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ISCApad Archive  »  2020  »  ISCApad #267  »  Academic and Industry Notes  »  FIAT/IFTA Media Study Grants

ISCApad #267

Thursday, September 10, 2020 by Chris Wellekens

4-2 FIAT/IFTA Media Study Grants



FIAT/IFTA Media Study Grants


The Media Studies Commission of the International Federation of Television Archives (FIAT/IFTA) is dedicated to fostering collaboration between research and archive communities and mediating the growth of scholarly expertise that adds value to audiovisual archives by means of innovative research. To this purpose, the Media Studies Commission has set up the Media Studies Grant as a way to promote and ensure the valorization of academic knowledge for archival practice. It is a programme that offers support for research carried out at FIAT/IFTA member archives or is of direct relevance to one or more of our member archives. Priority is given to projects that are relevant for the history of member archive institutions, or promise innovative insights into (digital) media historiography or archival practice in general.


2020 Call for Projects


In 2020, FIAT/IFTA’s Media Studies Commission is looking to commission research that adds value to and helps us understand the role of audiovisual archives in a shifting, converging media environment.


Digitization and digital tools enable novel ways of doing and telling media histories. With it, new possibilities for working with archival material and data in academic research open up. At the same time, new tools for discovery, annotation, visualization now span the possibilities of analyzing cultural heritage with a ‘long data’ and distant reading perspective We welcome studies addressing (but not necessarily limited to) the following areas:


  1. Tools and (digital) methods: Producing new narratives in media history by means of digital tools and experimental methods of research and displaying different ways of doing (digital) media history as a way to redefine the value of historical archival content.


  1. Storytelling: Highlighting new and interactive forms of storytelling that help revisit media history practices in the digital age.


  1. Archives as (big) data: Reconceptualizing archives as (big) data to help us tap into unexplored narratives of media history. Reframing the historical and public value of audiovisual archives with mining and visualization tools.


  1. Archival access in the digital age: Renewing strategies and practices for making archives accessible through different digital spaces, including social media and mobile apps. Addressing archival access strategies in an international context or working with datasets1 from different archives.


  1. Users and use practices: Revisiting approaches for researching users and user practices in relation to digital archives.


Awarded candidated are expected to deliver by the end of their grant period:


  • A written report of their research at the quality standards of a scholarly article.

  • An audiovisual essay, an interactive digital story or a creative demo (depending on the nature of the proposed project). Please make sure there are no copyright restrictions for the archival material you may want to re-use in this type of output.2


All output needs to mention the support of FIAT/IFTA. Successful candidates are required to present their research results at the FIAT/IFTA World Conference in Dublin, 26-29 October 2020.



The Media Studies Grant makes available a maximum of €7000 for original and innovative projects that aim to:


  • help us understand the role of audiovisual archives in a digital environment.

  • unearth new narratives of media history.

  • collect, disseminate and engage with historical sources that complement existing archive collections.

  • conceptualize new ways of doing media history in the digital age.

  • experiment with innovative methods of researching (digital) archives.

  • valorize and disseminate knowledge of archive collections by means of interactive publications, multi-media presentations, digital applications and other creative demos.

  • Produce open-source softwares aimed at a better understanding and exploitation of audiovisual archives.

  • Release open-data corpora that would contribute to help further media studies.


Any questions? Please contact our commission members! For questions pertaining to access, archival collections and datasets made available for reasearch by different archival institutions, you may contact our following members:


Herbert Hayduck (ORF, Austria):
Claude Mussou (INA, France):
Silvia Proscia (RAI, Italy):
Masaya Maéda (NHK, Japan):
Daniela Floris (RAI, Italy):
David Doukhan (INA, France):
Virginia Bazán Gil (RTVE, Spain):
Lisa Kerrigan (BFI, UK):
Bas Agterberg (Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, NL):
Liam Wylie (RTÉ, Ireland):


Questions pertaining to academic research can be addressed to:

Dana Mustata, University of Groningen,
Andy O’Dwyer, University of Luxembourg,



  • Candidates are required to send in their application in PDF format by 15 March 2020.

  • Applications should be emailed to: Herbert Hayduck,

  • Candidates are required to present their findings at the FIAT/IFTA World Conference and deliever all output as agreed upon in the funding agreemenent between FIAT/IFTA and the candidate.

  • All results, publications and presentations derived from the study should mention the support of FIAT/IFTA Media Studies Commission and should be made available to FIAT/IFTA.

