PhD position Social Influence in Online Social Networks

PhD position Social Influence in Online Social Networks

Published Deadline Location
24 Feb 15 Apr Rotterdam
Obtain your PhD in Behavioural Science while being part of the innovative team-science project “SocialMovez: Effective and responsible health campaigns for adolescents using online social networks”. You will develop a computational social science methodology to reveal and predict social influence mechanisms in online social networks.

Job description

As a PhD student, you will get the opportunity to be part of this innovative research project led by Prof. Moniek Buijzen and Dr. Thabo van Woudenberg. The project is funded by a Vici Grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Online Social Networks (OSN) such as Instagram and Snapchat offer unprecedented technological opportunities to promote a healthy lifestyle among adolescents’ social networks, for example, via ‘peer influencers’. The SocialMovez project will reveal how online social networks can be utilized and how campaigns can be optimized by using innovative data-analytic technologies, while safeguarding youth’s privacy. A team of five researchers will address this aim in a multimethodological approach, including automated analysis of OSN communications, qualitative co-creation focus groups with users, controlled experiments, and a large-scale controlled field intervention validating an OSN-based obesity-prevention campaign in a real online social network.

Your role in the project will be to identify social influence mechanisms in online social networks, and to apply these in social network interventions promoting a healthy lifestyle. More specifically, you will use behavioural theories to guide social network analysis. Your research will involve, for example, automated content analysis of OSN communications, modeling of social processes and health behaviours, data-based programming and conducting experiments in online social networks. Therefore, we expect you to have affinity with advanced quantitative methods and a drive to understand behaviour and behaviour change.

The team members will work closely together in reaching the overall objective: developing a framework for effective and responsible OSN health campaigns. Moreover, we will closely collaborate with health practitioners and youth communication professionals. Are you interested to be involved in our team? Then please write a short research proposal that addresses the research aim of the PhD project you are applying for (i.e.. How will you reveal how online social networks can be utilized and optimized for health promotion campaigns in youth, by using innovative data-analytic technologies?). We are very curious to find out about you, and your thoughts about which study design and analyses you would use for your project. The proposal will not only demonstrate your current research competencies, but also your own ideas for the project.

See also our other PhD vacancy, PhD position privacy and persuasion in online social network campaigns.

Specifications

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Requirements

What we expect from you:

  • A Master’s degree in social-behavioural and/or computer sciences (or expected to be obtained in the near future); for example, a Research Master’s degree in Behavioural Science, Communication Science, Psychology, Artificial intelligence, Computational Science, Data Science, or comparable.
  • Proven affinity with digital communication technology.
  • Experience in computational methods.
  • Excellent research, methodological and statistical skills.
  • Excellent oral and written command of English.
  • A basic command of Dutch is preferred.
  • Team science and open science practices are appreciated.

Conditions of employment

Internationally-oriented and varied work within an enthusiastic team, with attractive fringe benefits in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU). Your initial employment term will be for 1.5 year but will be extended with 2.5 years if your performance proves satisfactory. Your remuneration starts with €2325,- gross per month (salary scale P.0, CAO NU). Erasmus University Rotterdam offers attractive terms of employment, including a holiday allowance of 8%, a year-end payment of 8.3% and 41 annual leave days in case of a full work week. In addition, EUR takes part in the ABP pension scheme, and we also offer partially paid parental leave. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Moreover, EUR staff members are allowed to make use of the EUR facilities, including the Erasmus sports centre and the University Library. We value diversity and believe that a diversity of talents contributes to our vision and strategy to excel as a university on research and education. This means that we are looking for a person who can complement our team well.

Employer

Erasmus University Rotterdam

The Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), named after Rotterdam-born humanist and theologian Erasmus, is a research university with a strong international orientation and a pronounced social focus, both in its education and research activities. On the lively, modern campus, more than 28.000 students and scholars of more than 100 nationalities are constantly encouraged to develop their talents and meet their ambition. Our more than 2700 scientists and employees work together with all our students to solve challenges faced by global society, drawing their inspiration from the consistently dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. The academic education offered at our faculties is intensive, engaging and strongly focused on practical application. We increasingly perform our research in multidisciplinary teams, which are closely interwoven with international networks. In terms of research impact and the quality of its degree programmes, EUR can compete with the foremost universities in Europe, which is reflected in its consistent top-100 position in most major universities rankings. Erasmus University Rotterdam’s key values are daring, curiosity, social involvement, breaking new ground and striving for success www.eur.nl

Department

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB)

The Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB) is home to a vast diversity of scientific disciplines: public administration, pedagogical sciences, psychology and sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS, and two research institutes RISBO and DRIFT are linked to the faculty. This also reflects in the content of the (international) bachelor's and master's programs and in research.  Our activities are always focused on people and society. At the ESSB fundamental, internationally oriented research is of paramount importance. In addition, social research for professionals, policy makers, and the society is part of our research activities. ESSB offers a stimulating research environment where major national and international research grants are received. Appealing guest researchers and ambitious PhD candidates come along to conduct their research. Our education is small-scale and works with innovative forms of education such as Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Both the Dutch and English programs are highly ranked by students and alumni. ESSB is home to over 4000 students and more than 400 staff-members. The different disciplines are supported by the Faculty Office (for more information, please visit www.eur.nl/essb).

Additional information

For more information about the application procedure, use the “Apply now” button. For more information about EUR and the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, please visit www.eur.nl/essb. For more information about the SocialMovez project and this specific vacancy, please contact Thabo van Woudenberg at vanwoudenberg@essb.eur.nl and/or Moniek Buijzen at buijzen@essb.eur.nl.

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Engineering; Behaviour and society
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • ESSB/20200224/290015

Employer

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Location

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA, Rotterdam

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Application procedure

You are welcome to send your application by email to employment@essb.eur.nl, stating ‘application PhD position social influence in OSN’ in the subject field. The deadline for applications is 15-4-2020. Interviews will be held in May and June.

All applications must be submitted in the form of three separate PDF files:

1) A motivation letter of not more than 1 page. Include how your research interests fit in the project.

2) A curriculum vitae, including all grades obtained for the BSc degree and MSc degree and (expected) dates of  graduation.

3) A research proposal for a (sub)project addressing the research aim of the position in your own words (750 words max.), including:

  • Theory, research questions and hypotheses (approx. 250 words)
  • Methods (approx. 300 words)
  • Expected results and societal relevance (approx. 200 words)

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Application procedure

Application procedure

You are welcome to send your application by email to employment@essb.eur.nl, stating ‘application PhD position social influence in OSN’ in the subject field. The deadline for applications is 15-4-2020. Interviews will be held in May and June.

All applications must be submitted in the form of three separate PDF files:

1) A motivation letter of not more than 1 page. Include how your research interests fit in the project.

2) A curriculum vitae, including all grades obtained for the BSc degree and MSc degree and (expected) dates of  graduation.

3) A research proposal for a (sub)project addressing the research aim of the position in your own words (750 words max.), including:

  • Theory, research questions and hypotheses (approx. 250 words)
  • Methods (approx. 300 words)
  • Expected results and societal relevance (approx. 200 words)

Make sure to apply no later than 15 Apr 2020 23:58 (Europe/Amsterdam).