Postdoctoral Researcher Citizenship, Democracy and Social Media

Amsterdam, Netherlands
€3,545 to €4,852 gross per month, based on 38 hours per week
05 Sep 2018
End of advertisement period
23 Sep 2018
Contract Type

Amsterdam Law School – Institute for Information Law

Publication date 1 August 2018
Level of education PhD
Salary indication €3,545 to €4,852 gross per month, based on 38 hours per week
Closing date 23 September 2018
Hours 32 to 38 hours per week
Vacancy number 18-475

The Institute for Information Law (IViR), officially established in 1989, is one of the largest research centers in the field of information law in the world. Our Institute employs over 25 researchers who are active in an entire spectrum of information society related legal areas: intellectual property law, telecommunications and broadcasting regulation, media law, Internet regulation, advertising law, domain names, freedom of expression, privacy, digital consumer issues, commercial speech, et cetera. We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher (0,8 or 1,0 fte) to do research on 'Citizenship, Democracy & Social Media' within the context of the VSNU research program Digital Society. You will initiate and engage in research projects, in close cooperation with other (interdisciplinary) team members, be active in the communication of research results and the acquisition of funding and help to build a strategic agenda for the program line 'Citizenship and Democracy', coordinated by the University of Amsterdam, The University of Groningen and Tilburg University.

Job description

The Digital Society

Digital information technology is becoming ever more deeply and rapidly entrenched in our society. Extensive digitalisation is set to radically change practically all aspects of society, not only in the Netherlands but throughout the world.

The Netherlands is a compact, highly developed, well-organised country with excellent physical and digital infrastructures. The academic research conducted at our universities is of high quality across the board. Furthermore, our researchers are highly experienced in crossing the boundaries between disciplines and institutions. This unique combination of characteristics creates an equally unique opportunity for the Netherlands: to lead the world in the creation of effective connections between digital technology, people and their societies.

In the years ahead, Dutch universities will work together towards this common goal. They will further combine the existing wealth of research in this field and focus it on a clear, common profile. As a corollary of the National Science Agenda, Dutch universities want to invest in cutting-edge research together with other knowledge institutions, the business sector and the government.

Citizenship & Democracy

The program line 'Citizenship and Democracy' focuses on identifying and better understanding the challenges from AI and digital technologies for democracy, improving decision-making and realising the opportunities for digital citizenship. It acknowledges that datafication, artificial intelligence, algorithms and other digital technologies have profoundly changed the way citizens inform themselves and participate in democratic debate. New ways of filtering, aggregating, and distributing information, new players and platforms, and changing news consumption have created opportunities and challenges. The digital turn can reduce social exclusion and advance social cohesion, active participation and the formation of national, cultural, and religious identities. At the same time, digitalisation has increased the risk of misinformation and polarisation, and challenges fundamental societal values such as diversity, inclusion, and privacy. The global scope of digital communication questions the effectiveness of national and international systems of governance. This programme will make an important contribution to reinvigorating institutions that are vital for democratic participation, economic prosperity and the rule of law.

For more information, please check the website of the digital society.


If you are the successful candidate, you:

  • have a proven affinity with the topic;
  • have a PhD in a relevant field (e.g. law, communication science political science, media studies, political philosophy);
  • have an excellent scientific publication record in relevant journals;
  • have strong organizational, communication and team working skills;
  • have experience working in interdisciplinary environments, and working with societal actors- ideally, has experience with organizing and coordinating cooperation between universities and research groups across disciplines;
  • ideally, have a solid knowledge of Dutch funding and international funding sources;
  • Ideally, have a broad network nationally and internationally;
  • have an excellent command of the Dutch and English language.

Further information

You may address questions about the project content to:

  • Professor Natali Helberger


The position is full-time but there is an option to make this a 0.8 FTE position. The position preferably starts between 1 November 2018 and 1 January 2019. It concerns, in principle, a position of up to two years, after an initial test period. For postdoctoral researchers the monthly gross salary, depending on your knowledge and experience, will range between €3,545 and €4,852 (Scale 11) based on a full-time basis. We offer a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

To apply for this position, please send at least the following documents in English to

  • a motivation letter, including a brief discussion about how you see your fit with the topic and objectives of the Citizen & Democracy line of the VSNU Digital Society Agenda;
  • a curriculum vitae, including publication list and overview of academic activities and  achievements thus far (e.g., conference visits, courses taken, awards);
  • an academic writing sample in English (e.g., journal article, PhD dissertation) and
  • a list of names that could be consulted as a reference (no reference letters required).

Please send all your documents in PDF or doc(x) format. We will consider only complete applications.

The deadline for applications is 23 September 2018. Please state vacancy number 18-475 in the subject line of your application. LI-DNP