Postdocs in Social Sciences/STS/Philosophy and Ph.D. Student in Sociology/Social Anthropology/STS

Brno, Czech Republic
16 Jan 2023
End of advertisement period
20 Feb 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department: Department of Sociology – Faculty of Social Studies
Deadline: 20 Feb 2023
Start date: May 2023 (negotiable)
Job type: full-time
Job field: Science and research

MASARYK UNIVERSITY The Dean of Faculty of Social Studies OPENS 3 POSITIONS 2 Postdocs in social sciences/STS/philosophy 1 Ph.D. student in sociology/social anthropology/STS

Working time: full time

Application deadline: 20 February 2023

Start date: 1 May 2023 (negotiable)

We seek highly motivated researchers for two postdoctoral and one doctoral positions in EMOROB, a research project Robots, Computing the Human, and Autism/Cultural Imaginations of Autism Diagnosis and Emotion AI (principal investigator Eva Šlesingerová, supported by EXPRO of the Czech Science Foundation, 2023-2027).

About the project:

The project EMOROB analyses one of the most important challenges we are facing today - human/robot interaction (HRI). Specifically, the EMOROB explores genealogy of the affective programming and social robotics field which started developing in the early1990s. Here, the imagination relating to diagnosis and treatment of autism have played a crucial role as one of the first application domain of the social robotics. The project aims to explore the field of emotional computing in the context of autism treatment, in particular their cultural metaphors and codes. The main question is: How did the metaphors of social robotics and affective computing used in the context of autism treatment influence and mirror our view of human embodiment, agency, inequalities, and medical treatment itself? To explore this question, the project carries out critical discourse analysis, analysis of international archives and interviews with people in the field. By combining critical discourse analysis with material semiotic analysis, the EMOROB seeks to investigate empirically the dynamics and complexities of affective computing practices. Considering the state of the art of the existing scholarship, the main overall analytical objective of the project is to empirically enrich and theoretically advance our understanding of computing sociality, cultural representations of autism and the social and cultural consequences and backgrounds of emotional robotics in the 21st century. The project aims are: a) to analyse genealogy of the cultural imagery reflecting the diagnosis of autism and human-robot interaction since 1990s, and b) to explore epistemic maps interconnecting autism, robotics and ideas about normality, otherness, more-than-human sociality or social bodies.

You will:

  • Conduct archive research (European and beyond) and digital ethnography on interconnections and cultural imagination of HRI and autism
  • Conduct and transcribe interviews, discuss your findings within our team and analyse data, write papers for peer-reviewed journals, disseminate the results to the general public, present your research at international conferences

Each postdoc is expected to:

  • Have successfully completed their Ph.D., preferably in sociology, social anthropology, STS, philosophy (previous research in the areas of the history of the science/robotics, medical sociology, anthropology and philosophy of HRI, science, health, or posthumanism is an advantage)
  • Have published in English in respected journals or with recognized publishers
  • Work flexibly in an international team (ability to combine research in archives with: attending both in-person workshops and regular online meeting, as well as with possibility of teaching at Department of Sociology/Social Anthropology program) 
  • Ability to work in a team, excellent communication, problem solving skills, time-management skills, ability to work autonomously on the research topic

A prospective doctoral student is expected to:

  • Demonstrate interest in the topic and their research skills
  • Have successfully completed an MA in social anthropology, STS or a social science discipline
  • Ability to work in a team, excellent communication, problem solving skills, time-management skills, ability to work autonomously on the research topic
  • Speak and write in English on a C1 level

We offer:

  • Full-time job (40 hours per week) in Brno. For further information about Brno, please visit:,   or,  or
  • Flexibility in working hours, home office and international fieldwork sites
  • Access to Czech excellent public services and welfare schemes, including health insurance and a good work-life balance support.
  • 50 000 – 55 000 CZK/month gross salary for a postdoc, 35 000 – 38 000 CZK/month gross salary for a doctoral student (median wage in the Czech Republic: 29 123 CZK)
  • Job offer for one year with an expected extension upon mutual satisfaction with the first year
  • Working in an international team on exciting new research, close cooperation with accomplished teams and researchers in Europe and beyond, active support for professional development (knowledge and experience sharing in the team, support in grant applications, a wide range of activities supported by the university – language courses, sports activities, career development plans, etc.)
  • Six weeks (30 working days) of vacation

Necessary documents

  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae summarizing education, positions, research, pedagogical, administrative experiences, and other qualifying activities, career breaks
  • A complete list of publications
  • Motivation letter describing previous research experience and interest in the position, research interests and future career plans
  • A copy of what you consider to be your best academic work to date (only one)
  • Copy of the doctoral/MA qualifications certificate

Please use the electronic application form to apply for your position.

The deadline for submission of applications is 20 February 2023.