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Senior Researcher Computational Social Science

Senior Researcher Computational Social Science

The following position is vacant at the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute – Position available immediately: Senior Researcher Computational Social Science (m/w/d) (salary grade 14 TV-L)

The Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI) in Hamburg is one of the leading media research institutes in Europe. The institute investigates media change and the associated structural transformations in public communication. It combines fundamental research and the transfer of knowledge from a cross-media, interdisciplinary, and independent scientific perspective. In addition to ambitious scientific work, the institute offers internal training programs and integration opportunities with (inter)national research networks.

From 2020 onwards, HBI will pool and expand its methodological competencies in a "Media Research Methods Lab" (MRML). The MRML will focus on linking established social science methods with novel computational methods (for example, automated content analysis/natural language processing, image recognition, network analysis, log data analysis, experience sampling, and machine learning). This can also include work in the areas of regulatory science such as case law, the analysis of text corpora, and the ethical-legal components of data collection and evaluation procedures. In addition to delving into further methodological development, the lab will focus on the transfer of specialist knowledge within the institute and to the wider scientific community as well as to other HBI stakeholders. Together with Dr. Sascha Hölig, the successful candidate will be expected to manage the MRML and further develop its conceptual direction.

Key responsibilities:

  • Independent scientific work, in particular on methodological questions at the intersection of computational social science and media research
  • Collaboration on interdisciplinary research projects
  • Active acquisition of third-party funding
  • Management and coordination of tasks within the "Media Research Methods Lab”
  • Participation in other internal committees related to the institute and the editorial work for "Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft” (scientific journal published by HBI)

Your profile:

  • A PhD in Communication Studies, Media Studies, Journalism, Computer Science, Information Science, Data Science, Statistics or another subject related to Computational Social Science
  • Proven excellent knowledge and experience in the field of communication and media research as well as computational social science, for example, in the development and application of:
    • social analytics
    • (social) network analysis
    • natural language processing
    • data mining and web scraping
    • machine learning
  • advanced programming knowledge and experience in Python and/or R and/or C++
  • experience working with cloud computing (e.g., OpenStack, AWS and/or Google Cloud), UNIX-based operating systems, relational databases (including SQL skills), and popular social media APIs
  • Experience in and enthusiasm for scientific work within complex, interdisciplinary teams
  • English language skills to at least at C1 level and a willingness to acquire corresponding German language skills in the medium term
  • In addition, an interest in communicating our scientific methods and findings to a non-academic audience as well as a proven track record in independent project acquisition and management within or outside scientific institutions would be desirable.
Employment, remuneration, and social benefits are based on the collective agreement for German civil service employees (TV-L). The position is for 39 hours per week and is initially limited to (up to) five years, taking into account the German law on fixed-term academic contracts (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz WissZeitVG[1]). The transformation into a permanent position is possible and is an intended outcome.

We welcome diversity at HBI and are more than open to applications from people with a migration background. Persons with disabilities or chronic illness have priority over applicants who do not have preferential rights under the law and who have the same aptitude, qualifications, and professional achievements.

The Hans Bredow Institute advocates gender equality and aims to increase the proportion of women in academia. Applications from women are, therefore, expressly welcome; women will be given preferential consideration if they have the same aptitude, qualifications and professional performance.

Contact us:

Dr. Sascha Hoelig ([email protected]) will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

How to apply:

Please send your application with a cover letter, a scientific CV and up to five (links to) examples of your work  in .pdf format with the subject header "SW19-11" by 15.01.2020 to: [email protected].

Please note that your application documents will be processed and stored during the application process. We can reimburse travel costs to interviews in accordance with the regulations of the Hamburg Travel Expenses Act.


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