Thank you for your interest. We are no longer accepting applications to this workshop.

Call for Participation: Doctoral Workshop
Developing Best Practices for Using Digital Tools to Study
Human Behavior in Online Environments

We invite doctoral students who study human behavior in digital environments, and who are at the beginning stages of their dissertation work, to apply to a workshop focusing on methodological issues in this kind of research.

When: August 18-20, 2013
Where: Evanston, Illinois, USA (just north of Chicago)
Cost: None, the workshop will cover participants' lodging and meals, and in most cases the full cost of their travel
Host: Web Use Project, School of Communication, Northwestern University

The goal of the workshop is to bring together about a dozen junior and half-a-dozen senior scholars to discuss methodological best practices for the in-depth study of human behavior in digital environments. So-called "big data" offer lots of opportunities to study the social world, but may miss insights that methods such as in-person observations and interviews can discover. Bringing different types of data and methods together can help address challenges, such as biased data sets, and can help glean new insights. Workshop participants will discuss tools that exist and tools that need to be developed for sharable, sustainable, and scalable approaches to collecting, coding, and analyzing comparable data about human behavior in digital environments.

The workshop welcomes applications from full-time doctoral students, regardless of citizenship. Ideally, applicants will not yet have begun data collection for their dissertation, or will be in the early stages of that process. Applicants should, however, have a well-defined dissertation research question. We welcome students from a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to anthropology, communication, demography, economics, human computer interaction, information and library sciences, media studies, political science, science and technology studies, and sociology. Students need not be enrolled at a university in the U.S. to participate.

Not eligible, but interested? We ask scholars working on related projects, but not eligible for the workshop (including students not yet at the dissertation data collection stage or well into their projects as well as faculty at all levels) to get in touch with us so that we can keep them posted of future meetings and funding opportunities.

Review of applications for the workshop will begin May 29, 2013. For full consideration, please send application materials before that date.

To apply:

1. Fill out and submit this online form.

2. Fill out this Application Form [pdf]. You should save a copy of the pdf file to your computer before filling it out. Alternatively, you can fill out the Application Form in MS Word doc format. It is fine to use a different file/program as long as it includes all requested information. Rename the file so it starts with your last name and first name initial (e.g., HargittaiE-ApplicationForm.pdf, HargittaiE-ApplicationForm.doc).

3. Send the Application Form and a copy of your CV (with your last name, first name initial in the file name, e.g., HargittaiE-CV.pdf) as attachments to

Questions? Please email with any questions related to the workshop.

Funding for the workshop is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.