PhD Candidate in Computational Communication Science

PhD Candidate in Computational Communication Science

Published Deadline Location
13 Jul 12 Aug Amsterdam

Job description

Are you exceptionally interested in (computational) communication research? Is it your ambition to become a top-tier researcher?

The Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) is the research institute for the Communication Science department at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. We are seeking a PhD candidate for participation in the NEWSFLOWS project, which is being funded by the European Research Council. The PhD track is part of the Political Communication programme group and the Computational Communication Science Amsterdam Lab. The candidate will work in close cooperation with the Digital Society Initative and the Digital Communication Methods Lab.

What are you going to do

The vacancy is part of the NEWSFLOWS project. A description of the overall goals of the project is available at https://newsflows.eu. At this time, we are recruiting for the subproject "WP3: Feedback loops and beliefs". In this project, you will conduct computational communication science research using field experiments with recommender systems as well as social media bots that you have to develop.

In the first year, you will use an existing dataset with data donation data (such as browser histories) and measures of attitudes and beliefs. This will allow to get a first insights into the core relationships to be investigated in this project. In the remainder of the project, you will conduct a field experiment combined with multiple-wave survey measures. Manipulating the actual content as well as cues that indicate feedback loops, we measure change in participants' beliefs. Single exposure to one news item is most likely not able to fundamentally change beliefs unless it is a topic that one really does not care about and has no prior knowledge on; however, with some exceptions, most experiments have not focused on long-term effects. We therefore use a panel design, in which we do ask people to use a news app developed by us between survey waves. To do so, we can build on earlier work from our group, in particular an app called 3bij3 that can be further developed for this study. More information about this can be found in the work by Loecherbach and Trilling (2020) and Loecherbach et al. (2021).

Finally, you we want to develop a tool to study individual-level effects in the context of existing social-media platforms. We will build a recommender app that shares news stories from various sourceswith participants on a platform that is already widely used, such as Twitter, Instagram, or Telegram. In comparison to the first field experiment, we can thus achieve higher external and ecological validity at the expense of less freedom to set up the experiment the way we want. In the context of Twitter, such an automated

account that participants are asked to follow is sometimes called a "news bot"

or a "retweet bot". This approach will allows us to directly post messages to people's news feeds in the same way that any other account they may follow does.

You will/tasks:
  • conduct research as outlined above, resulting in academic publications in leading journals and cumulating in a PhD thesis;
  • present your work at international conferences;
  • contribute to the vibrant academic life in Amsterdam by attending workshops, meetings, and lectures;
  • spend 5% of your time on teaching-related tasks.

Specifications

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Requirements

Your experience and profile:
  • You hold a Master's degree in communication science or a related field such as political science or sociology. Candidates with a degree in computer science, information science, or similar and affinity with and knowledge of social science in general and journalism/news in particular are also welcome to apply.
  • You have a firm basis in research methods and data analysis.
  • You have an excellent written and spoken command of English. As you will (also) be working with Dutch news data, it is an advantage if you also have at least a passive understanding of Dutch or are willing to acquire it.
  • You have excellent organizational skills.
  • You have the ability and interest to work in a team.
  • You are motivated to contribute to the emerging field of computational communication science and to engage with different academic disciplines (e.g., social sciences, computational linguistics, computer science).
  • Knowledge of a programming language, in particular Python, is essential. Data analysis skills in R can be an additional asset.
  • The exact starting date will be discussed. The preferred starting date is 15 October 2022; but in any event, the starting date has to be before the end of the year 2022. By that moment, you must have obtained your Master's degree.

Conditions of employment

The position concerns temporary employment of 38 hours per week for a maximum term of three years. The initial employment is for one year. Following a positive assessment and barring altered circumstances, this term will be extended by a maximum of 24 months, which should result in the conferral of a doctorate. We will put together a curriculum which will also include the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international events. You will also be tasked with teaching Bachelor's students.

For this position the University Job Classification profile "promovendus" applies.

Your salary will be € 2.541 gross per month in the first year and will increase to € 3.247 in the final year, based on full-time employment and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

What else do we offer
  • A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organisation. The social and behavioural sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.
  • To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.

Employer

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

About the faculty

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. The social and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Additional information

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 9761

Employer

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Learn more about this employer

Location

Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018WV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by the 12th of August 2022. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications in one combined .pdf should include:
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • an example of code that you have written and that you are proud of (can be a link to a github repo, or a file)
Job interviews are planned for the 22nd and 23rd of August.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by the 12th of August 2022. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications in one combined .pdf should include:
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • an example of code that you have written and that you are proud of (can be a link to a github repo, or a file)
Job interviews are planned for the 22nd and 23rd of August.

Make sure to apply no later than 12 Aug 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).