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Call for Applications: The Inaugural CUHK Research Summit: Digital Methods & Social Development

This looks really interesting:

Call for Applications: The Inaugural CUHK Research Summit: Digital Methods & Social Development

Time: 21 – 27 August 2016
Place: C-Centre (Centre for Chinese Media & Comparative Communication Research), School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong
Map of Location: <>
Event flyer: <>

// About the Summit

How can digital methods benefit not only academia but also society at large? How does one select, develop, and use the most appropriate digital research tools to tackle real-world issues in a week – such as an election, an environmental campaign, labor advocacy, and data challenges facing a social enterprise? How do the world’s leading scholars evaluate the state of digital methods globally? How do they think about the future directions of this burgeoning field beyond a Eurocentric Internet, beyond the norms of liberal democracies?

From 21-27 August 2016, the School of Journalism and Communication will host the Inaugural CUHK Research Summit on “Digital Methods & Social Development” at its C-Centre (Centre for Chinese Media & Comparative Communication Research, <>).

The Summit builds on the format and pedagogical traditions of the Digital Methods Summer School established since 2007 at the University of Amsterdam ( <><>), while aspiring to extend it to reflect the social needs in Hong Kong, China, Asia, and the Global South.

The planned activities will include (a) a high-level public event on August 21 consisting of keynote speeches and open discussions, and (b) a six-day training program during August 22-27 for advanced PhD students and early career researchers. We welcome applicants from Hong Kong, Asia, and other parts of the world. From this pool, we will select twenty trainees from diverse cultural, methodological & disciplinary backgrounds, to conduct group work with help from experienced trainers throughout the week.

Speakers and trainers will come from around the world. The content to be covered include social media analysis, network analysis, data visualization, Big Data, and related research topics. Emphasis will be placed on innovative thinking, the mastery of research tools, the matching between analytical strategies and theoretical / practical questions posed by subject experts, especially in the contexts of Chinese- & Asian-language cyberspaces.

// About the Chinese University of Hong Kong

A leading research university with global reputation, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is advancing the frontiers of knowledge and technology during our digital age. CUHK excels in the preservation, creation, application, and dissemination of knowledge through teaching, research, and public service in a comprehensive range of disciplines, thereby serving the needs and enhancing the well-being of citizens in Hong Kong, China as a whole, and the wider world community.

// About C-Centre of the School of Journalism and Communication

A key hub of intellectual exchange, the C-Centre (the Centre for Chinese Media and Comparative Communication Research) contributes to the studies of media and communication by conducting frontline research in Greater China and facilitating comparative scholarship globally.

// Keynote Speakers (for the August 21 public event)

Michael Best (Director and Professor, Institute on Computing and Society, United Nations University)
Wenhong Chen (Assistant Professor, Department of Radio-TV-Film, University of Texas at Austin)

Melissa Gregg (Co-director, Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing)

Isaac Mao (Director, Social Brain Foundation; Co-Founder, Berry Labs)

Richard Rogers (Professor of New Media and Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam)

// Training Program (from August 22-27)

The participants will be divided into four groups, and each will focus on one project during a week-long training program led by professional trainers. The major aim of the projects is to analyze the digital data provided or requested by four social organizations with very different nature. The following is an initial description of each group’s project:

1) Environmental initiative – Participants will examine the Des Voeux Road Central Initiative (DVRC, <>), an on-going project of the Hong Kong Clean Air Network. The aim is to create a pedestrian and tram precinct in Hong Kong’s central business district, while promoting sustainable lifestyle and reducing air pollution.

(2) Labor advocacy – This team will focus on the UNIQLO campaign launched by Students and Scholars against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM, <>), a key NGO in Hong Kong engaging in international labor activism. Using a combination of social media channels to raise public awareness, the campaign targets the largest Japanese fast-fashion company whose subcontractors abused Chinese textile workers.

(3) Social enterprise – Participants in this group will analyze music data provided by Aivvy ( <>), a tech startup that boasts the world’s first smart music technology platform. More than a consumer electronics company, Aivvy aims to foster social good by connecting less well-known musicians with potential listeners using innovative device and algorithms.

(4) Politics and democracy – The 2016 Hong Kong Legislative Election will take place on September 4. Several of Hong Kong’s most experienced public opinion researchers will conduct a new project covering the election. This group of participants will study Facebook profiles of the candidates and citizens’ online discussion in ways that shall inform the election study from new, social media angles.

Prior to joining the Summit, we will send learning materials (e.g., readings, videos, software) to admitted participants, who are supposed to go through the materials and start to get familiarized with the analytical tools and methodological issues. In the morning of Aug 22 Monday, we will hear presentations by experts from each of the four social organizations mentioned above with regard to the project context, major questions at stake, the most relevant data, and the research needs on the ground.

Then for the following five days (August 22-27), participants need to work with trainers to decide on their analytical strategies, complete data analysis, and prepare for public presentation in the afternoon of Aug 27 Saturday. During the Saturday afternoon session, experts from the social organizations will be invited back to hear group presentations and provide assessments along with members of the general public.

// Applications & Logistics

PhD students and young faculty members in all disciplines are welcome to apply by emailing to Ms. Mandy Chan at the C-Centre ( <>) a PDF file consisting of:

(1) a one-page letter explaining how training on digital methods and social development would benefit your current work,

(2) your CV,

(3) a copy of your passport (details page only),

(4) a headshot photo, and

(5) a 100-word bio.

Deadline is 21 May 2016 for application to join the Summit including the week-long training program.

Enrollment is free. For admitted participants from outside Hong Kong, we will provide on-campus accommodation (in twin rooms) and a limited amount of travel subsidies. If you wish to apply for travel subsidies, please use one sentence to indicate in your one-page letter (first page of the application PDF) that you have such financial need.

Admission decisions will be announced in early June.

Twitter hashtag #dm&sd

For additional inquiries please contact Ms. Mandy Chan at the C-Centre.

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