  • FIAT/IFTA reserves the right to make accessible the output of funded studies on its own website.

  • Proposed studies can be part of a bigger project (e.g. master thesis, PhD dissertation, book project, etc.) or can be stand-alone research initiatives that the candidate wishes to pursue.



Applicants can ask for a budget of €2500 up to a maximum of €7000 to support their travel and accommodation costs for the purpose of the proposed study, including travel to FIAT/IFTA-event (see below under “output”).


Researchers affiliated to a research institution who also have teaching responsibilities can use (part of) the allocated budget to buy themselves the research time needed for the proposed study. In this case, they should specify the research time that will be charged on the budget.


Senior researchers may use (parts of) the budget to hire interns or student assistants to assist with tasks on the project (e.g, corpus annotation). When third-party personnel is hired on the project, the senior researcher remains in charge of the project and is resonsibible for the final output.




We encourage master and PhD students as well as researchers affiliated to a university to apply for a Media Studies Grant with FIAT/IFTA Media Studies Commission.


Master and PhD students applying for a Study Grant need to send in together with their application a letter from their thesis supervisor showing support for the proposed study.


Awarded studies must be affiliated to a FIAT/IFTA member archive, either by exploring their collection or datasets for research purposes and/or carrying out research that is of direct relevance to a member archive institution.


Applicants should provide a support letter from FIAT/IFTA member‘s representative providing the collections which will be used in the study.


How to apply:

Applicants must send in an application for a Media Studies Grant. The applications should not exceed a maximum of 1000 words and need to include a:


Project description. This should outline the rationale of the project, the main research question(s), a description of the topic being researched, indication of the archival material or dataset to be studied and an explanation of the relevance of the proposed study for the research as well as archive communities. In case the project is part of a larger project, the candidate needs to specify how the proposed study contributes to the overall project.


Output. Candidates should specify the output resulting from the proposed study, including publications, presentations, software development, corpora annotation, and any other forms of knowledge utilization (e.g. virtual exhibitions, video essays, interactive storytelling applications etc.). At the end of their study, successful candidates are required to present their findings at a FIAT/IFTA public event to be agreed between the Media Studies Commission and the successful candidate and send in a written report outlining the research they’ve conducted and the main findings of their research. This report will be made available on the FIAT/IFTA website.


Workplan. Applicants should detail as much as possible all the research activities they plan to carry out as part of the proposed study and the time allocated for each of these activities. Please be aware that the Media Studies Grant only supports small-scale projects of 3-5 months.


Budget. Travel, accommodation and secondment costs can be covered by the Media Studies Grant. The budget can also be used for funding short-term internships, archive annotation campaigns, or paying for transport/accomodation fees required for the interactions with the FIAT archive member. For experimental projects, minimal technical costs may be eligible. In any technical costs are involved, we encourage the applicant to make contact with the Media Studies Commission before submitting their application, to ensure that the costs can be covered by the grant. Applicants should detail how the budget will be used. In case the proposed study is part of a bigger project, the applicant should specify any additional funding he/she may have received. Researchers asking for a secondment grant, should specify how their allocation of teaching and research time is divided and how much research time they wish to allocate to the proposed study and charge on the budget. Senior researchers hiring interns or student assistants to assist with the project, need to provide a statement with the number of hours and the budget allocated to the hired personnel.


Communication and dissemination activities. Applicants should present a communication and dissemination plan of how they intend to publicize and make available the findings of their study for the research and archive communities.


Applications should be sent in PDF format by 15 March 2020 to Herbert Hayduck at:


All applications will be assessed internally by the members of the Media Studies Commission. Selected candidates are expected to present their study at the International FIAT/IFTA World Conference in Dublin.




More about the International Federation of Television Archives (FIAT/IFTA)

FIAT/IFTA provides a forum for exchange of knowledge and experience between its members, to promote the study of any topic relevant to the development and use of audiovisual archives and to establish international standards on key issues regarding all aspects of audiovisual media archive management. Within FIAT/IFTA, the Media Studies Commission promotes academic research that promotes knowledge, understanding and research of holdings of member audiovisual archives.

1 Please check in advance whether any datasets are available for research at the archive institution you’re interested in collaborating with.

2 The candidates carry full responsibility for determining the copyright status of the archival material they may want to re-use their digital output. To avoid copyright infringements, always check with the archive holder on the copyright status of the archival material you’re interested in re-using.

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