Ruhr University Bochum is the home of the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security (HGI) which administrates the DFG research training group New Challenges for Cryptography in Ubiquitous Computing (Ubi-Crypt) and the interdisciplinary NRW graduate school SecHuman on the topic of Security for People in Cyberspace. The Mercator Research Group Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge (MRG) performs interdisciplinary work on anthropological topics, with a focus on the cultural significance of digital media and the internet. The Institute for Intellectual Property, Data Protection and IT (IGEDI) at the Faculty of Law contributes legal expertise to the field of internet research.
At the University of Duisburg-Essen, the study of the social consequences of digitalization plays a major role in several institutions and programs. Particularly important are the Learning Lab in the field of educational research, the DFG Research Training Group “User-Centered Social Media” in the field of computer science and psychology, the participation in the NRW Digital Society funding line, the political science-computer linguistic development project PolMine as well as the Research Training Group “Die Arbeit und ihre Subjekte” (The Work and its Subjects) funded by the Hans Böckler Foundation.
The interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary emphasis on internet research at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf rests on three main pillars: the NRW PhD program on Online Participation, the DFG research group on Political Communication in the Online World, and the Düsseldorf Institute for Internet and Democracy (DIID). In addition, Düsseldorf University houses the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE), which is already a leading European academic center for competitive economics issues and focuses on the economic consequences of digitalization.
The University of Münster houses the Institute for Information, Telecommunication and Media Law (ITM), the center for Urban, Regional Innovation and Internet (URII) at the Institute of Political Science, the DFG research training group on Trust and Communication in a Digitalized World and the European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) in the area of internet research. The ITM focuses on legal questions relating to the use and design of the internet, the media, and communication. In addition, the ITM also includes a research unit on Law in the German Research Network (DFN).
The Grimme Institute, known for the Grimme Prize for quality television and the Grimme Online Award for online content, is one of the most renowned research and service institutions that focuses on issues of media quality, media education and media communication. The Institute’s core competences are observing, analyzing and evaluating media content and media developments, opening up new possibilities for media use, and transferring knowledge among citizens, politics and the media industry. The Grimme Research College, founded jointly with the University of Cologne, studies issues relating to digital communication cultures and social transformation processes.