Monday, April 22, 2013

5 Doctoral Fellowships @ Darmstadt University

The Technical University of Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt) is offering 5 doctoral fellowships in their grad school "Topologies of Technologies". Research at the graduate school is explicitely dedicated to the relationship between technologies and space. I think this is highly interesting for STS/surveillance researchers, because the question of space arises in particular with infrastructural technologies. In my own PhD research for example, where I analyse the development of a "smart" CCTV system, I asked myself how the spatial configuration of surveillance processes might be conceptualised - i.e. how relationships between operators in the control room and security staff on the ground are embedded within the surveillance system, in terms of distance/proximity and use of the monitored space. I still haven't come up with a satisfying answer, though :) Here's the announcement:

Topology of Technology

The interdisciplinary graduate program "Topology of Technology" at Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany, announces 5 doctoral fellowships, starting September 1, 2013, and running for a maximum of 3 years.

The program is organized by teachers from the subjects of history, sociology, philosophy, mechanical engineering, computer science, sports science and the planning sciences. It focuses on the relationship between technology and space—at present, in history, and in a possible future. It has four thematic foci:
  • The Persistence and Routinization of Daily Life in Technical Surroundings
  • The Formation and Limitations of Action in Spatial-Technological Settings
  • The Planning and Design of Technologies in Spatial Contexts
  • The Modeling and Simulation of Spatial Relations by Technological Means
The program (GRK 1343) is primarily financed by the German Research Council (DFG); see

Fellows receive a monthly stipend (bursary) of 1,365 euros (parents receive additional child allowances). There are no tax reductions; however, fellows have to finance their own health insurance.

Since course work and seminars are carried out in both German and English, it is expected that applicants are able to read and understand spoken German. Fellows are expected to work together in our common office downtown Darmstadt and thus need to take up their residence in the city or the vicinity.

Applications are only accepted in electronic form. They should include (1) a CV, (2) scanned copies of academic diplomas, (3) a short description (max. 5 pages) of the planned doctoral dissertation, and (4) the names and addresses of two university professors who are willing to act as reference persons (please merge the documents into one single file in PDF format). Please send your application no later than

May 31, 2013

to Please make sure that it includes a personally formulated explanation why you are particularly interested in the topic of the program and to which thematic focus your research will, in the first instance, contribute.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact one of the directors: Petra Gehring ( or Mikael Hård (

More information about the research and teaching program can be found under

No comments