PhD position in social media analysis to characterize youth opinion in Europe.

PhD position in social media analysis to characterize youth opinion in Europe.

Published Deadline Location
19 Jul 8 Sep Maastricht

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Job description

We are seeking a talented PhD student to develop computational methods to mine sentiments
and opinions from multiple forms of social media including text, images, and video. The analysis
of social media is in its infancy and new research is needed to address issues relating to bias,
error, and missing values, and how to integrate contradictory signals. The research will
specifically explore questions relating to Europe’s youth: aspirations and concerns, lifestyle,
immigration, and employment in Europe for the past, present and future.  The research will
occur in the context of the Maastricht Working on Europe project, a partnership with the City of
Maastricht, the Province of Limburg and Maastricht University, to  position Maastricht as a
meeting place for debate and dialog and as an expertise center of knowledge and vision on
Europe and European integration.
The successful candidate will be appointed at the Institute of Data Science at Maastricht
University and perform this research project to the benefit of the Maastricht Working on Europe project/Studio Europa.

Tasks include: 

  • Work with a multi-stakeholder team to catalog and characterize the opinion of youth on European issues
  • Develop computational methods to harvest, process, catalog, and analyse multimedia content for opinions and sentiments.
  • Validate developed methods using synthetic and real world data
  • Communicate the results of the research to stakeholders and target groups
  • Write scientific papers for international peer-reviewed conferences and journals
  • Present your work in international conferences
  • Finalise the work in a PhD thesis


Maastricht University (UM)


  • MSc degree in Computer Science, Data Science, Information Science, Artificial Intelligence or equivalent;
  • Experience with text mining, sentiment analyses and data mining algorithms;
  • Have developed creative approaches to analysis and data exploration;
  • Demonstrable affinity with the topic;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as in a team;
  • Excellent oral and written English communication.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

  • 38 hours per week;
  • We offer a rewarding career at a young university in the heart of Europe, with a distinct global perspective and a strong focus on innovative research and education.
  • The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO), supplement with local UM provisions. For more information on terms of employment, please visit our website > Support > UM employees.
  • We offer a 4 year full-time appointment as PhD candidate. The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended for another 3 years.
  • Remuneration will be according to according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of €2.325,- with a yearly growth to €2.972,- gross a month, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours/week).
  • On top of this, there is an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end of the year allowance.
  • We offer an attractive package of fringe benefits such as, reduction on collective health insurance, substantial leave arrangements, optional model for designing a personalised benefits package, sport facilities which staff may use at a modest charge and application for attractive fiscal arrangements for employees from abroad;
  • We provide a stimulating, collaborative and interdisciplinary work environment with excellent opportunities for professional and personal development;
  • Maastricht University has an excellent international reputation, and Maastricht itself is a beautiful, open-minded city located in the center of Western Europe.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 18,000 students and 4,300 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


Data Science @UM

Data Science @UM is a pioneering, university-wide network of data-driven researchers with more than 25 years’ experience in data science education and research. Our community consists of multidisciplinary teams that address significant scientific problems and major societal issues through and related to data science including social, legal and ethical concerns in a wide range of academic disciplines. The Data Science@ UM community is expanding with at least 15 new positions in 2019.

Institute of Data Science

The Institute of Data Science at Maastricht University (IDS@UM) is a recently established center led by distinguished professor Michel Dumontier. The mission of the Institute of Data Science is to foster an interfaculty environment for collaborative innovation in the development and application of data science technologies. IDS consists of a core team of data science experts that cooperate closely with researchers across disciplines such as medicine, life sciences, law, social sciences and humanities, business and economics, knowledge engineering and smart services. 


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2019.250


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitsingel 60, 6229 ER, Maastricht

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