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Postdoctoral Position in Computational Social Science focused on Social Networks: The Political Economy of Distraction in Digitized Denmark [closing 15.11.20] (BB-EC35A)

Found in: Neuvoo DK

Description:

Applications are invited for a two-year postdoctoral position at the Copenhagen Centre for Social Data Science (SODAS) at the University of Copenhagen in connection with the project “DISTRACT - The Political Economy of Attention in Digitized Denmark.” Employment is scheduled to begin on 1 Feb 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

DISTRACT is an interdisciplinary research project financed by an ERC Advanced Grant. Bringing together an interdisciplinary team and drawing on SODAS’ broad social data science expertise, DISTRACT explores the political economy of distraction in digitized Denmark in order to break new empirical, methodological and theoretical ground in the social scientific study of attention. Combining new data science techniques, including text mining, machine learning, and natural language processing, with classic social science methods such as randomized experiments, social network analysis and ethnographic fieldwork, DISTRACT thus collects, integrates and analyses qualitative and quantitative data on nature and the dynamics of attention in the world’s most digitized country. The projects is divided into four work packagers, each of which involve collaborations private and public partners including LEGO and Foreningen Folkemødet: WP1: Attention Politics, WP2: Software Developers, WP3: Digital Detox and WP 4; Digital Media in Schools. 

The postdoc will join the WP #2 team, which will also be comprised by co-Pi Assoc. Prof. Anders Blok (sociology/SODAS), Ph.D. student Eva Iris Otto (anthropology, who conducts fieldwork in Danish software companies, and one or more student assistants. Under guidance from Assoc. Prof. Blok, the postdoctoral researcher will be responsible for designing and implementing a computational social networks study on how programmers allocate their attention and resultant attention networks on the GitHub software development platform (and possibly related platforms), relating this also to the ethnographic study.

Located in an attractive building on the Social Science campus across from Copenhagen’s Botanical Gardens, SODAS aspires to do cutting-edge and creative interdisciplinary research, teaching and impact in the crossroads between the social sciences and data science. In collaboration with a wide network of partners from UCPH and other universities in Denmark and abroad, as well as private, public and civil society institutions, SODAS is home to several big research projects funded by, among others, the European Research Council, the Carlsberg Foundation and the Villum Foundation. Managed by a director and a steering group, SODAS fully or partly employees four professors, twenty associate and assistant professors and postdocs PhD students as well as a handful of student helpers. SODAS also collaborates closely with digital social science researchers from the Faculty’s five departments involved in social data science and/or teach at the SDS M.Sc. program. Finally, SODAS welcomes a steady flow of guest researchers and research associates from Denmark and aboard.

Job Description and Terms of Employment
The candidate must hold, or be close to holding, a PhD degree in sociology, digital social research, computational social science, network science or a related social science field, and must have expertise in and experience with digital data collection (i.e. scraping), handling of large-scale datasets, and network-statistical description and analysis of relational (and preferably longitudinal) data. Experience with and openness towards interdisciplinary research, and research experience with software development is preferred.

DISTRACT is an intensely collaborative and interdisciplinary project. In addition to being responsible for the computational network study, is therefore expected that the postdoc will work closely with the other researchers who are part of the work package. In joining the wider DISTRACT team, the candidate will also help deliver both research and outreach impacts detailed in the project proposal. The candidate will also be expected to participate in weekly team meetings; to attend/organize research events in Denmark and abroad; to prepare and write own and co-publications; and to help disseminate findings to partners and the public. In addition, the candidate is expected to participate actively in the vibrant academic and social life at SODAS by e.g. attending and organizing seminars, lectures, ad hoc reading groups and data sprints.

Upon employment, the candidate will be offered to take part in SODAS and Faculty career-promoting and mentorship initiatives for postdoctoral researchers. Depending on the nature of the contract, this may include an offer undergo formal university pedagogical training (“adjunkt-pædagogikum”), and the possibility to visit a leading partner institutions abroad (e.g. Duke, Stanford, Chicago) whilst employed at UCPH.

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