2022 . 06 . 27

30 research exchanges already implemented through the Junior Fellows Program

The AI4Media Junior Fellows Program is the project’s international research exchange initiative. Junior Fellows are Ph.D. students, MS students, and early career postdocs, who actively participate in research exchanges within and beyond the AI4Media Consortium.
The program is built around three values:

  1. Diversity: Junior Fellows are women and men from anywhere in the world working on AI for Media & Society
  2. Visibility: Junior Fellows benefit from close interaction with the consortium partners and from opportunities for professional growth as members of the AI4Media network
  3. Impact: Junior Fellows contribute to core tasks of the project, from research to development and integration. Through their work, Fellows generate concrete results, including code, data, prototypes, and publications.

As of June 1, 2022, a total of 30 individuals have participated or are scheduled to participate in the program.

Exchanges involve a Junior Fellow, a host institution, and a sender institution, where either the sender or the host are AI4Media full consortium members. Senior Fellows are also invited to participate in the exchange program. This flexibility allows receiving/sending researchers from/to other institutions, both internal to the project and worldwide. Exchanges can be physical, virtual, and hybrid (a combination of physical and virtual.)  For physical exchanges, Fellows are supported by AI4Media with funds that cover two-way travel and a partial stipend for one to three months. The virtual and hybrid formats further increase the possibilities to take part in the program.

While the COVID-19 pandemic limited mobility in the first year of the project, the Junior Fellow program has now taken off, thanks to the commitment of the consortium partners to identify and support external visitors to be hosted, as well as to strengthen internal collaborations within the consortium through exchanges of project-funded staff.

As of June 1, 2022, the program has received 30 applications (24 Junior and 6 Senior Fellows; 7 women and 23 men.) A total of 11 exchanges have been completed, 13 are ongoing, and 6 Fellows will start in the summer/autumn of 2022. A balance between internal and external exchanges is emerging (16 internal collaborations between AI4Media partners, and 14 external collaborations with parties outside the consortium.) Finally, all three formats are being used (13 physical, 7 hybrid, and 10 virtual).

Multiple research results have already been produced. In future newsletters, we will feature interviews with some of the Junior Fellows to present their work and experience in the program.

More information about the Junior Fellow program can be found HERE.

Authors: Daniel Gatica-Perez, (IDIAP Research Institute) & Filareti Tsalakanidou, (Information Technologies Institute – Centre for Research and Technology Hellas)

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