The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers conducts top-level, mission-driven research that benefits society in all technologically relevant domains. As Germany’s largest research organization, Helmholtz therefore plays a role in shaping the future and our world of tomorrow. One of the key challenges facing science and research is utilizing methods from the field of information and data sciences; that is, exploiting digitalization to acquire knowledge that will benefit society. Helmholtz tackles these challenges in various ways and also founded the Helmholtz Information & Data Science Academy (HIDA) to this end. HIDA’s goal is to train the digital researchers of the future and establish innovative networks and fellowship programs across Germany and at the international level.


The Akademie für Theater und Digitalität (Academy for Theater and Digitalism, ATD) is a model project at Theater Dortmund for digital innovation, artistic research, and technology-oriented education and further training. The ATD is funded by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the German Federal Cultural Foundation, and the WILO Foundation in addition to receiving support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It partners with the German Theatre Technical Society (DTHG), the German Theatre Association (Deutscher Bühnenverein), and many other regional and international partners. The Akademie sees itself as a place for innovation, inspiration, discourse, and exchange; a place with the courage to try new things and also to fail, a place for reflection and communication – a place for the arts!


The goals shared by HIDA and the Akademie are to experiment with new methods, explore new, digital ecosystems, and bring the transfer of questions, insights, and technologies and the accompanying opportunities to fruition in society.

To this end, HIDA and the Akademie are issuing a joint call for applications for two research fellowships (or a double fellowship for two individuals). The pilot project is situated at the interface between the digital arts and top-level research. Its objective is to inspire a dialog between art and science – in particular, the project aims to boost exchange between the digital arts and digital sciences in the area of digital forms, technologies, and applications. The fellowship is intended to create a stage for science and technology, open up access to the incredible opportunities that top-level digital research offers for the theater of tomorrow, and support the transfer of new methods, ideas, and insights.

  • The five-month residency fellowship will be based at the Akademie für Theater und Digitalität for two months and at one of the Helmholtz Centers, to be determined on an individual basis, for three months.
  • The fellowships are designed to give scientists and theater professionals the opportunity to initiate planned research projects, flesh out concepts, and continue or complete work they have already begun.
  • The funding is intended to enable the fellowship’s recipients to concentrate on a research project (e.g. artistic; artistic/scientific; scientific/artistic work) that they have described in a detailed application without having to deal with economic and material pressures.
  • The research work will begin and end at the ATD. The recipients of the fellowship will be required to communicate the results of their work to both institutions in an appropriate form.
  • The research can be conducted from September 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
  • Deadline for applications: March 28, 2021 (11:59 p.m.)
  • Please send applications with the reference “HIDA” in the subject line to:


Thematic orientation of the fellowship

Particular focus will be placed on the following topics:

  • Dialog, innovation, and visionary qualities in the course of interactions with information technologies, data, and research results from Helmholtz.
  • Innovation and originality in the appropriation of new technologies and processing of data and research results for the stage or for theatrical contexts.
  • Innovation of methodological approaches from an artistic and scientific perspective.

The fellowship thus focuses on questions such as: How can datasets from top-level scientific research or information technologies be released from the scientific context for which they were created and cast in a new light in artistic contexts? Does the project motivate the scientific partners to rethink their work in terms of different facets? Do new ideas arise that complement the original purpose of the research or consider it in a different light? Does the project create inspiration for the original research domain or the cultural sector?


The addressees

The call for applications is directed to artists and researchers who are interested in researching artistic, technical, and scientific questions in the context of digital narrations in theatrical settings and their practical implementation.

The applicants are postgraduates (MA/Diplom) with at least three years of professional experience.

We look forward to receiving applications from individuals who would like to research and work with digital (information) technologies (e.g. motion capturing, coding, MR, AR, VR, robotics, informatics, sensor technology, sound, film, interaction design, etc.) and with data from Helmholtz.



The Akademie and the participating Helmholtz Center will provide access to the necessary hardware and software as well as access to the knowledge, network, data, and information technologies of the fellowship provider. A workstation will be made available. Financial support will also be provided, with the amount varying depending on the institution: In both cases, monthly funding will be provided in the form of a grant (1,600 euros at the Akademie; 2,860 euros at HIDA); additional allowances including, e.g., travel costs, coverage for additional living costs, and potential costs involved in caring for accompanying children; research or production materials on a smaller scale, and resources for external mentoring and consulting services in the context of the respective funding provided by the partners.


Application documents

  • Project title and outline (max. two pages)
  • Motivation/goals (max. two pages)
  • Résumé
  • An informal letter of support from the partners on the Helmholtz side to the effect that an appropriate workstation including the corresponding technical equipment will be made available for a period of three months.

You are welcome to contact the scientists at the Helmholtz Centers with whom you are interested in working directly. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Claudia Reschke at the HIDA office (