The research group KIM at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe calls for declaration of interest and project proposals for a 1-year PhD research fellowship (renewable up to 3 years) within the AI Forensics project funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung program “AI and the Society of the Future.”


The research group KIM at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe is seeking to appoint a PhD student to be part of the AI Forensics research project and its international consortium. The position is to be held as internal or external (also international) PhD candidates. The remuneration is based on the provisions of the collective agreement for the public service of Baden-Württemberg (TVL-E13 65%). Starting date: as soon as possible between 16.10. 2022 and 1.1.2023.

The AI Forensics research project, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, will develop a new sociotechnical framework for the analysis and critique of AI systems, including an interdisciplinary methodology between critical AI studies and Explainable AI. The project features equally technical, social and theoretical research components. Part of the project is the development and deployment of an AI forensics toolkit for the investigation of large training datasets (e.g. face recognition datasets), trained models (e.g. issues of algorithmic bias), and real world applications (e.g. predictive policing), that will be accompanied by social and theoretical investigations of its applications.

The research group KIM seeks a researcher able to illuminate the social, cultural and epistemic implications of AI systems with a focus on the history of statistical models and their intrinsic limitations. The appointee is expected to have demonstrable knowledge in the fields of media studies, science and technology studies, critical race and gender studies, political science, and epistemology, and to be able to investigate a consistent and innovative case study.

The appointee will join an interdisciplinary research team composed of humanities scholars and computer scientists based at Cambridge University, Durham University, University of California Santa Barbara, Kassel University, and Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. The appointee will carry out a case study in collaboration with members of the consortium and under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Matteo Pasquinelli. The ideal candidate should be based in Germany and willing to travel to follow the consortium activities.

Apart from research, the appointee is expected to assist in the planning and administration of project-related workshops and conferences, support the AI Forensics platform development, and represent the project at institutions and conferences. 

The appointee is expected to submit: 1) a letter of interest and cv; 2) a running PhD project description or proposal;  3) a detailed research outline and timeline that is organised per semester and demonstrates, in particular, the research feasibility. All three documents have to be submitted electronically as one single PDF file to Prof. Dr. Matteo Pasquinelli  <mpasquinelli[at]> until the 15.10.2022. For any question or clarification please contact Prof. Dr. Matteo Pasquinelli directly.


Candidate requirements

  • Degree (MA) in Media Studies or an adjacent subject, e.g. Philosophy, History, Digital Humanities, Cultural Studies, Visual Studies, etc.
  • Demonstrable knowledge in the fields of AI and media studies, media philosophy, political science, and computer science. 
  • Specification of a PhD project or proposal related to the specific fields (already accepted or not).
  • Willingness for project-oriented work in an interdisciplinary and international team.
  • Very good knowledge of English and possibly German.
  • Good computer skills in Content Management Systems (WordPress and similar), mailing lists, social media, and web design.


  • Conducting academic research within the framework of the PhD project and the respective case study, and integrate results into the wider project.
  • Working independently on the case study and contribute to the overall research project in terms of events, research meetings and activities.
  • Presenting research at seminars and academic conferences as well as internal consortium meetings and colloquia.
  • Assisting in carrying out project-related workshops, presentations, and conferences.
  • Assisting in the “AI Forensics toolkit” platform developments.