Postdoctoral Researcher for a Research Project on Sharing the News

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: ;

Do you enjoy

  • Engaging in cutting-edge research as part of an interdisciplinary consortium on pressing information law questions?
  • To participate in a consortium of internationally renowned scholars, and join a nationwide peer network, with many opportunities to engage and develop your career;
  • Being part of a state-of-the-art prestigious programme, innovative in focus and approach, which aspires to have impact in academia as well as society;
  • Benefit from a well-funded future-oriented training and development programme, including personal-professional development?

Then the job of Postdoctoral Researcher for the project ‘Sharing the News’ at the University of Amsterdam is perfect for you.

What are you going to do

Users of technology play a central role in how ADS affect the supply and tailoring of public information. How people interact with a for example personalized news recommendation systems or virtual assistants function directly or indirectly affect the functioning of the technology and how public values are realized through it. How do users perceive the role of technology in making news, their own role in the process (as users of algorithmically mediated services, as agents influencing algorithmic processes and active distributors of and contributors to content).  The functioning and legitimacy of the media ultimately depend on the willingness of the public to trust automated processes, and the conditions that must be fulfilled to render ADS trustworthy. We need to better understand how consumers navigate the increased choice-set in selecting or avoiding (public value) news, turn to alternative sources, or develop new strategies to inform themselves (Newman et al. 2019). The central question is how ADS changing perceptions of what news, journalism, and public values are, and how these perceptions translate into individual behaviour in news consumption and sharing.

This project is part of the Gravitation program Public Values in the Algorithmic Society (algosoc). The Gravitation programme is an initiative by the Dutch government to support excellent research in the Netherlands. The funding is reserved for scientific consortia that have the potential to rank among the world's best in their field. Algosoc is a response to the urgent need for an informed societal perspective on automated decision-making. Funded by the ministry for Education, Culture and Science for a period for 10 years, research in the algosoc programme will develop a deep understanding of the systemic changes that  automated decision making entails for core public institutions, for society, and for how public values are realized. The research will focus on three sectors: justice, health and media. The programme brings together researchers in law, communication science, computer science, media studies, philosophy, public governance, STS, economy and social sciences from five Dutch universities (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Tilburg, Delft and Rotterdam). Together, the algosoc community will develop solutions for the design of governance frameworks needed to complement technology-driven initiatives in the algorithmic society.

What do you have to offer

Tasks include:

  • Develop, conduct, and publish research on how e.g. audiences perceive the changing nature of news and their own behavior like news avoidance/ sharing/ engagement;
  • Contribute to the public debate and organise outreach activities of algosoc;
  • Contribute to the overall programme in terms of events, research meetings, activities; 
  • Collaborate with other researchers within the algosoc consortium;
  • Give guest-lectures in the area of your expertise at BA or MA level at the University of Amsterdam; 
  • Help co-supervising research projects of students working on related topics.

In addition, you have:

  • A PhD degree in communication science, journalism, media studies, or related computational social science field;
  • A strong affinity with the research topic, digital / computational science methods and in working together with a team of people from different disciplines including an interest to learn and work with researchers from communication science, information law, and computational social sciences;
  • An excellent written and spoken command of English, for instance demonstrated by publications in English-language journals (written and spoken command of Dutch is a plus); 
  • The ability, willingness, and commitment to do autonomous work in a multidisciplinary team that includes legal scholars, communication scholars, media economists, digital humanities, ethicist, and data scientists; 
  • Interesting in having an active role in organising workshops, lecture series, and similar events.

If the vacancy appeals to you, but you are doubting whether you might be THE person we are looking for, please do apply.  We encourage all qualified applicants, including minorities, women, people with disabilities, and members of other groups underrepresented in academia to apply. We wish to create a consortium that consists of persons who each contribute in their unique way to the team. Complementarity and not homogeneity is what we are looking for.  

Developing a societal vision on automated decision making concerns us all. We believe that a diversity of perspectives in our consortium will be important in developing an inclusive societal vision and strive therefore also in our hiring policy for encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds. We are committed to creating an environment of mutual respect, inclusiveness, equal opportunities with room for situated experiences, diverse perspectives, and ideas to flourish. This commitment applies to our research, organisation, room for flexibility, training, and community activities as well as our hiring strategy.

What can we offer you

We offer an employment contract for three years with a probationary period of two months, preferably

starting on April 1, 2023. The employment contract is for 38 hours a week.

Your salary, depending on your relevant experience on commencement of the employment contract, ranges between €3974  to €5439 gross per month (scale 11) on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8.3% year-end allowance. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

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