Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 28 Jul 2024

31 Jan 2024
Job Information

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
Research Field

Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)

Application Deadline

28 Jul 2024 - 14:03 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Despite robots increasingly entering our work lives, we know surprisingly little about their impact on jobs. Engineers are excited to build intelligent robotic applications with the aim to alleviate difficult, risky, or boring jobs, such as cleaning, bomb diffusion, transportation of goods or surveillance. Labor economists and public commentators, in turn, put forward gloomy scenarios of jobs becoming obsolete, degraded or void of meaning. Currently, however, we lack a rigorous insight into how robots are really used in situated work practice. Without such insight, engineers are in the dark about what impact robots have on work and have few methods of including work context into account when building robotic applications. This NWO-funded Vidi project aims to generate such insight by conducting several ethnographic studies of professional service robots at work.

In this context, we are looking for a candidate to fill one Postdoc position for a duration of two years. Starting date is flexible throughout 2024 and will be agreed on with the suitable candidate.

The postdoc will conduct ethnographic research under the supervision of dr. Anastasia V. Sergeeva and will be based at the KIN Center for Digital Innovation at the Vrije Universiteit. KIN research focuses on the development, use and business value of innovative organizational processes and technologies. This research center is a home to a multi-disciplinary group of researchers, with academic backgrounds in business administration, sociology, communication science, anthropology, philosophy, engineering, and computer science. The research contributes to an international field that is relatively new and multi-disciplinary. We work closely together with faculty and researchers from other universities and cooperate with an extensive network of business partners.


  • You will design and conduct ethnographic studies of robotics focusing on how they are developed in the lab and how they are later used on the work floor.
  • You will be performing ethnographic fieldwork, conducting literature review, writing empirical research papers for conferences and journals, and presenting at conferences.
  • You will contribute to teaching.
  • You will also collaborate with industry partners and organize workshops and symposia, disseminating your findings.

Specific Requirements


  • PhD in Business Administration, Management, Sociology, or related social science field. Candidates close to defending their PhD are also invited to apply
  • Strong experience with qualitative inductive research methods and ideally strong experience with ethnographic research
  • Excellent academic skills; demonstrated for example by the quality of publications or conference papers
  • Motivation to do high quality qualitative research
  • Ability to combine creative and analytical thinking
  • Flexible and communicative skills required to collaborate with industrial partner(s)
  • Excellent English language skills; Dutch language proficiency is a significant advantage due to the need to conduct ethnography among Dutch speaking employees

Additional Information

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:

  • a salary of minimum € 3.226,00 (Scale 10) and maximum € 5.090,00 (Scale 10) gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile Researcher 4. The exact salary depends on your education and experience.
  • a position for at least 0.8 FTE. Your employment contract will initially last 1 year. Afterwards, the possibility of expansion for another year exists.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:

  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • contribution to commuting expenses

Additional comments

Are you interested in this position and do you believe that your experience will contribute to the further development of our university? In that case, we encourage you to submit your application.

The position will stay open until filled with the most fitting candidate.

Submitting a diploma is part of the application process.

Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Postal Code
De Boelelaan 1105

Where to apply



De Boelelaan 1105
Postal Code

1081 HV


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