DSC/IAS Joint Fellowship at the UvA Institute for Advanced Study

Beneficial Disruptions in Science and Research


The University of Amsterdam’s Data Science Centre (DSC) and Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) welcome applications for their second DSC/IAS Joint Fellowship Call on Beneficial Disruptions in Science and Research.

Recent publications question the progress and innovative capacity of science. Chu and Evans (2021) argue that “fundamental progress may be stymied if quantitative growth of scientific endeavors - in number of scientists, institutes, and papers – is not balanced by structures fostering disruptive scholarship and focusing attention on novel ideas”. Park et al. (2023) suggest that “progress is slowing in several major fields of science and technology”. Bloom et at. (2020: 1138) observe that “research productivity is falling sharply everywhere”. If true, this situation is worrisome. Science and research are required not just for the sake of knowledge but also to stimulate societal and economic development, as a human right.

Questions that may drive applications for this fellowship opportunity:

  • Does the science system succeed in coming up with surprising theories, wild ideas, new methods and innovative techniques that help to deal with major societal challenges and wicked problems?
  • How can universities or research groups encourage beneficial disruptions in science and research?
  • What are the conditions for team science and interdisciplinary work to arrive at beneficial disruptions?
  • Do, for instance, thematic programming of research and engaging with societal challenges, keep up with their promises to bring forth innovative research?

This fellowship is specifically intended to initiate research project(s) and build collaborations to study how beneficial disruptions in science and research can be encouraged.

Who can apply? 

UvA researchers or researchers from another university at any career stage can apply for a joint DSC/IAS fellowship.  

We explicitly welcome joint applications from small teams of researchers that combine expertise in data science and other research areas, possibly in combination with philosophy of science and science and technology approaches. Another option is a combination of a researcher and an individual/organisation with a specific use case/question.

We are mindful of the importance of (gender) diversity within DSC and IAS and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. 


  • PhD degree, for at least one of the applicants;
  • applicant(s) will have demonstrable (combined) expertise in both Data Science/Machine Learning and another discipline;
  • applicants currently employed by other institutions than UvA need a committed co-applicant within the UvA who wants to structurally collaborate with the fellow.  Co-applicants are UvA employees at (Assitant/Associate) Professor level;
  • an employment contract at a university or research institute for the entire duration of the research fellowship;
  • curiosity and a collaborative mindset.  

What we offer 

Joint DSC/IAS fellowships typically have a duration of 2-6 months, starting in September 2023.

For joint DSC/IAS fellows employed by UvA, time at DSC and IAS is organised as an in-kind arrangement with their department. This can take the form of spending sabbatical time at DSC and IAS or other arrangements (e.g. using a research grant). 

Joint DSC/IAS fellows employed by other institutions (non-UvA fellows) enjoy guest status; they are not employed by the DSC or IAS.  

For non-UvA fellows who relocate to Amsterdam for the duration of the research fellowship, IAS provides a needs-based compensation for  expenses (travel, accommodation). They are responsible for paying tax to the Tax and Customs Administration of the Netherlands (Belastingdienst) or to the tax authorities of the country in which they are liable to pay taxes. 

All joint DSC/IAS fellows will get access to: 

  • be hosted at IAS, including a regular workspace and community lunches in our building in the center of Amsterdam;
  • a vibrant community with many opportunities to develop novel research projects and methodologies, and to establish partnerships and networks;
  • small amount of seed funding to support their project (e.g. for student assistance, inviting international guests, publication support);
  • organisational support to (co)organize and publicize activities at IAS or DSC (such as workshops, think tanks, seminars);
  • be included in regular DSC networking activities;
  • be featured in both DSC and IAS communications.

What we expect 

The DSC and IAS consists of a curiosity-driven research community.

All joint DSC/IAS fellows are expected to:

  • be present at IAS at least 3 days a week;
  • collaborate with their co-applicant, if applicable;
  • actively engage with the wider DSC and IAS community; 
  • participate in DSC and IAS social and scientific activities; 
  • contribute to IAS’ programming (e.g. through a kick-off lecture);
  • acknowledge DSC and IAS in any publications resulting from the research fellowship; 
  • we encourage applicants to consider using the fellowship to create opportunities for documentation, dissemination of and engagement with their work that go beyond academic publications, such as book sprints, collaborative workshops, White Papers, developing online resources, etc.
  • write a short blogpost within four weeks after the end of the research fellowship.

Selection criteria 

  • Alignment with the theme Beneficial Disruptions in Science and Research and expertise in both Data Science/Machine Learning and another discipline; 
  • proven experience with mixed methods;
  • creative, original out-of-the-box thinking;
  • academic track record, taking into account the career stage of the applicant;
  • perspective on/experience with interdisciplinary research collaboration.

Process and Timelines 

Joint DSC/IAS fellowship applications are assessed by a committee of DSC and IAS staff, advised by the IAS Board of Associates. The IAS Board of Associates meets in May to assess the joint DSC/IAS fellowship applications.

The deadline for submission is therefore 1 May 2023.

To apply, please send an email before 1 May 2023 to ias@uva.nl and include: 

  1. the application form; 
  2. CV; 
  3. a letter of support from your employer/supervisor.

Download the joint DSC/IAS fellowship application form

Date de candidature
2-6 months
Humanités : Anthropologie & Ethnologie, Numérique, Big Data, Philosophie, théologie et religion
Sciences sociales : Economie, Géographie, Identités, genre et sexualités, Science politique, Sciences de l'information et de la communication, Sciences environnementales, Sociologie
Sciences participatives
Autres : Informatique, Physique, mathématiques et ingénierie