Research Associate in the Department of Digital Humanities

London (Greater) (GB)
£38,304 - £45,026 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Jun 09, 2021
End of advertisement period
Jun 21, 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Research Associate in the Department of Digital Humanities

Job ID: 023845

Salary: £38,304 - £45,026 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance

Posted: 26-May-2021

Closing date: 21-Jun-2021

Business unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department: Digital Humanities

Contact details: Dr. Elisa Oreglia , 

Strand Campus   Research    

Job description  
The ERC-funded project DIGISILK: Digital Infrastructures along the New Silk Road is looking for a post-doctoral researcher with a background in empirical social science and knowledge of the Kazakh/Central Asian tech sector to join a team studying the Chinese initiative Digital Silk Road (DSR) in China, Kazakhstan, Cambodia and Myanmar. The project investigates the DSR from the ground-up and from the compara­tive perspective of businesses, governments and ordinary people. The team employs qualitative and digital methods to understand the politics and values that are embedded in the infrastruc­ture, the services, and the policies that constitute the DSR, and the consequences they have on the daily lives of people, economies and societies in these countries. 

The researcher will focus on Kazakhstan and on the receiving side of the DSR, in particular on the formal (tech companies) and informal (traders’ networks) trade links between Kazakhstan and China, and on the expansion of the Chinese internet (infrastructure, platforms and services) in Kazakhstan and possibly Central Asia. The ideal candidate will have experience in researching the digital sector in Kazakhstan, an existing network of contacts in the tech field in the country, and will be open to collaborative and mixed methods research. The position is based in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London, with extended periods of fieldwork in Kazakhstan. 
This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 24 months

This is a full-time  post - 100% full time equivalent
Key responsibilities

  • Identifying relevant literature, policies, and actors related to the DSR in Kazakhstan and Central Asia
  • Together with the PI, design a qualitative or mixed-methods project to study the DSR in Kazakhstan, in particular among local and international tech companies and on the ground, through concrete DSR projects
  • Carry out field research in Kazakhstan, with possible shorter visits to the other three countries
  • Draft and write papers, individually and as part of the research team
  • Collaborate with other team members to develop a coordinated approach to fieldwork
  • Help to organize workshops and conferences, both in London and in the field sites.
  • Contribute to public outreach in different languages/countries.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, knowledge and experience

Essential criteria 

  1. A PhD or equivalent experience in a relevant discipline in the social sciences/humanities (e.g. information studies, sociology, anthropology, science and technology, etc).
  2. Fluency in Kazakh/Russian
  3. Demonstrated experience researching the digital field in Kazakhstan at any level (tech companies, government, society, etc) , with an existing network of contacts
  4. Demonstrated experience in carrying out independent research
  5. A good knowledge of qualitative methods
  6. A curiosity towards both the empirical and the theoretical aspects of the DSR
  7. A team player

Desirable criteria 

  1. Experience in quantitative/digital and/or mixed research methods
  2. Knowledge of Chinese and/or other languages that have a bearing on the project
  3. An interest in experimenting with methods and research design

Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.