PhD Candidates for Social Studies of Scholarly Communication and Peer Review

PhD Candidates for Social Studies of Scholarly Communication and Peer Review

Published Deadline Location
15 Apr 13 May Nijmegen

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Job description

Do you want to investigate how transformative developments are shaping the content of review reports? Or are you interested in how reviewers perceive academic identity and community loyalty? Then join the Institute for Science in Society (ISiS) as one of two PhD candidates!

The first PhD project mainly involves a quantitative social science study of how the transformative developments affect the content of peer review reports. The study involves a scientometric and quantitative text analysis of peer review reports and their meta data, including reviewer characteristics. These analyses will assess how the tone, length, content and timeliness of review reports varies across different models of peer review. In addition, network analyses will be conducted to assess how the transformative developments shape reviewer communities and social networks.

The second PhD project involves a qualitative social science study of how transformative developments in scholarly communication affect the identities and roles of reviewers. This question will be addressed through qualitative interviews with reviewers. Respondents will be asked about their perception of academic and disciplinary identity, as well as their sense of belonging to epistemic communities, and whether this generates a sense of obligation or loyalty to particular epistemic communities. The interviews subsequently examine whether and how these considerations play a role in respondents’ decisions to accept or reject review invitations. The results of the qualitative interviews will feed into a larger survey to test whether findings generalise across various contexts.

You will dedicate 10 % of your working time to teaching activities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.


Radboud University


  • You have a Master's degree in social science, science and technology studies, philosophy of science, or a related field, e.g. library science or data science, or will obtain this degree shortly.
  • You have affinity with either computational text and network analysis methods (PhD 1) or qualitative social science methods (PhD 2).
  • You are interested in the academic publishing system, particularly in the areas of interdisciplinarity, open science, and/or digitalisation and automation.
  • You have excellent writing and communication skills in academic English.
  • You are well-organised, have an analytical mindset, and are committed to working at the forefront of science in a dynamic, international research team.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: We will give you a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract).

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract).
  • You will receive a starting salary of €2,770 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, which will increase to €3,539 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Support Service. The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our support for international staff page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the statutory 20.

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


The Institute for Science in Society (ISiS) is embedded in The Faculty of Science (FNWI) of Radboud University. FNWI is responsible for research and teaching in physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, mathematics and computer sciences. FNWI encompasses seven research institutes, one of them being the Institute for Science in Society. Both in research and in education ISiS is actively collaborating with the other FNWI institutes. Our mission is to analyse, assess and improve the societal embedding of new developments in science and technology, through research, education and outreach; and to understand how society is shaping science and vice versa. ISiS is responsible for the MSc specialization Science in Society, accessible for MSc Science students.

You will be part of the international research project "DISAPEER: The reconfiguration of peers in editorial review", together with scholars from the RK Merton Centre for Science Studies in Berlin. The project investigates the impact of current changes in publishing (increasing interdisciplinarity, open peer review practices, and the digital transformation) on the role of reviewers in the review process and is funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 62.075.24



Houtlaan 4, 6525XZ, Nijmegen

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