The Department of Media and Journalism at the School of Communication
and Culture at Aarhus University invites applicants for one or two
postdoctoral positions at DATALAB – Center for Digital Social Research
for up to two years. These positions offer applicants an exciting
opportunity to join the Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF)
research project ‘AI in Digital Sociology’ and the EU H2020 research
projects ‘SOMA’ and ‘NGI Forward’, which focus on social media and
collective behaviour, next generation internet technologies and human
Each postdoc position is a full-time and fixed-term position and begins 1 April 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.
School of Communication and Culture is committed to diversity and
welcomes applications from all qualified applicants regardless of their
The research projects
As postdoctoral fellow at DATALAB, you will be working closely with three research projects: AI in Digital Sociology, funded by AUFF, and Next Generation Internet Forward (NGI Forward) and Social Observatory for Disinformation and Social Media Analysis (SOMA), both funded by Horizon 2020 under the European Commission.
The project AI in Digital Sociology aims
to investigate how the bridging of learning methods and the focus on
complexity in digital sociology can improve the way we analyse digital
datasets and thereby enhance our understanding of mobile and social
media behaviour. We work primarily with large-scale Facebook datasets
from Denmark and South Korea to mirror the national Facebook population
in order to understand social patterns and differences in the
algorithmic communication spaces and potentially harmful patterns for
The European Commission’s Next Generation Internet (NGI)
initiative aims to develop a future internet that better supports
European values such as democracy and human rights. The purpose of NGI FORWARD
is to articulate the vision for the internet of the future and set out
the next steps towards achieving this vision through technology
development, policy roadmaps and stakeholder engagement. DATALAB will
help identify the key technologies and issues that will be significant
in the development of a future internet by providing insights into
internet-related topics discussed on social media. The work consists in
developing a model for detecting innovative topic predictors as a
decision support tool to detect innovative technologies and
stakeholders. DATALAB’s contributions will be essential in the
development of policy roadmaps and policy recommendations that will help
the EU achieve a more human-centric and democratic internet in the
The purpose of SOMA
is to aid the work against online disinformation by understanding
logics, predicting behaviour and developing new tools and services for
citizens and experts alike to better understand, measure and combat
disinformation and its impacts on democracy. In this project, DATALAB
will investigate current and potential methodological setups (e.g.
social media data access and potential safe space solutions) and
evaluate analytical tools (e.g. disinformation detection and cascade
prevention) that can be used in the work against disinformation. It will
also suggest optimal solutions for the centres and the observatory that
will be established as part of the project. DATALAB acts as one of two
EU Centres of Excellence for research in social media and information
disorder (EU ReMID).
postdoctoral fellow, you will act as first author of academic articles
in collaboration with, among others, the centre director in the area of
social media and collective behaviour-predicting patterns. You will also
measure effects of experiments and analytically scrutinize challenges
to democracy and/or next generation internet technologies and human
values (based on existing and future data access/corpuses available in
DATALAB). Furthermore, you will lead, administer and execute DATALAB’s
contributions to the two EU projects (e.g. craft reports for the EU
Commission, participate in consortium meetings in the EU, and administer
the two projects by reporting on deliverables, time tables and hourly
reports, etc.) The successful applicant will be expected to:
- identify central next generation internet topics by the means of
social media debate mapping (Reddit and Twitter) to understand the most
relevant topics in a given period, potential controversies, and the
legal, economic, social and political context surrounding these topics
- analyse safe space solutions for social media data exchange,
conduct analysis on data available in for instance the Ad Libraries of
platforms, help map existing outlier (disinformation) detection
solutions, and predict and prevent disinformation cascades at scale
(primarily using Facebook and Twitter data e.g. designing and
implementing quasi-experiments through agent-based modelling)
- help further develop and fund the EU Centre of Excellence for research in social media and information disorder (EU ReMID)
- work with large-scale Facebook datasets from Denmark and South
Korea to mirror the national Facebook population in order to understand
social patterns and differences in the algorithmic communication spaces
and potentially harmful patterns for democratic societies
Research will primarily be carried out collaboratively with other
project members, but, to some extent, there will be opportunities to
pursue independent work within the focus of the projects that could
inspire the centre to move into new and novel directions (i.e. advancing
research questions, building new theories and applying new methods).
The projects include funding for research and student assistants, data
collection, travel and workshops.
