Postdoctoral Position in Computational Social Science

Updated: 10 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 30 Oct 2021

Postdoctoral Position in Computational Social Science

The Department of Humanities, Political, and Social Sciences, ETH Zurich, invites applications for a Postdoctoral Position in Computational Social Science. The Postdoc would work primarily with Prof. Elliott Ash, in a group that conducts empirical research in political economy with a focus on text as data, bringing in methods from machine learning and natural language processing.

Job description

We are looking for postdoc applicants holding a PhD in empirical social science (e.g. economics, political science) or data science (e.g. computational linguistics, computer science, machine learning), with research interests in this area. The research focus is on causal observational studies using non-traditional data (text, audio, images, videos).

The postdoc will be involved in all aspects of the research, including project planning, research design, data analysis, presentation of findings at conferences, and preparation of manuscripts for submission to leading peer-reviewed journals. Postdocs have the opportunity to co-author papers with lab colleagues and develop independent projects related to these research areas. Organizational and teaching duties are limited to a few hours per week. Our offices are located in downtown Zurich, and the working language is English.

The appointment will be for at least one year and up to three years (contingent on satisfactory performance), with flexible starting date beginning July 2022. Salaries are internationally competitive, paid according to ETH standards.

Your profile

You should, by the time of appointment, have completed a PhD in:

  • empirical social science (e.g., economics, political science)
  • data science (e.g., computer science, machine learning, computational linguistics)
  • or related fields

Applicants should have an established research agenda with a completed job market paper and at least one other completed paper. Social science applicants should have graduate-level expertise in causal inference research design, data management, and data analysis. Data science applicants should have graduate-level expertise in natural language processing and machine learning.
We have special interest in interdisciplinary candidates who have done social science analysis using both causal inference research design and unstructured data (especially text). Excellent English writing skills are essential. You should be willing to invest in filling in any gaps in expertise before the start of the appointment.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.


We look forward to receiving your online application including:

  • a cover letter
  • CV
  • graduate school transcripts
  • a writing sample
  • and at least two letters of recommendation

Applicants should be prepared to complete a research design, econometric analysis, natural language processing, and/or machine prediction exercise (as appropriate to expertise) as part of the interview process.

Application review will begin on December 1, 2021 and continue until the positions are filled. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. For further information, please visit our website . Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Elliott Ash by email at (no applications).

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website  to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

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