Postdoctoral Researcher: Digital Dark Patterns

Postdoctoral Researcher: Digital Dark Patterns

Published Deadline Location
26 Nov 10 Jan Nijmegen

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Job description

We are offering a 3-year postdoctoral position for interdisciplinary research on dark patterns. Dark design patterns are deceptive, manipulative or restrictive UX design choices that steer users into making decisions they would not make otherwise. Dark patterns can cause financial loss, trick users into revealing personal data, and induce addictive behaviour.

The project will investigate real-world uses of dark patterns, their effects on people's behaviour, and the challenges they bring for the protection of individuals' rights online (e.g. from a consumer protection or data protection law perspective).

You will collaborate with researchers with a background in human-computer interaction (H. Schraffenberger), computer science (G. Acar), and law (R.M. Gellert). You will be expected to contribute to research on large-scale measurements to detect dark patterns on online platforms, and user studies to investigate their manipulative, deceptive and coercive effects. The research focus may be tailored to your specific interests.

Your duties will include developing, conducting and publishing interdisciplinary research on dark patterns; contributing to and participating in the iHub and the Digital Security group's general activities; and writing grant proposals. If so desired, educational activities can be arranged according to your preferences.


Radboud University


  • You hold a relevant PhD degree in computer science, social science, human-computer interaction, or a similar discipline.
  • You have a strong research interest in dark patterns.
  • You have a background in programming.
  • You are a team player interested in working in an interdisciplinary team.
  • You have strong communication skills.
  • You have an excellent command of written and spoken English, as demonstrated by publications.
  • Experience with user studies or large-scale online measurement studies is a plus.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: three years.

  • Employment for 0.8 - 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €2,846 and a maximum of €4,490 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale 10).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • It concerns a temporary employment for three years.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment  and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Additional employment conditions Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


You will be part of a vibrant international research environment at Radboud University, and join the Interdisciplinary Hub for Digitalisation and Society (iHub) and the Digital Security Group of the Institute for Computing and Information Sciences (iCIS).

iHub brings together a diverse range of scholars from across the humanities, social sciences, law, engineering and natural sciences to tackle urgent questions raised by the increased digitalisation and datafication of science and society. iHub's mission is to better understand the effects of digitalisation on our society and to help steer digital transformations in ways commensurate with public values. The Digital Security Group works on a broad range of topics in computer security, including applied cryptography, security protocols, privacy, and the security and correctness of software.

The Digital Security Group is one of the leading groups in computer security in the Netherlands and Europe, with, for example, 4 ERC grants in the last decade and a strong involvement in European projects.


  • Postdoc; Research, development, innovation
  • Behaviour and society; Natural sciences
  • €2846—€4490 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1178641



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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