DAAD scholarships

The Graduate School (DFG Research Training Group / DFG-Graduiertenkolleg)

User-Centred Social Media (UCSM)

at the University of Duisburg-Essen invites applications for 2 PhD scholarships in the frame of the DAAD Graduate School Scholarship Programme (GSSP) starting in 2020.

We are seeking candidates who want to address one of the following topics in their PhD project (Click on the topics for more information):


The research training group (RTG) UCSM provides an interdisciplinary research environment with computer science and psychology as the main contributing disciplines. From this interdisciplinary perspective, it addresses research challenges related to Social Media which are understood as complex socio-technical systems characterized by features such as user-generated content, social interaction and awareness, and emergent functionality. Significant research gaps have been identified with respect to analyzing and understanding the characteristics and determinants of user behaviour, both at the individual and the collective level, as well as regarding the user-centred design of social media systems. Our research will build on theories and methods from the following fields:

  • Media and communication psychology
  • Decision making and decision support
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Information retrieval and mining
  • Social network analysis and visualization
  • Privacy and security engineering
  • Media-supported collaboration and learning

Applicants should have received a Master degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Cognitive Science, Communication Science or Psychology and, ideally, prior knowledge and experience in one or more of the areas listed above.

Eligible are exclusively international applicants. At the time of the application, the last final exam (Master Degree) should have taken place no longer than six years ago. Applicants must not have resided in Germany for more than 15 months prior to the application.

Successful applicants will be granted a DAAD-funded scholarship over 3 years covering:

  • A monthly award of 1200 Euros
  • Combined health-, accident, and liability insurance
  • Support for travel expenses
  • Additional financial support related to research activities
  • If necessary support for accommodation and families
  • German language course

The recipients of the scholarships will fully participate in the RTGs qualification programme with courses on basic methods from all disciplines as well as advanced courses to deepen and extend specific areas of knowledge related to User-centred Social Media. This is accompanied by workshops, retreats, an international summer school, a peer-reviewed colloquium, as well as interdisciplinary work groups. PhD students will be introduced to international research at a very early stage and instructed to publish the results of their work on an international level.

Applications should comprise a curriculum vitae, documentation of academic degrees and certificates, 2 recommendation letters from professors at the home university (please use the template available at https://www.daad.de/medien/deutschland/stipendien/formulare/recommendation.doc), written statement of the applicant’s research interests and related experience, as well as electronic copies of the applicant’s master thesis and/or relevant publications.

Please apply via our website explicitely indicating your interest in one of the two open topics mentioned above:

Click here to apply for this position

Deadline 06 January 2020

For more information on the application procedure, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (coordinator)