Universiteit van Amsterdam

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Postdoctoral researcer in Social Sciences and Science Studies - Coronavirus

Deadline: Monday 27 April 2020
Postdoctoral researcher in Social Sciences and Science Studies - Coronavirus
Publication date 17 April 2020
Closing date 28 April 2020
Level of education PhD
Hours 38 hours per week
Salary indication €3,389 to €4,018 gross per month
Vacancy number 20-240

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is a renowned research institute at the University of Amsterdam, in which researchers from the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Science collaborate. The research carried out at Humanities forms one of the six research schools within this faculty. ILLC’s central research area is the study of fundamental principles of encoding, transmission and comprehension of information. Research at ILLC is interdisciplinary and aims at bringing together insights from various disciplines concerned with information processing, such as logic, philosophy, linguistics, mathematics, computer science, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science.

The ILLC is looking for an exceptional postdoctoral researcher in the area of applied social sciences and science studies, for the Corona fast-track data project `Collecting systematic survey data on scientists’ information-seeking and information-spreading behaviour in a time of crisis’, running in 2020, and led by Principal Investigator (PI) Giovanni Colavizza.

Job description

You will be employed full-time for a short period of 6 months, starting as soon as possible. A further extension of 6 months might be considered (for a total of 1 year), pending availability of funding. The project is funded by the NWO with the aim of collecting data during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this specific project is to conduct systematic, anonymous and regular surveys on scientists’ information-seeking and information-spreading behaviours, as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. The focus will be on scientists working on COVID-19-related issues. The goal is to capture data a) from all disciplines, from medicine to the social sciences and humanities; b) on adaptive behaviours: how scientists adapt to the unfolding of the ‘infodemic’? c) Considering information as a system: how different media interplay (e.g., traditional media, social media, Wikipedia)? The project aims to inform government and experts with actionable insights, and to collect otherwise-lost data for future study and preparedness. The project needs to start as soon as possible and to last six months, since data collection during the crisis is critical.

You will be expected to:

  • design, develop and deliver online surveys;
  • seek expert advice to improve the efficacy of the surveys and maximize their reach;
  • help with the organizational tasks connected to the project, including connecting with the universities where the surveys will be conducted (Amsterdam, Leiden);
  • collect, analyse and publish the collected data alongside a scientific publication.


You should have:

  • a PhD in the area of Social Sciences, Communication Studies or other related or relevant discipline;
  • evidence of previous experience with survey-based research;
  • previous experience in designing and running online surveys is a strong plus;
  • strong willingness to help with all the organizational duties connected to the project;
  • strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • clear understanding of the urgency and time constraints of the project.

Our offer

The postdoctoral researcher will get an employment contract for 38 hours per week (1,0 FTE) for a period of 6 months at the Media Studies Department of the Faculty of Humanities. The research will be carried out under the aegis of ILLC. Remote work is the default, given the current situation. The intended starting date of the contract is no later than 15 May 2020. The gross monthly salary (on full-time basis) will range from €3,389 to €4,018 depending on experience and qualifications, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities applies.

Further information

Only qualified applicants, as detailed above, should apply.
For further information, please contact:

If you think you qualify, even if you don’t exactly meet the above qualifications, please get in touch and argue in your favour. Please note that, given the tight timeline and short duration of this position, we might not be able to sponsor extra NL/EU/EEA visas.

Would you like to learn more about working at the University of Amsterdam? Visit our website.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

You should include only the following information, in one PDF file (not zipped), named using your surname, e.g.: Smith.pdf. Please keep it brief and to the point:

  • a short (half a page max) statement motivating why you are applying and how you can contribute to the project, especially highlighting your motivation, experience with surveys, and your availability to start ASAP;
  • a short academic CV, including a list of publications or a link to a public list of publications;
  • the name and contact details of one referee who may be approached by the selection committee;
  • (optional) any additional evidence of previous experience on survey-based research and on survey methods. This can also be included via a URL.

Candidates will be contacted with preliminary outcomes of the hiring process in the week of 28 April 2020. If the committee decides that interviews are necessary, they will be held immediately thereafter, via Skype.  #LI-DNP

Apply now

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.