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 June 30th, 2023) using innovative digital communication research methods?

Consider submitting an application to the Eight 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 03/03/2023.

Need more time to decide about your method and design before submitting? The second deadline for submitting your application is 07/04/2023.

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 2022-2023 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 of EUR 500 for data collection costs. 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). All data collection activities must follow the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)’s guidelines and be approved by the Digicomlab in advance.


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 8 proposals for funding in this edition.



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

First deadline:

  • 03/03: Due date for submitting the proposals
  • 17/03: Results announced by the Lab

Second deadline:

  • 07/04: Due date for submitting the proposals
  • 21/04: 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 2023.
  • 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, 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
  • 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 to this grant programme.


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:
Submitting your application

Interested? Please prepare:

  • A (public) title for your application (can be the tentative title of your thesis)
  • An abstract: (250 words max) Please write a public abstract containing a brief summary of your thesis. It should mention the research question, the relevance and give a brief indication of the methods that will be used. This public abstract will be published on the Digicomlab website if your proposal is awarded.
  • Project Description: (max: 250 words) The project description should delineate the research question as well as theoretical, societal and practical relevance. This will only be used for the evaluation.
  • Research design proposal (max: 250 words) This section should discuss the methods used, and articulate the methodological innovation brought by the application. This will only be used for the evaluation.
  • Budget: (max 150 words) Please outline briefly how the budget will be used. This will only be used for the evaluation.

In addition, you will need to select which innovative digital method your thesis will use. Some common methods/themes awarded earlier by the lab include:

  • Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • Automated Content Analysis
  • Conversational Agents (e.g., chatbots)
  • Experience Sampling Method
  • Data donations
  • Explainable AI
  • Eye tracking and/or other physiological measures
  • Recommender systems

Students considering using other innovative digital methods are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please use this form to submit your application.

Questions? Please contact