Post-doctoral Researcher / Research Engineer at the FSW Societal Analytics Lab

Post-doctoral Researcher / Research Engineer at the FSW Societal Analytics Lab

Published Deadline Location
2 May 30 Jun Amsterdam
Are you a computational social scientist, or a computational scholar with an affinity with social science? Do you have a passion for open-source software development and breaking new ground in computational research methodology?

Job description

At the newly founded VU FSW Societal Analytics Lab we are looking for a post-doctoral researcher / research engineer to advance the computational social science paradigm at the VU faculty of Social Science.

The VU FSW Societal Analytics Lab was founded to support social science scholars in using computational techniques. Computational social science offers a wide range of new opportunities for conducting innovative research, but leveraging these opportunities demands a unique set of skills, tools and resources that many social science researchers currently lack access to. The Societal Analytics Lab aims to bridge this gap by providing essential resources and support for both seasoned computational social scientists and those just beginning to explore these methods.

As a post-doctoral researcher at the VU FSW Societal Analytics Lab, you will be at the center of the computational social science wave. As a research engineer, you will create, maintain and facilitate research software, and be the expert on using advanced computational resources, such as the BAZIS compute cluster and our own hardware (e.g., servers, GPU nodes). As lab manager and open science champion, you fulfill a pivotal role in running and steering the lab. Together with the lab directors (Wouter van Atteveldt and Kasper Welbers) you will monitor new opportunities, arrange investments in new hardware, foster computational literacy among researchers through tutorials and workshops, and help FSW scholars in integrating computational techniques in their research and grant proposals.

In addition to developing a wide range of skills, and establishing yourself as an all-round computational social science expert, you will have the opportunity to work on novel methodological research and collaborate in interdisciplinary studies. In this position you will be embedded in the Faculty of Social Science, and encouraged to engage in collaborations with lab members from all departments (Communication Science, Political Science, Sociology, Organization science, Anthropology and Philanthropy).

Jouw taken
  • develop, implement and publish about cutting-edge computational techniques and tools
  • manage the lab’s tools and resources, and make them easily accessible to its members
  • engage with social science researchers to provide support or collaborate
  • organize workshops, hackathons and other events to foster interdisciplinary and international collaborations
  • present lab results (verbally and written) to the steering committee of the faculty


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • a Ph.D. in the social sciences, with a strong background in computational social science; or a Ph.D. in a relevant technical field (CS, AI, NLP) and a strong affinity in social science. Candidates without a Ph.D. but with equivalent relevant experience can also be considered.
  • strong research skills and interest in working in an interdisciplinary team
  • good programming skills, and the eagerness to pick up multiple languages (R, Python, Javascript) and ecosystems/frameworks (e.g., Tidyverse, Huggingface, React)
  • good social skills, interest in disseminating and community-building, and willingness to work with both technologically and substantively oriented colleagues
  • experience with good software development practices (e.g., git / version control, testing)
  • experience with hosting websites and applications is a plus (e.g., server management, docker)
  • you’re a kind person

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A thriving position in a socially engaged organization.
  • a salary of minimum € 3.226,00 (Scale 10.0) and maximum € 5.929,00 (Scale 11.11) gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile Researcher 3 or Researcher 4. The exact salary depends on your education and experience.
  • a position for 0.8-1.0 FTE depending on inclusion of teaching and/or work on related funded projects. Your employment contract will initially last 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 3 years.

The intended start date is preferably September 1, 2024.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:
  • A maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Faculty of Social Sciences
At the Faculty of Social Sciences we examine the major social issues facing us today from a variety of critical perspectives. We combine sociology, anthropology, political science, communication science, administration and organisation. Because there aren’t any ready-made solutions to the complex social issues of today. They demand a multidisciplinary approach. Working together with others helps you expand your mind, come to new ways of understanding and devise creative solutions.

Are you interested in joining Social Sciences? That means working with a team of colleagues from different disciplines in an inspiring work and study climate. Enjoy working in a professional organisation with an informal atmosphere, where we give you space for personal development. FSS employs over 350 staff members and enrols around 3,000 students.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely. - a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility. Over 5,500 staff work at the VU and over 30,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until July 1st, 2024. The first round of job interviews will be executed through Zoom and is planned for the second week of July. Final candidates may be invited to a second round (on-campus or on-line). Submitting a diploma is part of the application process.

Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.


  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society
  • €3226—€5929 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 3991


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 30 Jun 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).