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NEW CALL for Ph.D. Fellowships
Ph.D. Fellowships in Digital Visual Studies
Your profile
What we offer
Research Focus Areas
How to apply
Important dates

Ph.D. Fellowships in Digital Visual Studies

The Max Planck Society (MPG) and the University of Zurich (UZH) invite applications for interdisciplinary predoctoral fellowships in the field of Digital Visual Studies (DVS) for a duration of 1+2 years. The program is part of a 5-year cross-institutional Digital Humanities research project funded by the MPG, supported by the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History (BHMPI) and collaborating with the Swiss Art Research Infrastructure (SARI) and the UZH Digital Society Initiative (DSI).

The fellows will carry out cutting-edge multidisciplinary research at the intersection of Art and Architectural History and Computer Science in a program specifically designed to tackle the current gap in the use, analysis, and interpretation of digital visual resources. They will profit from access to large, rich, and open datasets provided by several partner institutions in Art History, including the BHMPI. Further digitization required for the research projects will be supported


  • 370 000 digital images of works of art (paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, buildings etc.) with rich metadata, and 1.150.000 digitized photographs by end-2022
  • rich semantic data about the history of art and architecture in Italy (200.000 relations)
  • 1400 digitized books in the history of art with rich metadata, and 14.600 books on Rome and Naples, starting from autumn 2022
  • historic maps with annotated geodata for Rome and Naples
  • diagnostic and technical information, scientific imaging (X-ray, infrared, microscope) of artworks and books

Your profile

Ideal candidates have expertise (an excellent master’s degree) in one or more of the following areas:

  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Computer Vision, Image Processing
  • Spatial Humanities and GIS
  • Knowledge Representation
  • Digital Humanities
  • Digital Art History, Art History, Archival Studies in Art History
  • Book and Photo History
  • Media theory/Artistic Research
  • Architectural and Urban Studies
  • Social and Historical Network Analysis
  • Cultural Analytics, Computational Literary Studies

What we offer

  • a competitive salary in an attractive, well-connected, and dynamic European city
  • a network of researchers from MPG, BHMPI, UZH, DSI, SARI, ETH Zurich, University of Geneva, and other national and international partner institutions
  • a stimulating group of DH specialists working together
  • a vibrant intellectual and creative community in Zurich, including UZH, ETH and the University of the Arts (ZHdK)
  • designated supervisors
  • support from the UZH Graduate Campus
  • office space in the center of Zurich
  • research residences at the BHMPI in Rome will be organized
  • attending and organizing workshops
  • social events to build community

Research Focus Areas

We particularly welcome projects inspired by the Research Areas sketched out on the related posts (check post-its on the right), which themselves relate to specific digital resources

How to apply

Candidates are invited to upload their applications on the recruitment website of the BHMPI (, including their CV, copies of relevant certificates, names and full contact details of two referees, a statement describing their motivation and personal qualifications, and a research project proposal (non-binding, min. 3 pages with bibliography), specifying whether and how it would rely on the datasets mentioned above. Please specify the Ph.D. program, institute, and possible supervisor at the UZH that you would like to be associated with.

The Call closes on September 25, 2022. Researchers interested in the DVS are invited to consult our website (DVS) and to address inquiries and questions to:

Important dates

Application deadline: September 25, 2022

Decision on application: October 10, 2022

Start of the fellowship: December 1, 2022