Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies: International Research Fellowships in Critical Digital & Social Media Studies 2017: Call for Applications

University of Westminster

Application Deadline: Friday, October 28, 2016, 17:00 (British time)

The Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (www.westminster.ac.uk/wias) is an academic space for independent critical thinking beyond borders. It is located at the University of Westminster’s Regent Street Campus in the heart of London. Prof Christian Fuchs is its Director. The WIAS’ research focus is critical digital and social media studies.

One of the WIAS’ key features is the Research Fellowship Programme that attracts and brings together current and future academic leaders. We invite applications for international junior and senior research fellows, who conduct fellowship research projects in the field of Critical Social & Digital Media Research for the duration of 3 months (possible start dates are all dates between January 9 and May 1, 2017).

Critical Digital & Social Media is a research theme and focus of the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (WIAS). Digital & Social Media Research at the WIAS uses and develops critical theories, is profoundly theoretical, and discusess the political relevance and implications of the studied topics. Social media such as social networks (eg Facebook, LinkedIn, Renren, WeChat), blogs (eg Blogspot, Wordpress, Tumblr), content sharing sites (eg YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Pinterest, Youku), microblogs (eg Twitter, Weibo), or wikis (eg Wikipedia) have in recent years had profound impacts on society. There are also other new trends in the world of computing such as big data, the Internet of things, cloud computing, the digital commons, the online sharing economy, mobile digital communication, etc. And besides these new phenomena, there are established forms of digital media such as e-mail, search engines, online discussion, online communities, online publishing, online journalism, content sharing platforms, etc. All the digital phenomena that make up the world of digital media are subjects of Critical Digital & Social Media Research. The WIAS aims to contribute to bringing about a paradigm shift from big data analytics to critical digital & social media research methods.

The WIAS’ Critical Digital & Social Media Studies Fellowship Programme is aimed at current and future research leaders, who engage in independent critical thinking. It enables them to undertake independent and collaborative research on original topics in a stimulating academic environment in London. It enables the Fellows to undertake such work beyond the boundaries, obligations, limits, compartmentalisations and pressures set by ordinary academic life in teaching, administration and the traditional organisation of research. During their stay, Fellows undertake, develop, disseminate and present original, independent and critical individual research. Priority will be given to well-defined projects that result in published research outputs and demonstrate benefits for the applicant, her/his university and the University of Westminster's research interests.

The regular scholarship duration is 3 months (start between January 9 and May 1, 2017). Later start dates are not possible.

All applicants are required to hold a PhD at the time of application.

WIAS International Research Fellows enjoy the following benefits:

  • A scholarship of £7,500 (minus taxes) for a period of a three months stay at the WIAS for covering visa costs, accommodation and subsistence in London.
  • The opportunity for independent, critical research in an inspiring academic environment.
  • Collaboration with other Research Fellows, researchers at the University of Westminster and beyond.
  • The WIAS Colloquium allows Research Fellows to present their work to the academic and extra-academic public. 
  • Each WIAS International Research Fellow produces and publishes as part of his/her fellowship project one paper in the WIAS Research Paper Series “Westminster Advanced Studies” (see http://www.westminster.ac.uk/wias/publications) in order to disseminate new knowledge.
  • Publishing at least one paper in a peer-reviewed academic journal as a result of research undertaken during the fellowship.
  • Airfare to and from London paid by WIAS.
  • Office space, and access to the university’s library and IT services.

For applicants whose nationality is from outside of the EEA as a UK University we will need to establish your right to be able to reside and undertake your research with us in the UK. If you need sponsorship for a UK visa we will look at whether this is possible on a case-by-case basis once the assessment process is underway

Please complete a fellowship application form and submit it together with your full CV, your full publication list, and a digital version of what you consider your one best and most relevant academic publication that stands in the context of the suggested fellowship project (in the case of monographs, please include the introduction and select what you consider to be the book’s most important chapter). 

Submit to: Denise Rose Hansen, WIAS Executive Assistant, D.Hansen@westminster.ac.uk  

Application deadline: Friday, October 28, 17:00 British time

Inquiries before submission: D.Hansen@westminster.ac.uk  

Link to the application form: