Call for Applications: WIAS International Research Fellowships in Critical Digital and Social Media Studies 2017

27 September 2016

Research projects

We are currently taking applications for fellowship research projects in the field of critical social and digital media research.

One of the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies' (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 and digital media research for the duration of 3 months. Possible start dates are all dates between 9 January and 1 May 2017.

Critical digital and social media research at WIAS

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.

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 and social media research.

The WIAS aims to contribute to bringing about a paradigm shift from big data analytics to critical digital and social media research methods. Digital and social media research at WIAS uses and develops critical theories, is profoundly theoretical, and discusess the political relevance and implications of the studied topics. 

WIAS’ Critical Digital and Social Media Studies Fellowship Programme

The WIAS’ Critical Digital and 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 9 January and 1 May 2017). Later start dates are not possible.

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

Fellowship benefits

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 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 then we will look at whether this is possible on a case-by-case basis once the assessment process is underway.

How to apply

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 via email to: Denise Rose Hansen, WIAS Executive Assistant at

Application deadline: Friday 28 October 2016, 5pm (GMT). 

Further information 

For any enquiries before application submission, please contact Denise Rose Hansen at

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