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Call for Applications: Digital Communication Lab

Digital Communication Lab for Exchange between Research and Communication on 5 – 6 November & 12 – 13 November 2021

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Communication Labs

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

A conversation between science and the media: Twice a year, ten Humboldt Fellows meet ten journalists from the International Journalists’ Programmes Organisation. During a four-day workshop and the following seven weeks, they form interdisciplinary teams, which then work together on a compelling piece of journalism dealing with a topic of current societal relevance. Experienced mentors support the development process. Lectures and training sessions focus on what constitutes good science communication.

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 current research.

ComLab#4: Smart New Worlds: How AI, Robotics and Digitalisation Transform Our Lives

Artificial intelligence, robotics and new digital technologies are changing our lives. To which extent, benefit or at which cost is often hard to grasp for regulators, civil society and media. While transformative technologies hold great potential in medicine, industry, logistics and urban planning, hardly any other scientific fields spark so much speculation.  From automated mobility to biorobots and intelligent implants: The relationship between humans and machines holds great promise, but is also marked by misunderstanding and ignorance.

Together, journalists and researchers can point out research trends and development trajectories of AI, robotics and digital innovations, assess designs and possible applications, and discuss their ethical implications. And this is not an easy task since the expectations of future technologies are high. They should have an innovative and effective impact on society and equally benefit the common good. The workshop will address future trends and the social dimensions of innovative technologies.


5 – 6 November 2021 Have fun while warming up for ComLab. Get to know each other. Discuss what constitutes good science communication. Share ideas on how to collaborate. Get inspired by international science reporting. Learn from science experts in the field of AI, robotics and digitalisation. Discuss how AI can become more diverse. Get started with your own projects.
12 – 13 November 2021 Explore new ideas. Get to know examples of inclusive transformative technology. Expand your own science communication tool kit. Share global news on the relevance of science and media. Meet and talk with policy-makers and social innovators. Learn from renowned science correspondents and editors about good science reporting. Pitch your projects to guest juror.


Participation is open to ten IJP alumni and ten Humboldt fellows (current scholarship holders and alumni of all fellowship programmes). 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 research relates to topics involving transformative technologies such as AI, robotics or quantum computing and new digital infrastructures and tools.


  • Strong motivation to engage with an international community of journalists
  • Active participation in expert discussions, interactive learning sessions, and creative collaboration in a journalist-scientist tandem.
  • Commitment to create a compelling piece of journalism together with your team partner
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Download - Call for Applications (PDF, 497 KB)
ComLab#4 Preliminary Programme (PDF, 260 KB)

How to apply

  • CV in English (PDF), two pages max., 12pt, Times New Roman (should include year and title of your Humboldt Fellowship Programme)
  • Motivation letter of 500 words max. (PDF).
  • Application video (via link), three minutes max., which gives us a clear initial understanding of why you want to take part in this advanced training. 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 for ComLab 4 and your name.


Application deadline: 5 October 2021.

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