Open Research Program

This open and overarching program is aimed at researchers who want to develop, discuss, and explore new ideas as fellows at the Weizenbaum Institute.

The Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society is a place of open exchange and inspiration. For this purpose, we are looking for scientists who want to develop, discuss and investigate new ideas as Fellows at the Institute. Twice a year, the Weizenbaum Institute awards Open Fellowships for a maximum of three months. The next application deadline is 30 September 2023. The Weizenbaum Fellows spend the time of their fellowship on site at the Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin. If you would like to apply with a non-scientific project related to the research profile of the WI, please contact us in advance: fellowships[at]

This Fellowship program is open to all disciplines and career levels with a project related to the research profile of the Weizenbaum Institute. We are looking for project ideas that combine basic research and interdisciplinarity with social relevance and a reference to the guiding values of the Weizenbaum Institute (strengthening individual and collective self-determination and sustainability in dealing with and using digital technology). Furthermore, they should open up new perspectives on the digitally networked society or contribute innovative proposals for solutions for research and practice to the discussion.

We offer the freedom to implement an original idea in a stimulating environment, as well as the opportunity to make new contacts, discuss concepts and gain support for a project. In addition, there is the opportunity for publications in the publication formats of the Weizenbaum Institute, especially the Weizenbaum Journal of the Digital Society.

Questions about the Fellowship Programme should be sent to fellowships[at]

Application process

Scientists of all disciplines and career stages with a project related to the research profile of the Weizenbaum Institute can apply. We are particularly looking forward to applications that strengthen the international networking of the WI and that relate to the thematic area of the 2024 Weizenbaum Conference on sustainability and digitalisation. 

  • Application deadline: 30.09.2023, period of stay between 01.01.-30.06.2024
  • Duration of the Fellowship: 1 to max. 3 months

For your application, please submit the following documents (in English):

  • Completed application form
  • Project description (max. 2 pages)
  • Letter of motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Publication list

The project description should not exceed 2 pages. When describing your project, please consider the aspects of innovation and interdisciplinarity and address the following points: abstract, research question, methods, work plan for the fellow period at the WI, connection points of the own project to the profile of the WI, output, potential links to researchers in the WI (these do not have to be existing contacts yet), relevant research literature for the project (list of max. 5 most important).

Download application form

Please hand in the form and your documents in one PDF at You will receive a confirmation.

Selection process

An interdisciplinary committee consisting of representatives of the research priorities evaluates the applications received and makes a quality-based decision. Diversity criteria are also taken into account.

The selection criteria include:

  • Degree of innovation and social relevance of the project
  • Interdisciplinarity of the research approach
  • Connectivity to the profile of the WI
  • Scientific profile of the applicant

Feedback is usually given 8 weeks after the application deadline.

In case of rejection, a new application with a new or adapted project is possible. The open fellowship program cannot finance two or more stays at the WI.

Fellow lump-sum allowance

The fellows receive a lump-sum allowance to support their living expenses. The exact amount of the allowance depends, among other things, on the respective career stage as a doctoral candidate, postdoc (regular Fellow) or professor (Senior Fellow) and the expected expenses for the stay, which are determined during the application process.

PhD researcher: up to 4.000 €/month
Postdoc: up to 5.000 €/month
Professor: up to  6.500 €/month


The agreed expense allowances are lump-sums. All expenses incurred (travel and accommodation costs, visa fees, etc.) are covered by this lump sum.

Overview Fellowships