The Department of Communication Science at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam currently searches for an Assistant Professor in Media Psychology with a focus on communicating with social robots. We particularly seek candidates with expertise in social robotics from a social, communicative and psychological perspective. Candidates with a general background in human-robot interaction, or human-computer interaction that both demonstrate a clear affinity with social robotics and feel comfortable applying media psychological or communication-scientific theory and methods are also encouraged to apply.
The envisioned position should address questions such as how people use, experience, and respond to social robots. More specifically, the Media Psychology group at the department of Communication Science, chaired by prof. dr. Elly Konijn, examines the communication skills of social robots that are interacting with humans in order to establish social-affective bonds. Scholars in the group aim to build and investigate human-robot communication that is more natural, efficient, and establishes stronger affective bonds between people and robots. They utilize related insights to understand how social robots can help to tackle societal problems like providing effective healthcare for the elderly, provide support in education as well as in clinical settings. This research is conducted through experiments and field studies and in close collaboration with an interdisciplinary team (e.g., computational linguistics, AI).
Our Department of Communication Science has a particular interest in new media technologies, and in bridging social science and computer science. Our department mostly pursues empirical quantitative research, also including computational research. Accordingly, candidates that possess computer science skills next to their profound expertise in media-psychology are particularly encouraged to apply.
The envisioned candidate will also participate in teaching in Media Psychology, Human-Robot Communication, and Communication Science (lectures, seminars, and work groups and supervising theses), both at bachelor and master level. We therefore seek candidates with a demonstrable high level of teaching skills.
If you want to take on this challenge and be part of an exciting team working at the forefront of communicating with social robots, we encourage you to apply!
Given the current composition of the department, we especially encourage female and minority candidates to apply for this position as we strive for optimal diversity in our team.
The Assistant Professor will be involved in teaching and research starting in September 2022. The position starts with 50% research and 50% teaching in the first two years. Thereafter, the position will switch to our standard 30% research and 70% teaching distribution, also depending on the amount of personal research grants acquired. Department members are encouraged to apply for grants to increase their research time.
We trust in the skills of the candidates we are hiring and like to provide stability for early career researchers. Therefore, this UD position will be already tenured (permanency) after 1 ½ years, based on a brief assessment of the candidate's initial performance. Furthermore, our faculty maintains a transparent career scheme with explicit performance criteria, based on which scholars can request assessment for promotion (e.g., to associate professor).
Our envisioned candidate…
- conducts state of the art empirical research in his/her respective field according to international standards, publicly available and reproducible, resulting in publications in A or B ranked academic journals, conference proceedings, and brief reports accessible to the public at large, thereby adhering to Open Science principles
- is active in acquiring external research funding
- is involved in acquiring and supervising Ph.D. students
- is bridging science and society and participates in the public debate
- develops, coordinates and teaches highly valued bachelor and master level courses
- is a team-player and an active, present, and engaged department and faculty member, involved in management and admin tasks, and taking part in committees relevant to the department and faculty