Reinvent digital


The challenges of the digital transformation require innovative and interdisciplinary research approaches.

The ENS deals with the interrelations between European society (including law, business and politics) and digital technological development in research and teaching. Central analytical terms at ENS are "power" and "design". Both terms describe semantic fields that are filled with different content depending on the discipline, but act as “boundary objects” for inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration.

The concept of power refers to issues of human and technical agency, political dominance and platform hegemony, but also empowerment and contestation. It describes structures and contexts of social action, of power shifts and of new ways of empowerment triggered or mediated by digital technology. The concept of design, in contrast, addresses the shaping of digital technologies, of their surrounding institutional and normative order, and the transformation of related structures and contexts.

Both concepts address pertinent conditions and challenges of the digital transformation and help researchers at ENS to build on common analytical ground. All five professorships at ENS relate the analysis of changes in power and design to the question of the interrelation between technological change and European integration.


Zahlen zur Wahl

Social media analyses for the German elections 2021

"Zahlen zur Wahl" is a collaborative research project to observe, research and analyze social media activities of political parties and candidates in the German federal and state election campaign and make the data accessible.

Project Details

Zahlen zur Wahl

Analyzing and mapping current trends: Which hashtags are trending in the election campaigns of the political parties and why? Who is pushing which topic? Are there signs of coordinated inauthentic campaigns?

A team of researchers and students observes and analyzes the social media activities of political parties and candidates in the German federal and state election campaigns. Collecting data, evaluating it and describing current developments on an ongoing basis, the project aims to contribute to making the online election campaign more transparent.

The project's target groups are journalists (especially in local media without resources for their own analyses), teachers, and interested citizens. All graphics and data published on the project website may be used, posted and reproduced.

"Zahlen zur Wahl" is a joint project of the ENS Chair for Digital Democracy, the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society, the NRW School of Governance and the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI).

Project Website


Artificial Intelligence for research-based learning

Developing a social science lab for research-based learning: SKILL is a cooperation of the ENS, the Center for Teaching and Learning (ZLL) of the European University Viadrina and the Bauhaus Universität Weimar.

Project Details

SKILL - Artificial Intelligence for research-based learning

With the "Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education" funding initiative, the German federal and state governments aim to expand the supply of academic specialists for business and science in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), as well as to promote the use of AI to improve higher education. Our research project proposal SKILL is among the four Brandenburg AI university projects supported for their approach to individual adaptation of teaching and learning processes.

SKILL is a cooperation of the ENS and the Center for Teaching and Learning (ZLL) of the European University Viadrina as well as the Bauhaus University Weimar. Together, the research team aims at developing a social science lab for research-based learning. Students will be involved in the process of building and applying AI-based technologies which should be able to recognize, analyze, and visualize the structure of argumentation in scientific articles and political arenas, providing students with insights for their own university work.

The federal government is providing 90 percent of the funding, while Brandenburg is providing 10 percent. The AI projects particularly address universities that prepare students for qualified professional jobs and where the application of AI will become increasingly important.

Press Release (in German)


A data donation platform to analyze YouTube algorithms

Which videos does the YouTube algorithm recommend to which users for the federal election? This will be investigated with the help of the new data donation platform "DataSkop", which has been launched on 15 July 2021.

Project Details

Funding: BMBF, VDI/VDE (1,8 Mio €) // Start Date: 01.08.2020 // Duration: 36 months // Partners: 5

The BMBF, VDI/VDE funded project "DataSkop - Was passiert mit meinen Daten?" is developing a data donation platform to enable users sharing their personal data to support research and digital education. Our role in that project is to provide protypical use-, i.e. research cases. The common goal of the project, however, is to tackle the opacity of algorithmic decision making systems on big or otherwise pivotal online platforms and services. Using organic, real user data, we are going to map, explore and investigate the different realities that branch out from discriminators implementend in recommenders and the like. The project is part of the BMBF's Digital Autonomy Hub.

Algorithm Watch // Uni Paderborn // FH Potsdam // Mediale Pfade

Project Website

Smart City Frankfurt (Oder)

Development of a joint digitalization strategy

A livable and lovable city: The ENS, in cooperation with the Frankfurter Dienstleistungsholding (FDH) and the city administration, is supporting the city of Frankfurt in developing a digitalization strategy.

Project Details

Towards a Smart City – Joint Digitalization Strategy by the European New School of Digital Studies and the City Administration of Frankfurt

The European New School of Digital Studies (ENS) of the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), in cooperation with the Frankfurter Dienstleistungsholding (FDH) and the city administration, is supporting the city of Frankfurt in the development of a digitalization strategy.
"Together, we will use digital technologies to make Frankfurt (Oder) an even more livable and lovable city," says Prof. Dr. Jürgen Neyer, Director of the European New School of Digital Studies about the Smart City concept. "We want to leverage smart technologies to turn Frankfurt into a dynamic innovation hub in the region.”

"By the end of 2021, we want to have a joint strategy for Frankfurt (Oder) in place, designed to increase the quality of life in our city, through ecologically sustainable as well as socially and economically balanced solutions and technologies,” explains Mayor Claus Junghanns. Citizens should will be given the chance to participate in shaping their city. At the same time, we aim to become more competitive for companies and boost efficiency in our administration."

