PhD candidate in Emotions in Political Communication

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 31 Oct 2018

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Department of Political Science
Publication date
3 October 2018
Level of education
Master's degree
Salary indication
€2,266 to €2,879 gross per month
Closing date
31 October 2018
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) invites applications for a PhD-position within the project POLEMIC .

You will be working for POLEMIC, a project that analyses the causes and consequences of emotional political communication. The project is highly interdisciplinary and is situated in the Hot Politics Lab. It combines automated text analyses of politician speeches with individual responses to communication, both at the attitudinal and physiological level. You will be working in a team of 5 people: two other PhD candidates, Gijs Schumacher (Principal Investigator) and Bert Bakker . Formally, you will work at the Department of Political Science of the UvA.

Project description

The PhD candidate will use advanced computational social science techniques to analyse political rhetoric in speeches over time (1945-now) and between countries. Among other things, the speeches will be used to analyse the emotion and topics in a speech and the personality of the speaker. The dissertation should focus on explaining when and why politicians use (which) emotional appeals. Questions that will be answered in this project are, among others: are politicians with certain personality types more likely to use emotional appeals, do changes in social and economic context cause politicians to use more or less emotional appeals. In addition to the questions outlined in the project description, there is also ample space in the project for developing and implementing one’s own ideas, as long as these match with the broader topic of emotions in politics.

  • Use computational social science tools to analyse emotional appeals by politicians;
  • use quantitative methods to analyse political rhetoric by politicians;
  • further develop the project using other data/methods or asking different questions;
  • engage in more methodological training, at a summer school and/or a university abroad;
  • write a dissertation consisting of research articles;
  • work in a highly interdisciplinary team;
  • teaching is optional, but encouraged.

  • Master’s degree. Ideally the candidate has taken courses in political science, as well as computational social science/computer science in the bachelor or master. Please include a list of relevant courses in your cv and describe in one sentence what methods you were taught in the course;
  • plenty of experience with quantitative methodology, preferably also quantitative text analysis;
  • knowledge and an interest in computational social science;
  • programming skills in R, Python or another programming language;
  • an interest to combine insights from political science, psychology and communication science.

What can we offer you ?

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and sufficient scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organisation. We cherish enquiring minds and persevering spirits, and allow you space to dig deeper with your questions. Diverse, unique, dynamic, internationally oriented and ambitious: these are all characteristics which typify UvA staff. Strongly committed to the city of Amsterdam and the international society of which it is part, the UvA stands for independence, creativity, innovation, an international perspective and a critical yet open mindset.

Further information

For more information please contact:

Would you like to learn more about working at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)? Visit our website .


The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a period of 4 years for 38 hours per week. In the first instance, a contract will be given for 12 months; if positively evaluated, the contract will be extended for another 36 months.

The earliest starting date is 1 January 2019. A later date is negotiable.

The salary will be €2,266 per month during the first year, rising to €2,879 in the final year, based on a full-time appointment for a 38-hour working week (in keeping with P-scale), as per the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities ). We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary employee benefits, including a generous holiday scheme and year-end bonus. Because we value your continued personal development and professionalisation, we also offer excellent opportunities for study and development.

 Job application

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is an active participant in a diverse, international community. Our goal is for you to feel at home here, regardless of your background, race, orientation and/or beliefs.

Submit a CV, contact information for 2 references for your academic qualifications, a motivation letter (max 1 page) and a one-page research proposal that fits in the specific work packages (WP#1 & WP#2) the candidate will be involved in. Please highlight what your own contribution can be in terms of conceptual development, measurement of concepts, type of analysis, or additional research questions.

The deadline for applications is 31 October 2018. Please send your application to with the vacancy number as subject.

A first selection round will be held early November, after which some candidates will be invited for an interview. Interviews will be held late November. After the interview round a decision will be made.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.


No agencies please

Published by  University of Amsterdam

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