PhD position on the topic of robotics at work

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 04 Sep 2022

PhD position on the topic of robotics at work
PhD position on the topic of robotics at work
Published Deadline Location
today 4 Sep Amsterdam

Are you an ambitious student with an MPhil or MSc degree, interested in technology and ethnographic research? Then consider applying for a PhD position on the topic of robotics at work! Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Job 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 candidates to fill two PhD research positions for a duration of four years. Starting date of the position is planned for October 2022.
Your duties
  • 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 workfloor.
  • You will be performing ethnographic fieldwork, conducting literature review, writing empirical research papers for conferences and journals, and presenting at conferences.
  • You also follow PhD-level coursework and contribute to teaching.
  • You will also collaborate with industry partners and organize workshops and symposia, disseminating your findings.

  • max. 32 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • Amsterdam View on Google Maps

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

  • MSc in Business Administration, Sociology or related field, MPhil degree is an advantage
  • Affinity with qualitative research methods, experience with ethnographic research is an advantage
  • Excellent grades
  • Excellent academic writing skills; demonstrated for example by the quality of the master thesis or conference publications
  • 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 an advantage

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,541 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,247 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.
The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance
  • 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.
We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.
School of Business and Economics
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) provides high-quality education and excellent research in business administration and economics with a focus on contributing to the social, economic and ecological challenges of our time. Whether it is the use of robots in society or big data, labour market participation or flexibility in the labour market, traffic jams or the housing market, flash crashes in the stock market or choice behaviour in gambling, leadership or change management: we believe in goal-oriented scientific research and understand that progress in academics, the business community and society is achieved through cooperation, openness and social responsibility.
At SBE, all of our highly-motivated colleagues work together closely in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment to achieve our collective goal of encouraging society to make informed choices. Approximately 7,000 Bachelor's and Master's students and 1,700 executive students are enrolled at the School, and employs roughly 600 people.
About the department
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 PhD and senior 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.
Additional information
Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 04/09/2022.
Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.
Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:
Name: dr. Anastasia V. Sergeeva
No agencies

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