Digital Communication Methods Lab Thesis Funding Grants

Are you a Communication Science (Research) Master’s student interested in innovative digital communication research methods? Are you currently working on your thesis (cohort with thesis due date being on or before June 25, 2021) using innovative digital communication research methods?

Consider submitting an application to the Fifth Edition of the Digital Communication Methods Lab Thesis Funding Grants. 

Are you already certain about method and design of your study? Submit your application for the first deadline on or before 01/03/2021. 

Need more time to decide about your method and design before submitting? The second deadline for submitting your application is 06/04/2021.

In this page, you will find:

  • Information about the thesis funding grants
  • Selection criteria for the applications
  • Timeline for the applications
  • Important eligibility requirements
  • More information about the lab
  • Instructions to submit your application


About the Digicomlab Thesis Funding Grants

The Lab is providing financial support for theoretically-relevant and digitally innovative (research) master theses for semester 1 of the 2020-2021 academic year. This program follows three successful rounds of theses that received the grants for the previous semesters. You can read about their results here

The selected thesis proposals will receive:

  • Financial support for data collection costs: EUR 350 for master theses (1-year) or EUR 500 for research master theses.
  • Access to the lab’s digital research methods (more information below)

Data collection costs include remunerating participants (and/or working with panel research companies) of experiments and surveys, paying coders (for content analysis), or covering infrastructure costs (e.g., servers).

Selection criteria

The applications will be evaluated by a committee appointed by the Lab. All applications will be evaluated on two main aspects:

  • Theoretical relevance: The application should be considered promising from a theoretical standpoint for Communication Science.
  • Innovation in the use of digital research methods: The application should make use of innovative digital communication research methods to answer important research questions. Methods may include (but are not limited to) large-scale automated content analysis, experience sampling, (mobile) eye-tracking, conversational agents, virtual reality etc.

Based on these evaluations, the Lab will select up to 5 proposals for funding in this edition.



To accommodate different trajectories of theses development, there are two deadlines to submit your application. First deadline:

  • 01/03: Due date for submitting the proposals
  • 16/03: Results announced by the Lab

Second deadline:

  • 06/04: Due date for submitting the proposals
  • 20/04: Results announced by the Lab

Students that are not awarded in the first round can resubmit to the second round.


Important requirements

To participate in the Funding Grants:

  • Only students from the Graduate School of Communication at the University of Amsterdam can participate. All programmes are invited to apply, i.e.:
    • Communication Science: Corporate Communication
    • Communication Science: Entertainment Communication
    • Communication Science: Persuasive Communication
    • Communication Science: Political Communication
    • Communication Science: Research Master’s
    • Journalism, Media and Globalisation (Erasmus Mundus Master’s – joint degree)
  • The student must be registered for the (Research) Master Thesis module with due date on or before June 2021.
  • The student must have approval from the supervisor to participate.

Please keep in mind that the decisions taken by the selection committee are final, and not subject to appeals.


To receive a grant:

If your application is selected on 16/02 or 20/04, please keep in mind that there are a few requirements for you to receive the grant:

  • The selected theses must receive full, formal ethical approval via the Ethical Review Board to be eligible for funding (via the supervisor)
  • After completing the thesis, the students will write one short report and record a video blog about their findings to be published in the Digicomlab website.

The Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)’s general guidelines for conducting and funding research apply for these grants.

Receiving approval from the Ethical Review Board is not required to submit an application by 01/03 or 06/04.


About the Digital Communication Methods Lab

The Digital Communication Methods Lab is an initiative of the RPA Communication, focusing on innovative research and bringing together existing and new projects with digital communication methods as its cornerstone. The lab aims at expand the innovative work on methods, analyses, and scientific practices critical to Communication Science, including work on mobile communication and AI, not only as research topics, but also as data collection modes. More information is available at the website:

Some of the infrastructure affiliated with the Lab includes:

  • INCA, Infrastructure for Content Analysis – aimed at large-scale collection and analysis using machine learning of news and other articles (including press releases, parliamentary questions, social media posts etc.).
  • CART, Conversational Agent Research Toolkit – aimed at creating conversational agents (e.g., chatbots) to be used in experiments with users.
  • ESM, Experienced Sampling Method survey infrastructure (using the ExpiWell App)
  • (Mobile) Eye Tracking equipment

Other innovative digital communication methods – covering Virtual Reality, Social Robots, Media Exposure and other topics – are also warmly invited to apply.


Submitting your application

Interested? Please prepare:

  • A title for your application (can be the tentative title of your thesis)
  • An abstract (250 words max) delineating research question as well as theoretical, societal and practical relevance.
  • Research design proposal (250 words max) delineating the methods used, and articulating the methodological innovation brought by the proposal.
  • Budget usage (100 words max) briefly explaining how you intend to use the budget awarded.

Please use this form to submit your application.

Questions? Please contact digicomlab-cw-fmg [at]