PhD position Privacy and Persuasion in Online Social Network Campaigns (0,8 - 1fte)

PhD position Privacy and Persuasion in Online Social Network Campaigns (0,8 - 1fte)

Published Deadline Location
1 Apr 9 May Rotterdam

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Obtain a 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 investigate approaches to engage young people in online social network campaigns while safeguarding their privacy.

Job description

Online Social Networks (OSN) such as Instagram offer unprecedented technological opportunities to promote a healthy lifestyle among adolescents’ social networks, for example, via ‘peer influencers’. The SocialMovez project investigates how online social networks can be utilized and how campaigns can be optimized by using 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 field intervention validating the obesity-prevention campaign in OSN’s.

Your role will be to integrate digital privacy in OSN health campaigning theory and practice. More specifically, you will use theories of behaviour change and informational law to investigate the most effective mechanisms to engage young people in an OSN health campaign, while incorporating their informational and psychological privacy. You will employ multiple methods in your research, such OSN content analysis, focus groups, and experimental designs in online social networks. Therefore, we expect you to have affinity with both qualitative and quantitative methods and eagerness to understand and promote privacy and health related behaviours in adolescents.

As a PhD student, you will get the opportunity to be part of this innovative research project led by Prof. Moniek Buijzen. In our team, we all work closely together in reaching the overall objective, while collaborating with health practitioners , youth communication professionals, and most important, the target audience.

Are you interested to be involved in our team and putting your knowledge and aspirations to work? Then please write a short research proposal that addresses the research aim of the PhD project you are applying for. Also, the proposal should focus on how you will integrate digital privacy in OSN health campaigning theory and practice? Therefore, the proposal needs to include the following: 1) Problem definition giving the theoretical background, research questions and hypotheses. 2) Proposed method 3) Expected results and societal relevance. 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 and aspirations for the project.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


What we expect from you:

  • A Master’s degree in social sciences or law (or expected to be obtained in the near future); for example, a Research Master’s degree in Behavioural Science, Communication Science, Psychology, Informational Law, or comparable.
  • Proven affinity with digital communication technology.
  • Excellent research, methodological and statistical skills.
  • Excellent oral and written command of English.
  • A basic command of Dutch is preferred, given the interaction with the target audience.
  • Experience and affinity with research involving minors 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 year but will be extended with 3 years if your performance proves satisfactory. Your remuneration starts with €2395,- 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.


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


Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

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


  • PhD
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • ESSB/20210401


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA, Rotterdam

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