Call for Applications: Communication Lab

ComLab#9: Contested Freedom – from Migration to AI and the Climate Crisis

Arms raised in protest. Group of protestors fists raised up in the air.
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Communication Labs

More information about the ComLab and the results of the last digital workshops here.

Join the ComLab!

  • Join the ComLab network and be part of a specialised community of science communicators.
  • Exchange ideas with fellow scientists and journalists from all over the world.
  • Discuss current global issues with international experts from the political sector and civil society.
  • Learn innovative story-telling techniques from excellent trainers and mentors.
  • Work towards a compelling piece of science communication based on your research.

ComLab#9: Contested Freedom – from Migration to AI and the Climate Crisis

All over the world, people take to the streets for their freedom. They protest against war, xenophobia and the climate crisis. In many places they risk their lives for a better, more just society. But “freedom” is a difficult concept and, depending on the respective interests, open to interpretation. Whilst some people feel climate laws restrict their freedom and affluence, others see them as ways of protecting humans and the environment. Whilst new technologies like artificial intelligence make information accessible more quickly and efficiently, octopus and deep fakes also aid discrimination and manipulation on the web. ComLab#9 seeks to explore the social, ethical and economic areas where freedom is under threat and develop constructive communication strategies, showcasing unheard narratives.


Twenty researchers, twenty journalists, four days in Berlin: Comlab#9 is not merely a conference. It is a bootcamp for science communication and journalism that guarantees a safe environment for collaboration. Together with experts from research, media, civil society organisations and the political sector we will look at current global dynamics and interpretations of freedom. In keynotes, networking rounds, group work, training sessions and a final pitching slam, ComLab#9 focuses on:

  • Migration Dynamics: Understand the complex interplay of migration and nation-building, and the promise and realities of freedom for people on the move. What are different types of freedom under threat in migrant societies and how can we learn to unlock the potential of diversity in all areas of life to ensure freedom for all?
  • Enhancing AI: Delve into the realms of artificial intelligence and its role in empowering and/or undermining freedom. How does AI enhance access to information, also providing novel applications in medicine, industry and communications, and what can be done to prevent misuse through ever more advanced manipulation and deep fakes?
  • Climate Change Narratives: Unearth strategies to communicate the urgency of the climate crisis, forging narratives that not only raise awareness of the global interconnection of climate policies and its consequences but also empower individuals and communities to campaign for a free and sustainable future.

Collaboration is key: Learn how to communicate your research in a clear and engaging way. Immerse yourself in small cross-disciplinary teams and craft a compelling story proposal together with journalists and peers from science. Get support from experts and enable journalists to gain deeper insights into the intricacies of how researchers work.

Pitch your projects: ComLab#9 is a launching pad for collaborative projects that have the potential to make a lasting impact at the intersection of science and media. The top three project ideas, recognised by both an international jury and your peers, will not only receive accolades but also financial support to turn the ideas into reality.


Participation is open to twenty Humboldt fellows and alumni.

Knowledge and experience in science communication is an asset, but not a prerequisite for participating in this four-day workshop. We welcome applications from researchers of all disciplines whose past or current work relates to the topics of the summit: migration, artificial intelligence, big data, computing, transformative technologies, and climate research and policies.

The summit will be held in English.

Accomodation and travel costs

Room and board are covered by the organisers. Participants will work and reside in Berlin city centre, close to the main station (Berlin Hauptbahnhof).
In addition, we provide a travel allowance of up to 150 Euros for participants who are not currently living in Berlin.
We encourage applications from all over the world. Please keep in mind, however, that the amount of the travel allowance is non-negotiable. We also invite researchers currently living in Berlin to apply.


  • Commitment to take part in all four days of the conference
  • Strong motivation to engage with an international community of journalists
  • Active participation in expert discussions, interactive learning sessions, training sessions and creative collaboration in journalist-scientist groups
  • Commitment to create a compelling piece of science communication together with your team partners
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Call for Applications (PDF, 202 KB)
Video guidelines (PDF, 111 KB)
Preliminary Programme (PDF, 202 KB)

How to apply

  • CV in English (PDF), two pages max. (should include title of your Humboldt Fellowship Programme)
  • Motivation letter of 500 words max. (PDF)
  • Application video (via WeTransfer,, three minutes max., which gives us a clear initial understanding of why you want to take part in the ComLab#9 and which focal point (migration, AI, climate policies) interests you the most and why

Please see the video guidelines for more content-related and technical details.

All documents should be submitted in ONE e-mail to comlab[at] Subject line: Application ComLab#9 and your name


Application deadline: 31 May 2024

The programme is financed by

Partner - International Journalists’ Programmes (IJP e.V.)