In the frame of a research seminar at Viadrina, public surveys and interviews with municipal stakeholders and businesses will be conducted in a first step. Moreover, there will be a dialog event with actors from the city, local politics and science. The project receives 40,000 euros of financial support from the Volkswagen Foundation, one of the largest German science funding institutions.

Project Website

Transparency made useful

Luana Martin-Russu, Postdoctoral Researcher

Digital data analysis to measure de-europeanization: Situated in the field of post-accession europeanization research, this project discusses how the EU produces domestic change in its member- and accession states.

Project Details

Transparency Made Useful: Employing Digital Data Analysis to Measure and Prevent de-Europeanization (Luana Martin-Russu)

The project is situated in the field of post-accession Europeanization research that discusses the manner and extent to which the European Union produces domestic change in its member- and accession-states. It starts from the empirical observation that several European member states allow their legislation to slide away from either European or democratic standards after having gained EU membership. It postulates that it depends primarily on lawmakers whether or not a state pursues a European and a democratic agenda. Therefore, it is at the level of legislative decision-making that this project decides to observe when and where there is a decrease in the level of compliance and when and where the rule of law is not de facto realized. It takes up the challenge to develop a longitudinal study across policy fields and over longer periods of time in order to reveal subtle patterns of legislative instability and abusive law-making practices. It starts from the research question: How can de-Europeanization be effectively measured? It sets off to answer this question by employing a new method of analysis based on computer driven data acquisition (Python-based algorithms) and natural language processing (NLP).

Project Poster

Luana Martin-Russu


leArning and robuSt deciSIon SupporT systems for agile mANufacTuring environments

The EU-funded ASSISTANT project aims to develop breakthrough solutions for the manufacturing industry, combining machine learning, optimization, simulation, and domain models to optimize production systems through AI.

Project Details

Funding: EU Horizon 2020 (6 Mio. €) // Start Date: 01.11.2020 // Duration: 36 months // Partners: 12

The EU-funded ASSISTANT project aims to develop breakthrough solutions for the manufacturing industry, using artificial intelligence to optimize production systems. One of the keystones of ASSISTANT is the creation of intelligent digital twins. By combining machine learning, optimization, simulation, and domain models, ASSISTANT develops tools and solutions providing all required information to help production managers design production lines, plan production, and improve machine settings for effective and sustainable decisions that guarantee product quality and safety.

With a multidisciplinary consortium combining key skills in AI, manufacturing, edge computing and robotics, ASSISTANT aims to create intelligent digital twins through the joint use of machine learning (ML), optimization, simulation and domain models. The resulting tools permit to design and operate complex collaborative and reconfigurable production systems based on data collected from various sources such as IoT devices. ASSISTANT targets a significant increase in flexibility and reactivity, products/processes quality, and in robustness of manufacturing systems, by integrating human and machine intelligence in a sustainable learning relationship.

The ASSISTANT project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101000165 .

Institut Mines-Telecom // University College Cork // University of Patras // Flanders Make vzw // Biti Innovations AB // SIEMENS AG // INTRASORFT International // ATLAS Copco // SIEMENS Energy // Groupe PSA

Project Website


Human centric innovative approach and training for the management of human Resources through the Integration of the Next Generation of AI technologies

HIRING aims to prepare the current and next generation of human resources managers for the integration of artificial intelligence tools in their position.

Project Details

EU Erasmus+ // Start Date: 01.09.2020 // Duration: 36 months // Partners: 6

The project aims to prepare the current and next generation of human resources manager to the integration of artificial intelligence tools in their position. It’s objectives are: training the HR managers and students to the digital transformation to come in their work environment, valuing fair and responsible soft skills for implementing AI technologies at the work place and promoting a more open-minded HR generation opened to atypical career pathways.

Institut de Preparation à l’Administration et à la Gestion, IPAC Business School // Seinäjoen koulutuskuntayhtymä, Finland // haikara, France // ZAPIENS TECHNOLOGIES S.L. Spain

Project Website

ENS Fellowship Program

We offer a third-party fellowship program to promote our core research activities as well as international research collaborations. You may apply as:

  1. early-career postdoctoral researcher (up to four years after obtaining your PhD)
  2. associated or full professor (four years after obtaining your PhD)

The duration of the stay usually varies between two and six months. ENS fellowships provide a full grant corresponding to the applicants' level of professional experience, as well as working space in fully-equipped offices, logistical support and access to the interdisciplinary research landscape of ENS.

Applications, including a CV and a reference contact, a description of your research project of up to five pages, detailed preliminary work and the intended timeline of your research at ENS, must be submitted to one of our ENS professors.

Please find a detailed version of the program policy and regulations here.

© 2021 European New School of Digital Studies (ENS)

Physical address:

Building: Collegium Polonicum (CP)
Ul. Kosciuszki 1
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Postal address:

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Phone: +49 (0)335 5534 16 6780
E-Mail: ens [at]