knowledge & Society: Changes in knowledge production, organisation and dissemination through digital innovations: How does digitisation affect the internal scholarly communication and the science communication with the society? How can the quality of science be assured? How do universities respond to the new requirements of the third mission and Open Science? 
  • Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Society: Understanding, informing and co-creating innovation and entrepreneurship in a digital economy & society: How do organisations address grand challenges such as the climate crisis or inequality using digital technologies related to artificial intelligence, open innovation, and platforms? How do digital technologies impact organisational practices, processes, and purpose?
  • AI Lab & Society: 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 realise the public interest?

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 March 1 to December 31, 2022. 

COVID-19: We cannot foresee the pandemic situation next year. Generally, there will be the options of completing the fellowship virtually, partly or even fully in person, depending on the state of the pandemic upon the start of the fellowship and your personal situation.

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 (max. 3 pages) 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 

  • 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

Please submit your application via this form until November 24, 2021, 11:59 p.m.

About HIIG

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) was founded in 2011 to research the development of the internet from a societal perspective and better understand the digitalisation of all spheres of life. As the first institute in Germany with a focus on internet and society, HIIG has established an understanding that centres on the deep interconnectedness of digital innovations and societal processes. The development of technology reflects norms, values and networks of interests, and conversely, technologies, once established, influence social values.

This post represents the view of the author and does not necessarily represent the view of the institute itself. For more information about the topics of these articles and associated research projects, please contact

Nadine Birner

Coordinator (on leave): The ethics of digitalisation | NoC

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