Post-doctoral researcher in Citizen Science project 'Sensitive chatbots for vulnerable people'

Post-doctoral researcher in Citizen Science project 'Sensitive chatbots for vulnerable people'

Published Deadline Location
17 May 2 Jun Tilburg

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Tilburg University | Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences
is looking for a Post-doctoral researcher in Citizen Science project ‘Sensitive chatbots for vulnerable people’ (23 months) (0,6-1,0 fte), for the Department of Communication and Cognition, Tilburg.
Scientific area: cognitive and social aspects of human communication through a multidisciplinary approach

Job description

The Department of Communication and Cognition in the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences at Tilburg University and the Department of Primary and Community Care at Radboud University and Radboud Medical Centre are looking for an enthusiastic new colleague. This post-doctoral researcher will work within the “Sensitive Virtual Assistant” project, which focusses on the development and examination of a virtual assistant that tailors the responses to individual needs of users, i.e., citizens that experience challenges in care because of (for example) their low (health) literacy, intellectual disability, autism, or (mental) health problems. Unique is the citizen science approach, meaning that the assistant’s target group is closely involved during the whole project. 

We offer a 2-year contract of at least 0.6 fte to conduct research on the development of a virtual assistant that matches vulnerable people’s needs while also developing user experience research approaches suitable for this target group. The successful candidate will be responsible for setting up, conducting, analyzing, and reporting the qualitative and quantitative studies together with citizen scientists. An extension of the contract with other tasks up to a maximum of 1.0 fte is negotiable.  

The project is funded by Health~Holland | Top Sector Life Sciences & Health. The candidate will collaborate with the project consortium: Stichting MEE Gelderse Poort (providing access to the target group), Mobile Water (AI-technology partner), Radboudumc (expertise on citizen science and providing access to the target group), and Reframing Studio (designer).

This position is hosted at the department of Communication and Cognition (DCC), Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences (TSHD) and the Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC) at Tilburg University, and is in close collaboration with Academic Collaborative (AC) ‘Stronger on your own feet’ in Nijmegen. Researchers in TiCC explore cognitive and social aspects of human communication through a multidisciplinary approach, combining careful experimentation with survey methods, corpus analyses and computational modelling. Core research domains include (in alphabetical order) communication and technology, cross-cultural communication, information visualization, language production, new media design, non-verbal communication, social media research and strategic communication. The aim of AC ‘Stronger on your own feet’ is to improve health and healthcare for people with intellectual disability by integrating research, education, and patient care. The AC is a collaboration between Radboudumc and seven large care provider organizations for people with intellectual disability. Conducting inclusive research and citizen science is one of the main focus points with co-researchers that contribute to our research, implementation, and dissemination activities. Although the successful candidate will be hosted by Tilburg University and expected to be at the Tilburg campus regularly, the candidate is also expected to work in Nijmegen during certain project phases (e.g., during research with citizen scientists at Radboudumc).

Job description
In this post-doc position, you will:

  • develop and conduct qualitative and quantitative user experience research;
  • closely collaborate with citizen scientists;
  • manage the project and co-organize (project) meetings; 
  • collaborate with researchers at Tilburg University (expertise on virtual assistants), Radboudumc (expertise on citizen science), and the target group (citizen scientists);
  • write (at least) two peer-reviewed papers for submission to international journals;
  • give presentations about study results on a regular basis at workshops and conferences.


Tilburg University


We are looking for a post-doc with strong research and organization skills, who is flexible and successful in working on a variety of tasks with a variety of different partners involved within the consortium. The successful candidate has obtained (or has finished and will soon obtain) a PhD in a relevant discipline, like (health) communication science, communication and information sciences, human-computer interaction, user experience design, health/persuasive technology, (media or health) psychology, (applied) linguistics, computational social science, artificial intelligence, or comparable. 

In addition, you:

  • communicate fluently in Dutch (if Dutch is not your primary language, we expect you to speak and write Dutch at a level that allows you to effectively communicate with research participants and consortium partners that only speak Dutch);
  • have affinity with people who experience challenges in access to care;
  • are experienced with new interactive technologies, such as chatbots;
  • have (demonstratable) expertise on qualitative and quantitative user experience approaches (preferably also in the field);
  • have excellent English written and oral communication skills at an academic level; Proficiency in English is mandatory (CEFR: C2 level)
  • are collaborative and like to take the lead in a team; 
  • have a proactive and goal-directed attitude, good organizational skills, and the ability to get things done;
  • are willing to work in Tilburg as well as Nijmegen.

Conditions of employment

The candidate will be ranked in the Dutch university job ranking system (UFO) as Researcher 4. The starting gross salary for a full-time appointment is (minimally) €3282, - up to (maximally) € 3821- per month. The successful candidates will be offered a contract of 23 months.
Tilburg University is rated among the top of Dutch employers and has excellent terms of employment, such as a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% (annually), an options model and reimbursement of moving expenses. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may qualify for a tax-free allowance equal to 30% of their taxable salary. The university will apply for such an allowance on their behalf. The Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences will provide assistance in finding suitable accommodation. The collective labor agreement of the Dutch Universities applies. 


Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences

Research and education at the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences (TSHD) has a unique focus on humans in the context of the globalizing digital society, on the development of artificial intelligence and interactive technologies, on their impact on communication, culture and society, and on moral and existential challenges that arise. The School of Humanities and Digital Sciences consists of four departments: Communication and Cognition, Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, Culture Studies and Philosophy; several research institutes and a faculty office. Also the University College Tilburg is part of the School. Each year around 275 students commence a Bachelor or (Pre) Master Program. The School has approximately 2000 students and 250 employees.
Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences


  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society; Language and culture; Health
  • 24—40 hours per week
  • €3282—€3821 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 20316



Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB, Tilburg

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