Postdoc Measuring Human Vulnerability in Social Media

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 10 Mar 2024

Do you posess expertise in statistical methods and techniques, sociology, mathematics, or the social sciences, coupled with a keen interest in digital technologies and human rights?

The Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at TU Delft and the Creative Business Faculty at Inholland University of Applied Sciences are looking for a postdoctoral researcher for 22-months with a background in in statical methods and techniques, sociology, mathematics or the social sciences more broadly.

The position will be hired as part of the TU Delft AI Futures lab on Rights and Justice ( ), which is part of the TU Delft AI Labs programme and the Sustainable Media Lab, which is part of Inholland University of Applied Sciences.

This is a 1.0 FTE postdoctoral researcher position starting between 21 June 2024 and 21 August 2024. The candidate will receive two separate contracts, one of 0.5 FTE with TU Delft and one of 0.5 FTE with Inholland University of Applied Sciences. This is to ensure a hybrid research position that will strengthen the research of both universities. The period of employment is 22 months.

This new postdoctoral research position a TU Delft will work closely together with our colleagues at Leiden university and Tilburg university, which have also or will also published related positions: ( )

RESOCIAL (“User vulnerabilities and Resilience on SOCIAL media platforms and the metaverse: a sociolegal and design perspective”, an NWA Synergy Grant Project) seeks to identify, measure, and thereby mitigate human vulnerabilities on social media platforms (including the metaverse and immersive technologies), thereby fostering the resilience of their users. People increasingly live their social life online and experience new and/or amplified risks to their fundamental rights (e.g., manipulation, online violence, discrimination, stigmatization). This is due to the asymmetry of power with the private sector governing online social media platforms and the underrepresentation of vulnerable users in key decision-making at the business level.

The research objectives (RO) of RESOCIAL are:

RO1: Propose and validate a clear framework to measure risks and human vulnerabilities on social media platforms.

RO2: Analyse the gaps in the existing and proposed legislation on digital platform and formulate action perspectives for the Dutch Government, including Guidelines on platform regulation.

RO3: Propose and validate best practices that can lead to a Code of Conduct for Vulnerability on social media model.

What are your tasks

As a postdoctoral researcher at TU Delft and Inholland, you will advance the knowledge on the measurement of human vulnerability in social media.

You will help conduct the interviews planned with different stakeholders and analyse the content, You will work on proposing and validating a clear framework to measure risks and human vulnerabilities on social media platforms in RO1 and cooperate on RO2 and RO3 with two other postdocs, one specialized in Human-Computer Interactions an Twente University (working on RO3) and another specialized in law and technology policy at Leiden University (working on RO2).

In particular we are interested in understanding how we can most accurately measure vulnerability in online social media platforms, which existing measurements are used and what their strengths and weaknesses are. In doing so

Contribute to 2-year project RESOCIAL (“User vulnerabilities and Resilience on SOCIAL media platforms and the metaverse: a sociolegal and design perspective”, funded by the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA); Supervise master thesis students of the CoSEM, MOT or EPA programs at TU Delft.

Because postdoctoral researchers must grow and excel, you will also have time to forge your research line and explore the topics dearest to you.  

Key responsibilities

  • Independent performance of research on human rights and technology.
  • Preparing questionnaires, conducting interviews with affected stakeholders, and processing the outcomes in deliverables and publications.
  • Disseminating academic results in leading international and peer-reviewed scientific journals and top-tier conferences.
  • Communicating project results to the broader public in different formats, including blog posts, podcasts, media material, or art installations.
  • Management and coordination tasks within ongoing projects and initiatives of the center.
  • Expanding teaching experience by preparing some guest lectures in existing bachelor’s or master’s courses.
  • Contributing to and building a bridge between the vibrant academic communities at TU Delft and Inholland.

Excited about this role? Please know that the selection of candidates will be based on the following job requirements. If you meet these, we look forward to receiving your application! Please reflect clearly on the job requirements in your motivation letter.

  • A completed PhD in the field of statical methods and techniques, sociology, mathematics, or the social sciences.
  • Previously conducted research on topics around human rights and technology.
  • Experience with testing and validation of statistical methods and techniques.
  • Experience with surveys, and questionnaire preparation, interviews, and data processing.
  • Experience with multi-stakeholder and complex research teams, with external and international partners.
  • Experience in submitting research proposals to grant organizations.
  • Experience in working in multidisciplinary and/or international teams, including sensitivity and inclusiveness regarding cultural differences among staff and students.
  • Enthusiastic and proactive, with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, spoken and written.
  • Excellent team player and warm community builder;
  • Excellent English, spoken and written. Command of other European languages is an advantage.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values  and we actively engage  to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

 Challenge. Change. Impact!

The Faculty of TPM provides an important contribution to solving complex technical-social issues, such as energy transition, mobility, digitalisation, water management and (cyber) security. TPM does this with its excellent education and research at the intersection of technology, society and policy. We combine insights from both engineering and social sciences as well as the humanities. TPM develops robust models and designs, is internationally oriented and has an extensive network of knowledge institutions, companies, social organisations and governments.

Click here  to go to the website of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management.

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than 10 March 2024 via the application button and upload:

  • A compelling 1-page motivation letter.
  • Your detailed CV.
  • A part of your M.Sc. thesis or a paper that you have written, in which you demonstrate your writing (and scientific) skills.


  • Applications must be submitted online.
  • We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Ben Wagner ([email protected] ).  

A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

Similar Positions