Post-doctoral researcher in Computational Communication / Computational Linguistics

Post-doctoral researcher in Computational Communication / Computational Linguistics

Published Deadline Location
16 May 6 Jun Amsterdam

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How can AI and algorithms contribute to improving local journalism? Do you want to help research and design tools/software for (semi-)automating or aiding journalism? Do you want to be part of a world-leading team of computational social scientists and...

Job description

The Department of Communication Science in collaboration with the Computational Linguistics and Text Mining Lab at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam currently searches for a post-doctoral researcher. This position will be part of a larger project funded by a charitable foundation which aims to understand how AI techniques can help local journalists and journalistic organizations deliver quality journalism in a challenging market.

What makes this position special is that you are developing tools within a large project that is eager to use and disseminate those tools. There are also many opportunities for learning new technologies within the team and through outside courses. We are strongly committed to open source and open science.

In this position you will be embedded in the Computational Communication Science & Political Communication research group at the department of Communication Science. Female and minority candidates are particularly encouraged to apply as we strive for optimal diversity in our team.

Your duties
The post-doctoral researcher will:
  • research and publish papers on possible uses of AI for augmenting local journalism
  • develop (prototype) tools for use in (local) journalistic organizations
  • communicate with (prospective) stakeholders to make sure tools are optimally designed and used
  • present progress (verbally and written) to the consortium


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • a Ph.D. in Communication Science, Journalism or a related discipline, with a strong interest in computational methods and text analysis; or a Ph.D. in Computer Science or Computational Linguistics with a strong interest in (computational) journalism or communication science
  • strong research skills and interest in developing as a computational social scientist
  • good programming skills in Python, or good programming skills in other languages and eagerness to learn python
  • an eagerness to learn new technology
  • social skills and willingness to work with both technologically and substantively oriented colleagues.

Conditions of employment

A thriving position in a societally engaged organization, starting 1 October 2022. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3.821 (scale 11) and a maximum €5,230 (scale 11), depending on your education and experience. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 1.0 FTE. The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 36 months (at the level of 1.0 FTE).

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Social Sciences
The Faculty of Social Sciences examines the major social problems of our time from multiple perspectives. From bullying at school to dealing with transnational immigration, from the rise of populist politicians to creating a self-reliant society. Only at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you will find all the academic disciplines needed to understand these 'wicked problems': alongside the traditional disciplines such as sociology, anthropology and politics, we also research and teach the new social sciences such as communication science and management & organization science. We do not settle for easy answers in our teaching and research. Our researchers and students are critical thinkers and doers who work together to devise surprising solutions to the problems of today.

Working at the Faculty of Social Sciences means working with colleagues from a range of academic disciplines in an inspiring and personal work and study environment with excellent research facilities. We employ more than 500 staff members, and we are home to around 2,500 students.

About the department
Over the past decade, the scientific field of Communication Science has changed profoundly due to the continuous emergence of new media technologies and the rise of a media-saturated digital society, new empirical research methods, and new dynamic communication routes. The department of Communication Science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam responds to these major trends with an educational program (BA/MA) that teaches Communication Science within a "digital society" framework, and that trains related skills (e.g., on data and computational methods) and knowledge (e.g., on digital marketing) using timely and innovative teaching methods. The department also responds to these major trends by maintaining a pointed and forward-looking research program that is strategically focusing on the examination of Communication Choices, Content and Consequences (CCCC). The department holds a strong position in the field because it has clearly focused on newly emerging communication technologies and solid empirical methods ever since its foundation in 2003. The department maintains particular expertise in adapting psychological perspectives and computer sciences to the study of media. Researchers within the CCCC program are currently organized into three evolving research areas crucial to the discipline of Communication Science: Media Monitoring (focusing on computational methods, mostly in a political communication domain), Media Psychology (including work on experience and effects of Social Robotics and Virtual Reality), and Social Media (focusing on social media, mostly in a marketing, PR, and organizational communication context). The department has been ranked at a strong #10 of all departments/universities worldwide in the prestigious 2020 Shanghai ranking, the CCCC research program received excellent review scores in the last assessment, and the teaching program was positively evaluated and accredited in the last assessment (2018/2019).


  • Assistant professor
  • Doctorate
  • 11730


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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