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Media Lab Bayern Newsletter

R&D Fellowship

Moving the media industry forward - with your topics!

Have you been carrying a media issue around with you for a long time, a grievance in the media industry that needs to be remedied, or a problem that should finally be solved? Then come to the Research & Development Fellowship (R&D for short)!

We'll give you six months to turn your favourite topic into a concrete added value for the industry! Research an innovative technology or another topic in the media industry, develop a result that moves the industry forward - and position yourself as an expert on your topic at the same time! The next batch is planned to start in April 2024. If you want to apply already, use the button below!

Research & Development Methoden

Support the industry in learning more about YOUR interests!

How can journalism become more empathetic? How can historical reporting become better? What will AR formats look like that make the most of technology? If you have a media topic close to your heart, a secret hobbyhorse or a nerd topic that keeps you busy beyond your everyday professional life - come and join us! We will help you deepen your knowledge, position yourself in the media scene with this topic and make your knowledge accessible to the industry.

Important: In the R&D Fellowship, we support you in finding the best way to prepare your topic - for the application, we are primarily interested in your topic and your expertise. We will take care of the presentation and development in the Fellowship!


  • Phase 1: Exploration

    Our coaches help you to structure your research - and to find a project that moves the industry forward.

  • Phase 2: Research & Production

    You work independently on your chosen topic, do research and interview users.

  • Phase 3: Veröffentlichung

    You introduce your project results to the industry - we help you gather attention!


Meet the Fellows

Hannah Essing

Hannah is a PR consultant and author. She grew up in the Ruhr area, studied in Passau and Münster, and has also been drawn abroad time and again, for example to Cyprus and Armenia. In the R&D Fellowship, she - a working-class child herself - asks, how more working-class children can find their place in media - and why the industry benefits from this.

Florian Sturm

Florian works as a freelance journalist for numerous magazines and newspapers at home and abroad, gives workshops and is currently writing his first book. Since 2022, he has been offsetting the carbon footprint of all his research. He is the initiator and co-founder of the project CO2mmitted Media - Journalism with Climate Responsibility and is researching ways in which the entire industry can improve its climate footprint in the R&D Fellowship.

Simone Engelhardt

Simone is a futurologist with a background in media, innovation consulting and architecture. As co-founder of the creative agency shape of new, she specialises in foresight and speculative design. What drives her: Images of the future, utopias and the courage to admit them. In the R&D Fellowship, she is researching ways in which journalism can deal with futures.

Marlene Borchardt

Marlene Borchardt is a journalist, facilitator and digital strategist. In the R&D Fellowship, she explores the extent to which we can use fiction in journalism. She wants journalism that is accessible to all. To achieve this, she uses product thinking, engages with innovation and talks to people.

Get the skills you need!

We offer training in innovation methods.

WHile you work on our projects, our coaches support you in, among other things:

> User-Research-Methoden
> Problem Validation
> Vision & Milestones

Questions on the Research & Development Fellowship offered by Media Lab Bayern

Which requirements do I need to fulfill?

A passion for innovation paired with a high degree of curiosity about what can be created in digital media. The project aims to publish the results of your research work for the community. The extent to which fellows achieve positive results through experiments or previously developed prototypes varies from person to person, which is why we tend to base our approach around milestones that we set together.

I’m currently in part-time employment and would like to participate in the fellowship. Do I need to inform my employer?

That's up to you to decide. We always advocate transparency where possible and would therefore strongly advise you to inform your employer. Please be aware that the Fellowship starts with a short period of intensive coaching that might require you to take some time off work.

What happens with the results of my work once the fellowship ends?

We provide you with a platform to publish your findings and drive innovation in the media ecosystem. Along with blog posts, you may also be invited to present your findings at one of our many events.

It’s not out of the question that you might stumble on a hot topic which leads to the development of a business model or a partnership with other media companies. In this case, we’d be more than happy to provide further support as part of our fellowship program.

Is the R&D Fellowship paid, and if so, how much will I earn?

We’ll fund your work as an Innovation Researcher with a grant of up to 24.000 euros for the six-month project duration. You are responsible for determining whether the grant is subject to taxation in your individual case.

Is the R&D Fellowship an in-person or online program?

The vast majority of the methodical input is accessible remotely. As a result, you're free to organize your time according to your schedule and only need to block a minimal amount of time for fixed meetings. For singular events or meetings, presence in Munich might be required. Needless to say, we’re also there to help whenever you need it. Whether in the coworking space at the office, via video call or through messaging on Slack.

Which language is the R&D Fellowship conducted in?

Most communication takes place in German. While individual arrangements can sometimes be made, adequate knowledge of the German language makes participation much easier. We also all speak English at Media Lab Bayern, so we’re happy to answer questions and conduct personal meetings in English if necessary.

Am I insured under the R&D Fellowship?

As our grant is awarded alongside fixed-employment or freelance or entrepreneurial work, we assume that you will already be covered by the necessary insurance within the scope of this work.

Our R&D expert

Christian Simon is happy to help with any questions you may have related to the fellowship:

Do you have any questions about the R&D Fellowship?