Two-year Postdoctoral Researcher within the Research Priority Area (RPA) "Conflict & Society"

Two-year Postdoctoral Researcher within the Research Priority Area (RPA) "Conflict & Society"

Published Deadline Location
14 Mar 7 Apr Amsterdam

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Job description

Are you exceptionally interested in political communication, and specifically in the field of elite negative and uncivil rhetoric? Is it your ambition to develop an academic career and research agenda on dynamics of elite communication and its consequences? Are you looking for a challenging job in a dynamic setting?

The Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCOR) of the FMG faculty is looking for a Two-year Postdoctoral researcher within the Research Priority Area (RPA) “Conflict & Society” (C&S).

The C&S RPA is an interdisciplinary research centre based in the faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) which has received funding for the period 2024 - 2028. The C&S RPA is directed by Dr. Alessandro Nai (Communication Science) and Dr. Abbey Steele (Political Science). The C&S RPA is hosted by the Amsterdam Center for Conflict Studies (ACCS) within the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), but the Postdoctoral researcher will primarily be embedded within the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR).

Within the framework of “Conflict & Society” RPA, budget has been set aside to conduct fundamental research into dynamics of conflict – for instance, in terms of (de)escalation of physical and symbolic violence. Several research projects will be developed during the duration of the RPA (2024 – 2028). The Postdoctoral researcher is hired to provide research support on the first of such research project. The project, directed by Dr. Alessandro Nai, aims specifically at investigating the multilevel dynamics of propagation of political violence during election campaigns leveraging, among others, data collected during the 2024 presidential election in the USA.

What are you going to do?
The Postdoctoral researcher is expected to contribute significantly to the development of the following research components:
  • Collection of longitudinal survey data at the individual level, including a rolling cross-section component (RCS), to uncover patterns of (changing) aggressive attitudes and support for political violence in voters;
  • A detailed analysis of the level of political aggressiveness voters are exposed to in social media, potentially relying on data donations (linked with data collected in the survey);
  • An analysis of the evolution of campaign content to expose patterns of elite aggressiveness, potentially adopting a multimodal perspective (i.e., looking at text, images, and videos).

Overall, the Postdoctoral researcher is expected to
  • Conduct high-quality research within the framework of the project;
  • Publish high-quality research within the framework of the project, including co-authoring publications;
  • Cooperate with parallel research initiatives – for instance, parallel projects on negativity and affective polarization that are currently being developed at ASCoR;
  • Provide a mentoring support to junior scholars (PhD students) working on these projects;
  • Assist in training and supervision of project-related research, such as data coding and collection;
  • Assist with administrative responsibilities related to the project, including organizational tasks such as organization of workshops, deliverables such as ethics and data management, and dissemination of project findings in general audience venues;

The Postdoctoral researcher is expected to live in Amsterdam (or within commuting distance) and take active part in team meetings and the research environment at ASCoR and AISSR.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


You are a motivated, independent and creative researcher with passion for the dark side of political communication, and a desire to develop a research agenda in political communication. You are stress resistant and you keep a cool head when things get busy. You work well independently and take initiatives, but are able to collaborate in an interdisciplinary research team.

Your experience and profile:
Essential requirements are:
  • A PhD degree or equivalent in (political) communication, political science, or closely related discipline. The degree should have been obtained by the start of your employment;
  • Excellent publication record (i.e. publications in highly-ranked international journals);
  • Proven research expertise and agenda in negative campaigning, incivility, and/or political violence – ideally in a comparative perspective;
  • Experience with research conducted in the USA or with American respondents;
  • Excellent command of quantitative methods, including ideally expertise with survey data and computational approaches to campaign communication;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English;
  • Independent thinking and critical analytical skills;
  • The ability to work independently but also to collaborate with a team.

Conditions of employment

The position concerns a temporary appointment of 0,8 fte (equivalent of 30,4 hours a week) for a maximum term of two years, starting September 1st, 2024.

Your salary will be between € 4223 and € 5929 gross per month (based on salary scale 11 for 1.0 fte) in the first year and will increase in the second year in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

Because we value your continued personal development and professionalization, we also offer excellent opportunities for professional development. You will also have the opportunity to attend training courses and international conferences and workshops.

What else do we offer
  • A challenging but friendly working environment, at the intersection of two major research institutes (ASCoR and AISSR) and within an interdisciplinary framework;
  • High-level responsibility to co-direct a two-year research project with ample scope for individual initiative;
  • The possibility to informally co-mentor the first steps of junior scholars (PhD students)
  • Excellent working conditions at the heart of vibrant Amsterdam


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.

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.


  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 30.4 hours per week
  • max. €4223 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 12778


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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