PhD candidate - Biodiversity & Society: Tracing the origins of biodiversity news in the media

PhD candidate - Biodiversity & Society: Tracing the origins of biodiversity news in the media

Published Deadline Location
24 Jan 27 Feb Leiden

Job description

The Faculty of Science is looking for a: PhD candidate - Biodiversity & Society: Tracing the origins of biodiversity news in the media

Vacancy number: 23-044

Project description

Halting biodiversity loss is an important component of Sustainable Development Goal 15: ‘Life on land’. Protection of biodiversity needs broad-based public support, but this currently falls short. The goal of the PhD-project Tracing the origins of biodiversity news in the media is to unravel how biodiversity research gets reported in the news and how this influences the public opinion.

You will start the project by mapping out how biodiversity research should be reported in the media according to biodiversity experts. You will follow this up with a content analysis on how biodiversity is currently covered in the media and how news gets translated between peer-reviewed articles, press releases and news articles. You will study the production of biodiversity news and look at agenda setting by journalists, communication officers and scientists: how do they decide what is newsworthy? To see the effects of different types of news, you will conduct a randomised experiment and test how different news articles influence their readers. In the end you will use all these results in a real-world experiment where you check if providing expert quotes improves media coverage on biodiversity.

These studies will offer theoretical knowledge about how science news is shaped and will offer practical advice to the different actors involved in communicating about biodiversity and biodiversity loss.

This project will be supervised by Ionica Smeets, professor of Science Communication and head of the group Science Communication and Society within the Institute of Biology (IBL). You will also work with colleagues from the IBL, the Institute of Environmental Sciences, The Hortus Botanicus of Leiden and Naturalis.

Key responsibilities

In this PhD, you will study how biodiversity gets covered in the media as set out in the project description above. You will publish academic papers on your findings, present your work at academic conferences and partake in outreach events. You will build your own network and work in and on a new and interdisciplinary research field. You will spend 20% of your time on education and can be involved in teaching Wetenschapscommunicatie voor Biologen (biology’s bachelor course in the first year), courses in the master specialisation Science Communication & Society, our Science Communication Summer School and supervision of master internships. You will complete a PhD thesis in four years.

Specifications

Leiden University

Requirements

Selection Criteria

  • Master of Science or similar in biology with a minor, specialization or elective courses on science communication, science & technology studies, innovation studies, communication research, or other relevant directions;
  • Affinity for halting biodiversity loss;
  • Excellent social skills enabling you to work in a growing interdisciplinary field;
  • Excellent communication skills and fluency in English and Dutch;
  • Experience with the Delphi method, content analyses, qualitative interviewing or setting up experiments with human participants are a big plus.

Conditions of employment

Terms and conditions

The starting date of the PhD program is ideally in the second quarter of 2023. 

We offer a full-time, one year term position, with the possibility of renewal for an additional maximum of three year based on performance.

Salary ranges from € 2.541,- to € 3.247,-  gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science www.graduateschools.leidenuniv.nl. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school. 

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. 

 

Employer

Research at our faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,800 staff and over 6,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

For more information, see www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science  and  www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at  

The Institute for Biology 

The research within the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) aims to work on the science base of biodiversity and health, which is reflected in our leading principle Harnessing Biodiversity for Health. We perform innovative curiosity-driven research to answer fundamental questions, and solutions-driven research to help solving major societal challenges. The latter include protecting nature’s biodiversity, creating sustainable biotechnology and agriculture and increasing good health. Our research focuses on four Research Themes: Bioactive Molecules, Host-Microbe Interactions, Development & Disease and Evolution & Biodiversity. Located in a thriving scientific environment with our Faculty of Sciences,  Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, the Leiden University Medical Centre and the Leiden Bioscience Park, IBL offers an exciting, internationally oriented and inclusive place to work and study.    

Additional information

Information

Enquiries can be made to professor Ionica Smeets (i.smeets@biology.leidenuniv.nl). If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Sylvia Maas (jobs@biology.leidenuniv.nl).

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Application procedure

Applications

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to jobs@biology.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you add the following additional documents (combined in a single PDF file) quoting the vacancy number:

  • A short motivation (max one page) on why you would like to join our group and how your research interests and background fit this topic.
  • A Curriculum Vitae.
  • Contact details of two persons that can provide a reference if requested.

Timeline

Only applications received before 27 February 2023 can be considered. 

 

Application procedure

Application procedure

Applications

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to jobs@biology.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you add the following additional documents (combined in a single PDF file) quoting the vacancy number:

  • A short motivation (max one page) on why you would like to join our group and how your research interests and background fit this topic.
  • A Curriculum Vitae.
  • Contact details of two persons that can provide a reference if requested.

Timeline

Only applications received before 27 February 2023 can be considered. 

 

Make sure to apply no later than 27 Feb 2023 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).