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Job: Postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University

The History Department (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) of the Maastricht University (UM) is seeking a post-doc researcher for its “NanoBubbles” project. This is a 48-month contract.

Research project

The NanoBubbles ERC Synergy project’s objective is to understand how, when and why science fails to correct itself. The project’s focus is claims made within the field of nanobiology. Project members combine approaches from the natural sciences, computer science, and the social sciences and humanities (Science and Technology Studies) to understand how error correction in science works and what obstacles it faces. For this purpose, the project aim to trace claims and corrections through various channels of scientific communication (journals, social media, advertisements, conference programs, etc.) via both qualitative and digital methods. More information can be found here: https://nanobubbles.hypotheses.org/

Your part of the project will be to apply digital humanities approaches to the study of how claims and counter-claims do (or don’t) move through different contexts of scientific work (laboratories, conferences, funding agencies, start-up companies, etc.). You will also be responsible for integrating digital humanities approaches with the qualitative methods (ethnography, archival research) and sources that the other Maastricht project members will employ; and you will work with members of the project at other universities who experts in computer science and library science to refine their, and your, digital humanities/social science techniques.

Job description

This is an exciting opportunity to join a highly interdisciplinary research team working at the forefront of Science and Technology Studies, Digital Humanities, ethics of/in research, and nanoscience.

You will :

  • Help identify key communication channels within science (both past and present) where digital methods can be applied in tracing claims and counter-claims.
  • Apply digital tools and methods (scripting and coding such as NLP) for elaborating historical and ethnographic understanding of debates arising from data in scientific conferences, archives, interviews, and social media (e.g., tweets related to recent conferences; conference monitors’ reports from older conferences; post-publication peer review comments).
  • Coordinate OCRization of sources gathered by Maastricht University members of the project (you will set up an infrastructure and provide training so that other Maastricht project members and student assistants can carry out OCRization); work with personnel at other NanoBubbles sites to maintain best practices for OCRization across the entire project.
  • Develop scripts using Python or R to interrogate the data, linking the diverse data sources to data gathered (throughout the NanoBubbles project) on the movement of claims and counter-claims through journal articles, social media, grant proposals, patents and other sources.
  • Work closely with the NanoBubbles PhD candidate and co-PI at Maastricht University to meld historical, ethnographic, and digital approaches to the study of scientific conferences.
  • Work closely with NanoBubbles team members outside Maastricht (affiliated primarily with sociology, computer science, and library science) to broaden the acceptance and applicability of data-driven claim-tracing tools and methods to a variety of new sources. These colleagues will provide some training; further training opportunities will be available both at Maastricht University and elsewhere.
  • Write and co-author academic publications together with other members of the team.
  • Plan and participate in team meetings as well as other project-based events and activities.

Requirements

You have:

  • A completed PhD in Science and Technology Studies, Digital Humanities, Sociology, History, or related field
  • Methodological experience in digital methods
  • Experience with organizing workshops, lecture series, and/or similar events.
  • Excellent written and spoken command of English, as demonstrated by academic publications and presentations at international conferences.
  • A willingness to contribute proactively to the development of the NanoBubbles project.
  • Good skills in managing your time and your research activities.
  • Experience in teaching at the BA or MA level.

The position is 0,8 fte research and 0,2 fte teaching. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences offers a BA Digital Society and an MA Digital Cultures as well as one- and two-year STS master’s programmes and a BA Arts and Culture. Information on those and other FASoS teaching programmes can be found on our website. Other faculties at Maastricht University also host programmes, such as the BA Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, that provide teaching opportunities closely related to your expertise.

Additional Information

Starting date: 1 January 2022

It is a 4-year full-time appointment as Post-Doctoral Researcher. Initially, you will be employed on a 1-year contract as Postdoctoral Researcher (researcher level 3 – onderzoeker 3) and agree to specific development goals. After a positive assessment the position will be extended for the remaining 3 years.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels, depending on education and relevant work experience, in salary scale 11 (about € 3.807,00 gross per month, based on a fulltime appointment) according to the collective labour agreement (CAO) of Dutch Universities (UFO-Profile Researcher level 3).
Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you might be eligible for an allowance for alternative housing.

Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave.

You will be provided with shared office space and a PC.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl >

Further information

Any inquiries about the position or the details of the project may be addressed to the co-principal investigator: prof. dr. Cyrus Mody (c.mody@maastrichtuniversity.nl)

Website for additional job details and to apply