You will join and work closely
together with the teams of international researchers from several
disciplines across Europe that are connected to the projects. You will
be expected to travel to and represent DATALAB at meetings in Brussels
and at stakeholder meetings primarily in Europe (approx. 3-4 meetings a
year). You will also work with DATALAB’s centre director and
co-director, PhDs, assistant researchers and student workers and
collaborate closely with data scientists. You will also be expected to
program for cluster analysis, topic modelling and social media data
At the time of
employment, applicants for each position must hold a PhD degree in data
science, communications, media studies, political science, social
science, information studies, computer science or related fields
relevant to the position.
In addition to an interest in conducting
collaborative research within the focus area of the project and having
an excellent command of spoken and written English, applicants must
- document knowledge of social media research or related field and data
- document the ability to conduct computational analyses of social data (e.g. applying predictive models and agent-based models)
- document prior use and knowledge of statistical learning, neural
networks and/or other big data models using e.g. Caffe, Python and R
- document experience of publishing as first author in international peer-reviewed journals.
Interested applicants should provide a short research proposal (max.
3 pages), outlining potential avenues for research related to the focus
of the position. Please see the section below about the application
procedure for the further formal requirements for the application.
The DATALAB – Center for Digital Social Research
The position will be affiliated with DATALAB – the Center for Digital Social Research (www.datalab.au.dk).
With an interdisciplinary team, the centre is based on the vision that
technology and data systems should maintain a focus on people and
society and support the principles of democracy, human rights and
ethics. The centre is led by Professor Anja Bechmann under the Faculty
of Arts. You can find further information about DATALAB at http://datalab.au.dk/ and more information on NGI at https://ngi.eu and SOMA at http://www.disinfobservatory.org/.
The Department of Media and Journalism Studies
the position will be rooted at department of Media and Journalism
Studies at School of Communication and Culture. Grounded in its
historical blending of research traditions within the humanities and
social sciences, the department carries out research and teaching which
examines interactions, content, organisation, functioning and uses of
media and journalism in current and historical perspectives in private,
public, national and international contexts. The Department of Media and
Journalism Studies at Aarhus University is one of the nine departments
that make up the School of Communication and Culture in the Faculty of
Arts. The research environment is characterised by extensive
participation in international research projects, well-established
international research networks as well as participation in
international conferences. In the QS World University Ranking system,
communication and media studies at Aarhus University has consistently
ranked in the top 50 since 2012 and is currently ranked 35 in the world.
Prospective applicants are invited to view the department’s website: https://cc.au.dk/en/about-the-school/departments/media-and-journalism-studies/
School of Communication and Culture
school belongs to the Faculty of Arts. You will find relevant
information about the school, its programmes, departments, and diverse
activities on its website.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Professor Anja Bechmann, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org prior to submitting their application to learn more about the tasks.
you need help uploading your application or have questions about the
recruitment process, please contact HR supporter, Helle Sindal, e-mail: email@example.com.
Place of work
place of employment is DATALAB – Center for Digital Social Research at
Department of Media and Journalism Studies, Helsingforsgade 14, 8200
Aarhus N, Denmark.
International applicants are encouraged to see Attractive working conditions
for further information about the benefits of working at Aarhus
University and in Denmark, including healthcare, paid holidays and, if
relevant, childcare and schooling. Aarhus University offers a broad
variety of services for international researchers and accompanying
families, including a relocation service and career counselling for expat partners. For information about taxation, see Taxation aspects of international researchers’ employment by AU.
Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU.
Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent academic qualifications.
Faculty of Arts refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities (the Appointment Order).
All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.
University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme
targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more
about it here: http://talent.au.dk/junior-researchers-at-aarhus-university/the-junior-researcher-development-programme/
Faculty of Arts
The Faculty of Arts is one of four main academic areas at Aarhus University.
The faculty contributes to Aarhus University’s research, talent development, knowledge exchange and degree programmes.
With its 500 academic staff members, 260 PhD students, 10,500 BA and
MA students, and 1,500 students following continuing/further education
programmes, the faculty constitutes a strong and diverse research and
The Faculty of Arts consists of the School of
Communication and Culture, the School of Culture and Society, the Danish
School of Education, and the Centre for Teaching Development and
Digital Media. Each of these units has strong academic environments and
forms the basis for interdisciplinary research and education.
faculty’s academic environments and degree programmes engage in
international collaboration and share the common goal of contributing to
the development of knowledge, welfare and culture in interaction with
Read more at arts.au.dk/en
3 March 2020
The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University’s website.
Read the job description at the university homepage
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at www.international.au.dk/
Post expires on Tuesday March 3rd, 2020