PhD position in computer sciences in the context of ERC project “Processing Citizenship”

PhD position in computer sciences in the context of ERC project “Processing Citizenship”

Published Deadline Location
1 Sep 10 Dec Enschede

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Job description

Are you passionate about data management and its policy implications? The Department of Science, Technology, and Policy Studies (STePS) at the University of Twente is hiring one doctoral researcher with a background in Computer Sciences to join the ERC-funded project ‘Processing Citizenship: Digital registration of migrants as co-production of citizens, territory and Europe’ (ProcessCitizenship), with Dr. Annalisa Pelizza as Principal Investigator.

Project and work description

In the Processing Citizenship project we want to learn how data infrastructures for migration management impact the way we experience European identities.

As a PhD, you have a strong computer science background – notably in data management, knowledge representation, database integration and semantic interoperability or related fields – while at the same time you are passionate about working in an interdisciplinary environment. You will indeed work as part of a trans-disciplinary team of six, including ethnographers and social scientists, under the direct supervision of the Principal Investigator and of CTIT, the Institute for ICT research in Context (CTIT,


You will be presented with three main research challenges. The first challenge requires to extract and analyse data models from heterogeneous institutional sources. The second to design strategies for improving data quality in uncertain conditions. The third challenge will require you to engage in interdisciplinary work with the other team members.

In particular, the following activities are expected:
  • To conduct techno-social analysis of data models and algorithms (in cooperation with other team researchers)
  • To develop strategies to measure and improve data quality under uncertain conditions, and increase interoperability of migrant-related databases (in teamwork with CTIT’s data science group);
  • To design and develop software to track and visualize data circulation (in collaboration with CTIT);
  • To provide support to interviews with IT developers at European and national agencies level.


University of Twente (UT)


  • Master degree in Computer Sciences, Data Science, Information Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Business IT completed by the deadline
  • Highly proficient in data management
  • Ability to compare data sets modelled in heterogeneous ways
  • Proficiency in English as working language
  • Dedication to the project’s success, willingness to collaborate in a research team, share data, write joint publications and acquire social science and policy skills
  • Excellent administrative and organizational skills, including the ability to plan one’s work, meet deadlines, familiarity with resource management and willingness to accept Horizon2020 administrative and ethical behaviour guidelines
  • Experience in data policy
  • Experience as non-graduate students supervisor
  • Knowledge of the potential non-academic impact of the research and ways of engaging with it
  • Knowledge of sociological literature on data infrastructures

By the end of the program you will also acquire skills in policy analysis of information systems. Such a combination of techno-social skills is key not only to access middle-high positions in engineering environments, but also to achieve a deep understanding of the social impact of data infrastructures. You will develop state of the art research skills, e.g. by being able to tackle the methodological limitations and design constraints that software-based techniques impose on hypothesis formulation and testing.

Applications should include:
  • A motivation letter describing why you would be a good fit for this interdisciplinary project, and why you wish to embark on a PhD trajectory;
  • Curriculum vitae, including university qualifications and grades;
  • An article or other recent research output clearly showing your expertise;
  • Email and telephone contact information of at least two referees (please notify them in advance that they might be contacted).

Conditions of employment

We offer a very challenging fulltime position for four years in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda. Starting salary is € 2.222 in the first year and reaches € 2.840 in the fourth year (gross per month).


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences The Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS) strives to play a pivotal role in understanding, co-engineering and evaluating innovation in society. Innovation is driven by advances in technology. Through 'social engineering' these technological advances are embedded in society befitting human needs and behaviour, within proper public and private management and business structures. For this the faculty of BMS upholds high quality disciplinary knowledge in psychology, business administration, public administration, communication science, philosophy, educational science and health sciences. All with a focus on the challenges in society. Research is strongly connected to our Institutes on Governance (IGS), ICT (CTIT), Health (MIRA) and Nanotechnology (MESA+).  

The Department of Science, Technology, and Policy Studies (STePS), University of Twente, The Netherlands, takes the assessment and governance of innovations and emerging technologies as its central theme of teaching and research. STePS considers in particular strategic issues that are multidisciplinary: they involve developments in science, technology, politics and society, as well as interaction between them. Studies conducted within STePS link analytical and normative perspectives, and consider not only technological innovations but also innovations in governance (


  • PhD positions
  • Economics; Behaviour and Society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2222—€2840 per month
  • University Graduate
  • 928082


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB, Enschede

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