Call for Fellows 2017

Frist: Sonntag, 16. April 2017

Since its founding in 2013, Het Nieuwe Instituut has fostered research initiatives in the form of exhibitions, events, archival investigations and publications by a variety of practitioners, independent researchers, academics and curators.

Research Themes

Het Nieuwe Instituut offers three fellowship opportunities based on its core disciplines of architecture, design, and digital culture. Each fellowship has a distinct theme in line with Het Nieuwe Instituut’s long-term programme. Applicants should clearly address one theme in their proposals, and also explain the social and political context for their research. They can also rely on a larger system of references, schools of thought and practices from other fields, as well as different forms of engagement.


Digital Culture

Over the last decade, media, politics, and society at large have increasingly become ‘datafied’ and entangled with algorithmic processes, from real-time user analysis and profiling to speculation about the (near) future through high-frequency trading and predictive policing. Algorithmic processing has the potential to reveal hitherto unknown patterns in big data, beyond human capabilities, and produce new forms of knowledge. However, this processing also appears to reinforce existing forms of social inequality, segregation and bias that are present in datasets, leading to new mechanisms of exclusion. Under the guise of convenience, personalisation and “free” access, filter bubbles and echo chambers emerge, fostering the development of worldviews that are insulated from opposing perspectives by automated systems. Moreover, questions of ethics and accountability arise as computational agents take on more tasks and decision-making processes, even as the underlying algorithms are increasingly obscured. This fellowship invites applicants to critically evaluate algorithmic cultures and information interfaces, with a sensitivity towards practices of open access. Algorithmic flaws, unforeseen effects and bias can offer entry points to question technological practice and design alternative human-machinic relations.



The fellowship is a 6-month position based at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It includes a monthly stipend of 2,000 EUR and a return trip from the country of residence. Stipends may be subject to a withholding tax. Fellows are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. Fellows must be able to attend regular meetings in Rotterdam as well as a retreat of up to five days. The terms of the research fellowship will be agreed on an individual basis with respect to research subject, location and residence eligibility.

Selection Criteria

From 13 March to 16 April 2017 Het Nieuwe Instituut will accept applications for three research fellowships associated with the disciplines of Het Nieuwe Instituut (architecture, design, and digital culture). The application is intended to clarify research intentions and attitudes, and is open to both new proposals as well as projects that are already underway.  

All applications will be reviewed on the basis of their engagement with the fellowship theme, depth of investigation, idiosyncrasy, connection to Het Nieuwe Instituut’s mission, and potential for exchange between fellows and across disciplinary boundaries. Preference will be given to proposals that include collaborations with institutions, NGOs and organisations in the Netherlands and abroad.

A pre-selection of applications will be made by the R&D department. An international jury will select one application for each of the three fellowships. Members of the jury will have access to all applications and can add any proposal to the pre-selection list at their discretion.