POSTDOC POSITION for the project “VISUAL TRUST. Reliability, accountability and forgery in...

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 16 Dec 2022

This is a 2 or 3 years full-time postdoctoral academic research job. The candidate will conduct research under the supervision and direction of the principal investigator (Roger Canals – University of Barcelona – Department of Social Anthropology). The general objective of the ERC project VISUAL TRUST is to analyse through a qualitative, comparative and bottom-up approach, the relationships of (mis)trust that individuals from different socio-cultural milieu establish with “social”, “religious” and “scientific” images. In other words, the principal aim is to understand how visual (mis)trust is “crafted”, “distributed”, “experienced” and “assessed”. This project will experimentally address the issue of the “visual fake” and the notion of “authenticity”, “trustworthiness” and “originality” of current images, adopting a practise-based and visual approach. This research will be conducted on-line and off-line through audio-visual research methods along the lines of Visual Anthropology and Multi-Modal Anthropology. It will lead to several research outcomes (films, articles, book chapters, among others). This project is also committed with the idea of public social sciences.

This postdoctoral researcher will be part of a research team based at the Faculty of Geography and History at the University of Barcelona. She/he will conduct research on Task 3.2: (Mis)Trust in medical images: prediction, scientific aesthetics & ethics, and modes of visual intervention for treating diseases.

The researcher in charge of this task will have to be able to conduct qualitative research through audio-visual means be bringing together anthropology, STS Studies (in particular medical studies) and visual research.

Special theoretical attention will be paid to the principles used to assess the reliability of scientific images as well as their connection to ethics and aesthetics both by professionals of the medical system and by patients. The project will analyse what is a “fake image” in the world of medical scientific “representation” and how medical images are crafted, used, conceptualized and assessed.

This research will be based on audio-visual methods (photo-elicitation, video-elicitation, interviews, participant observation and work with focus-groups with the aid of a camera). It will include doing participant observation and interviews (on-line and off-line) with image-makers in laboratories, hospitals and research centres; agents and contexts of image-circulation (hospitals, seminars, but also websites, specialized journals and social networks) and “receivers” or “users” of these images (professionals of the medical system and patients).

The off-line research will take place mainly in Spain and in Europe. Contact with individuals not dwelling in the EU will be carried out on-line. If needed, specific fieldwork can be conducted out of the European context. The person in charge of this task will work at the Faculty of Geography and History of the University of Barcelona.

During the fieldwork, this research will have to comply with the ethical and methodological protocols specified in the project.

The principal duties and responsibilities of this researcher will be:

-Elaborate a state of the art in relation to current investigations on anthropology of images and STS studies applied in the study of medical images. It also includes analyzing “false” or “untrustworthy” images of this field that circulate, especially through Internet and social networks.

-Contact agents involved in the making, dissemination and reception of scientific medical images and investigate how they use and conceptualize and use them in terms of (mis)trust. This researcher will make interviews and participant observation with these agents based on an ethical and methodological protocol provided by the PI. This fieldwork will include the using of audio-visual devices (provided by the project). Training on the specific methodology of the project will be provided. This researcher will have to safely store the research documentation and share it with the PI, according to the established protocol. Technical devices will be provided by the project.

-Code the interviews and the images filmed or gathered during fieldwork using software for qualitative data analysis. Training for this software and for applying the Data Management Plan of the project will be provided.

-Attend relevant public events (conferences, meetings, exhibitions) as part of the research project. Participate in the seminars of the project in which the relations between “scientific”, “religious” and “social” images in terms of (mis)trust will be discussed.

-Participating actively in the updating of the website of the project, the social networks of the project and in the scientific meetings.

-Disseminate the results of the research conducted via scientific papers, book chapters films and photographs co-signed with the PI to be presented at international, academic conferences and to be submitted to international, scientific journals. The project will cover the travel expenses related to data collection and to the participation in Conferences (up to a maximum established in the budget approved by the ERC).



FBG project number


Project title

VISUAL TRUST. Reliability, accountability and forgery in scientific, religious and social images





Gross salary per year


How to apply

Required documents

Application letter (3-5 pages), Curriculum vitae, 2 recommendation letters

Send your application to:



Roger Canals

email subject

Postdoc 3.1. Job offer. VISUAL TRUST

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