The Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (WIAS) is an academic space for independent critical thinking beyond borders. It is a cross-faculty institution based at the University of Westminster in London.

WIAS’s aim is to foster and disseminate advanced studies that generate insights into the complex realities and possibilities of the contemporary world. It is a space for the development, discussion and dissemination of critical, innovative and creative research that contributes to understanding the challenges and problems society, culture, nature, art and technology face today.

One of its key features is the International Research Fellowship Programme which brings together current and future academic leaders who engage in independent critical thinking beyond borders.

The studies conducted in the WIAS take an interdisciplinary approach to challenge the boundaries between disciplines. They are critical in order to question taken for granted realities and knowledge through new and alternative perspectives. They also take a global outlook on the world that transcends closed spaces of thought, imagination and reality.

You can read more about WIAS on University of Westminster’s website

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Research focus

Our research search focus is Critical Digital & Social. Social media such as social networks (eg Facebook, LinkedIn, Renren, WeChat), blogs (eg Blogspot, WordPress, Tumblr), content sharing sites (eg YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Pinterest, Youku), microblogs (eg Twitter, Weibo), or wikis (eg Wikipedia) have in recent years had profound impacts on society. There are also other new trends in the world of computing such as big data, the Internet of things, cloud computing, the digital commons, the online sharing economy, mobile digital communication, etc. And besides these new phenomena, there are established forms of digital media such as e-mail, search engines, online discussion, online communities, online publishing, online journalism, content sharing platforms, etc. All the digital phenomena that make up the world of digital media are subjects of Critical Digital & Social Media Research.

Research fellowship

The WIAS International Research Fellowship Programme

Our fellowship programme is aimed at current and future research leaders who engage in independent thinking that is interdisciplinary, critical, and takes on a global outlook. It enables researchers to undertake independent and collaborative research on original topics in a stimulating academic environment in the heart of London.

Fellows enjoy three months removed from the boundaries, obligations, limits, compartmentalisations and pressures set by ordinary academic life in teaching, administration and the traditional organisation of research.

During their stay, fellows undertake, develop, disseminate and present original, independent and critical individual research. Priority is given to well-defined projects that result in published research outputs and demonstrate benefits for the applicant, her/his university and the University of Westminster’s research interests. Our research focus is Critical Digital & Social Media Research.

WIAS Research Fellows enjoy the following benefits:

  • A scholarship for a period of a three months spent at WIAS
  • The opportunity for independent, critical research in an inspiring academic environment
  • Collaboration with other Research Fellows, researchers at the University of Westminster and beyond
  • The WIAS Colloquium allows Research Fellows to present their work to the academic and extra-academic public in a workshop, talk or other kind of event
  • Encouragement to publish in the open access WIAS Research Paper Series to disseminate acquired during their stay
  • Encouragement to publish at least one paper in a peer-reviewed academic open access journal as a result of research undertaken during their fellowship
  • Airfare to and from London paid by WIAS
  • Office space, and access to the university’s library and IT services.