[Air-L] Vacancy: PhD position in the area “Computational Social Science” at ZeMKI, University of Bremen

Leif Kramp kramp at uni-bremen.de
Tue Mar 3 06:51:37 PST 2020

1 x 1,0 PhD position (f/m/d) in the area “Computational Social Science”

The Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) at the University of Bremen is offering a 3-year PhD position (f/m/d) – under the condition of job release – which will be based in the Computational Communication and Democracy (CCD) Lab and will be co-sponsored by the Information Management and Media Technology (IMMT) Lab (Department of Mathematics and Computer Science). The PhD student will work with the lab directors, Prof. Yannis Theocharis and Prof. Andreas Breiter on the broader thematic area Computational Social Science.

Description of the position

Duration: 3 years
Starting date: as soon as possible
Remuneration is based on grade E13 TV-L (100%, full-time position) of the German federal employee scale

Writing a PhD Thesis focusing on one of the research areas of the labs
Research in the field of political communication, based on computational methods such as text-as-data, network and image analysis
Research on new methodological approaches with focus on machine-learning and natural language processing
Teaching assistance in computational methods for social scientists (study programs at Faculty 9) and machine learning models in informatics and educational technologies (Faculty 3)
Description of teaching duties: The position involves 4 hours of teaching per week.

Essential qualifications

Master’s Degree in Media and Communication, Political Science and/or Sociology with a strong focus on computational methods, or in Computer Science and Digital Media with a strong focus on social phenomena  
Skills in quantitative methods
Skills in computational methods (a focus on text-as-data methods – especially automated text analysis and machine-learning – is a plus)Proven experience with R, Python, Ruby, Java, or equivalent object-oriented programming language
Interest in political communication
Experience with social media data analysis is desirable
Strong command of English (C1), in German at least B2
Candidates who already hold a PhD degree will not be considered.

The University of Bremen has received a number of awards for its diversity policies and offers a family-friendly working environment as well as an international atmosphere. The University of Bremen intends to increase the proportion of women in science and therefore urges women to apply. Handicapped applicants with the same professional and personal suitability are given priority. Applications from people with a migration background are encouraged.
For any questions please contact Yannis Theocharis at: yannis.theocharisuni-bremen.de <>  


The application should include the following documents:

A 2-page letter of motivation. Page 1 should describe your research interests and explain why you believe your profile fits with the main objectives and mission of the ZeMKI Labs. Page 2 should briefly sketch the topic of the PhD project you’d like to pursue.
A copy of your academic certificates and transcripts
A writing sample (research paper, publication, or Master’s thesis)
Names of two referees
Please send your application including the reference number A4/20 until 31 March 2020 to:

Universität Bremen
Zentrum für Medien-, Kommunikations- und Informationsforschung (ZeMKI)
Frau Denise Tansel
Postfach 33 04 40
28334 Bremen

Or as PDF via Email (single file) at: dtanseluni-bremen.de <>
The employment is fixed-term and serves the scientific qualification, governed by the Act of Academic Fixed-Term Contract, §2 (1) (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz). Therefore, candidates may only be considered for appointment if they still have the respective qualification periods available in accordance with § 2 (1) WissZeitVG.

About the Computational Communication and Democracy Lab
The Lab’s substantive research agenda is driven by the idea that the proliferation of digital media opens up new avenues for social and political interaction that have radical effects on democratic processes: participation, organisation, representation. As such, digital communication offers opportunities, but also poses enormous challenges that fundamentally affect the quality of our democracies. Relying on developments in the field of computational social science as a point of departure, the Lab’s is also interested in methods through which new types of digital information can be processed and repurposed for studying a variety of social and political phenomena enabled by digital technologies. The lab has two main goals. First, to lead research on different but interdependent substantive topics for understanding, the social and political impact of digital communication and address methodological and epistemological issues related to conceptualisation, operationalisation, measurement and inference. Second, to offer BA, Masters, and PhD students a path for specialisation in computational and data science methods, with applications to communication and media research.

About the Information Management and Media Technologies Lab
The Lab combines theoretical research on the change of organizations (particularly in the education sector and in connection with mediatisation) with application-oriented research and the development of media technologies. The lab integrates the perspectives of informatics and social sciences. The underlying assumption is that the change of organisations with and through media technologies can only be studied by an empirically substantiated understanding of the particular application context. Accordingly, a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods is used in the research projects with a focus on computational social science.

About the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI)
As an inter-faculty research institute, the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) bundles research activities at the University of Bremen in the area of media and communicative change regarding a broad range of cultural, social, organisational and technological context fields. The research institute is committed to interdisciplinary cooperation, integrating researchers from the areas of media and communication studies, cultural studies, information management and media pedagogics. In addition to their research activities, ZeMKI members are active in the various media related study programmes at the University of Bremen. The ZeMKI oversees the profile-building research group "Communicative figurations of mediatized worlds" of the University of Bremen. The research group has been supported as a "Creative Unit" by the institutional strategy "Ambitious and Agile" of the University of Bremen funded within the frame of the Excellence Initiative by the German Federal and State Governments.


More information about the Air-L mailing list