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 before July 1st, 2019) using innovative digital communication research methods?

Consider submitting an application to the 1st edition of the Digital Communication Methods Lab Thesis Funding Grants. Applications must be submitted before 29/03/2019.

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 2 of the 2018-2019 academic year.

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 4 master thesis and 2 research master thesis proposals in this round.


  • 29/03: Due date for submitting the proposals
  • 15/4: Results announced by the Lab

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 before July 2019.
  • 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 15/04, 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 before 29/03.

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 MyPannel 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, and a brief note on how the budget will be used.

Please use this form to submit your application.

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