Fulbright Scholar Program

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Catalog of Awards

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Fulbright Lectureship at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Bologna

Europe and Eurasia


Award Details
Grant Activity

The Fulbright scholar is expected to teach 2 courses:

  1. A 40-hour elective course ‘Big Data in the Social Sciences’  to be offered to students enrolled in the following Master Degrees (http://www.dsps.unibo.it/it/attivita-didattica/laurea-e-laurea-magistrale) in Bologna and Forlì:

                - International Relations - Bologna

                - Politica Amministrazione e Organizzazione (English curriculum in Politics and Social Policy) - Bologna

                - Interdisciplinary Research and Studies on Eastern Europe – MIREES - Forlì

               - International Markets and Politics - Forlì

               - Scienze Internazionali e Diplomatiche (International and Dipolmatic Sciences) - Forlì

               - Mass Media e Politica (Mass Media and Politics) – Forlì

2. A 10 hour Seminar in the PhD Programme in Political and Social Sciences. Seminars can be organized weekly. Seminar attendance will be open to all interested PhD students and graduate students enrolled in the Master Degrees offered by the Department in Political and Social Sciences both in Bologna and Forlì.

​Total teaching load: 50 hours

The elective course may be taught 4 hours/10 weeks or 8 hours/5 weeks, depending on your agreement with this host institution.

Average class size:  Elective course: 20 students; PhD seminar: 15 students

Course and syllabus requirements: The course “Big Data in the Social Sciences” offers an introduction to the foundations of big data, including its foundations in computing technology and statistics. Students are expected to understand the social implications of increased knowledge, surveillance, and behavioral prediction made possible by big data, and the ethical tradeoffs faced, as well as to be familiar with text mining techniques.

A course syllabus is required, including key readings and writing assignments. While selected candidate will not be bound to strictly adhere to the syllabus, this should provide a general overview of the course and assessment methods. A template will be provided upon request and guidance regarding suggested number of pages/week and paper length is also available.

Other Grant Activity:

  1. PhD advising (informal activity to be defined with students’ supervisors): possibly 2 students with a thesis on a related subject
  2. Data lab meetings: informal gatherings to discuss advances in the discipline; 1 faculty seminar to present the state-of-the-art of the discipline to social scientists from a broad range of disciplines
Grant Length
Three months
Grant Dates

Grant starting date: February 2022.


Department of Political and Social Sciences

The Fulbright Scholar will also have access to:

University Library Organization - The University of Bologna has a wide network of facilities, library and documentary services providing support for studies, teaching, research, professional and cultural activities.
The Bologna University Library, with important collections of antique and modern books, is the University's central library, offering general library services, conservation and historical and scientific research facilities.

The University Library Organization is the coordinated network of libraries and other facilities offering bibliographical and documentary services. The Organization meets the information needs of research, teaching and other institutional university activities. It includes 27 libraries with 73 service points. The Organization provides more than 5,000 locations for study and research. In addition to conventional library services, it also provides access to over 579 databases, 46,151 online journals, and 161,000 ebooks.

University Museum Network - A coordinated network of 13 museums (including the Palazzo Poggi Museum) that protects and promotes the University’s historical and artistic assets.

ISTITUTO DI STUDI SUPERIORI (INSTITUTE OF SUPERIOR STUDIES - ISS) - ISS is an interdisciplinary and international center of excellence where academics of all levels of study and research meet: professors, assistant professors and students. It is involved in European activities and projects aimed at fostering student and researcher mobility, the transfer of knowledge, and research activities; it promotes and supports invitations to adjunct lecturers, selects intersecting research themes, and attends to qualifying aspects in the education of excellent students, who are selected through public exams and constantly monitored on the basis of academic results. It is also a member of International Higher Education Institution networks, and participates in international initiatives in cooperation with partners throughout the world. It consists of two sections: the Collegio Superiore and the Institute of Advanced Studies.

COLLEGIO SUPERIORE - The Collegio Superiore provides supplementary, highly qualifying training courses with a strong interdisciplinary focus for students admitted on a merit basis. This excellent training is enriched by meetings and seminars held by Italian and international academics, as well as by exchanges with other European schools of excellence. Currently it hosts 105 students who in the academic year 2015/16 shall experience 216 hours of curricular lessons, 152 hours of seminars and 44 hours of international conferences.

The Fulbright Lecturer will be certainly invited to attend Collegio Superiore initiative, as well as to give a seminar in this center of excellence.

INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDIES - The Institute selects PhD students, PhD graduates, and high-profile academics from all over the world who are invited to Bologna by the University professors. It promotes the exchange of ideas and knowledge at an international level, constitutes a meeting point for Italian and international academics.

The Fulbright Lecturer will benefit from this high-profile international environment and related cross-fertilization initiatives with the possibility to cooperate with international academics coming from all over the world.


Flex Option
Discipline Type
Only applications in the following disciplines will be considered
Political Science
Areas of Interest

While this award is open to any project in the disciplines listed above, there is interest in scholars who are in these particular specialty areas.

Computational Social Sciences, Big Data Analytics, in their connection with Electoral Behavior, Public Policy, Communication and International Relations.

Special Features

The Fulbright scholar will be invited to attend the department seminar series, which will facilitate collaborations with colleagues working on research projects related to big data and with colleagues considering adopting computational social science techniques in their research activities.

Several scholars in the department employ big data analysis in their own research activities, which have been funded by the University of Bologna, the Italian Ministry of Education, and other national and international institutions in the past. Among those:

  • Prof. Marco Albertini and Giampiero Giacomello have held MA-level courses on Big Data for the Social Sciences and have worked on techniques such as data-mining for their own research activity related to cyber-security (Giacomello) and intergenerational relationships (Albertini).
  • Dr. Francesco Moro is currently undertaking research on crime and violence that potentially benefit from web scraping/data mining.
  • Dr. Augusto Valeriani has been involved in several research projects (e.g. http://www.webpoleu.net/ and https://elezioni2018.news/) on political conversation and participation in digital media employing a research design combining computational analysis of behavioral data on social media with survey data.
  • Prof. Alice Mattoni is principal investigator of the research project "BIT-ACT" and she has published on the use of big data to analyze political participation and social movements.

More broadly, the department hosts a vibrant community of sociologists and political scientists with strong expertise and interest in methodological issues related to empirical research in social sciences from different analytical perspectives. These researchers are constantly involved in developing grant applications and carrying out research activities employing multiple qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches.

During the Fulbright lecturer's stay, the department will schedule “data lab meetings” on a periodic basis to develop an open conversation on issues related to methods. Additionally, there is a possibility that the Fulbright lecturer will be actively involved in grant proposals and ongoing research carried out by the department's faculty members. 

The Fulbright scholar will be invited to attend seminars held at the Istituto di Studi Avanzati of the University of Bologna.

Application Deadline
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Degree Requirements
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) required
Candidate Profile
Academics, all levels including early career
Number of Grants
Program Staff
Carleen Velez
Outreach and Recruitment Specialist

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