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  3. PhD Scholarship Rediscovering the ‘local’ in knowledge infrastructures 1.0 FTE

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PhD Scholarship Rediscovering the ‘local’ in knowledge infrastructures 1.0 FTE

Applications are welcome on the topic of the ‘local’ in knowledge infrastructures.

In the past two decades, major societal challenges such as climate change, land degradation or loss of biodiversity have been formulated through large-scale and centralized systems for global d

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Arbeidsvoorwaarden

Standplaats:
Broerstraat, Groningen, Groningen
Dienstverband:
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
Salarisindicatie:
€ 2249 - € 2249 per maand
Opleidingsniveau:
WO

Functieomschrijving

Applications are welcome on the topic of the ‘local’ in knowledge infrastructures.

In the past two decades, major societal challenges such as climate change, land degradation or loss of biodiversity have been formulated through large-scale and centralized systems for global data. But recent calls for disaggregation and localisation of data point to the need to produce, handle and use data differently. This call for the local to be considered is fueled by greater use of techniques such as remote sensing, geo-location and visualisations, as well as by the need to engage local actors (concerned citizens, indigenous groups, coalitions, local decision-makers), and to pursue knowledge differently (open science practices including Free and Open source software, crisis of trust in science). Yet, STS has shown the persistence of the local and the importance of context in even the most abstracted data. How can these calls for the local be reconciled with decades of scholarship that insists that data have always been local? This project will explore this tension empirically, using an STS approach to examine the creation of knowledge, drawing on the tradition of infrastructure studies and critical data studies. Ethnographic research, in combination with other methods, will be especially relevant for this project.

The PhD project will focus on this topic, addressing questions such as

• How does the local become articulated in knowledge infrastructure, and how does it relate to dominant digital epistemologies such as the global or the universal when it comes to data?
• Which epistemic practices and structures shift as knowledge infrastructures also embrace the local? And how does the local level actively shape global-level data?
• How can KI contribute to recent calls for de-aggregation of data from the level of populations to the level of groups, and for localization of data (to city, to region)? How is the implementation of disaggregation and localisation increasingly important in the context of climate mitigation or of different types of preparedness?
• Given the strength of global and national-level institutions in the production of data, which new capacities, designs and interfaces are needed in order for the local to be produced as an actionable object? How are the SDGs and their indicators shaping usable data at the local scale?
• Which advantages and which risks arise through increased attention to the local?
• Does ‘the local’ invoke different trust mechanisms in relation to knowledge infrastructures?
• How can evidence of local influences and local effects be incorporated in models that have traditionally been oriented to more global scales? How can these contribute to more local predictions? How can we ensure interoperability across scales?

The PhD project will be part of the Department Knowledge Infrastructures. Collaboration with the Department Global and Local Governance can be developed. PhD candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School Campus Fryslân (GSCF) and in WTMC, the Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture, and can benefit from affiliation with other faculties at the University of Groningen. Depending on profile and interest, the candidate can play a role in the development of the new bachelor programme Data Science and Society.

Functie-eisen

The candidate should have the following qualifications:
• Master’s degree in Science and Technology Studies, Anthropology/Sociology of Science, or similar field
• very good record of undergraduate and graduate studies
• willingness to engage with an interdisciplinary academic department that spans the natural and social science
• highly developed conceptual capacity and analytical skills
• very good command of spoken and written English
• very good collaborative working skills
• presentation skills
• planning and organizing skills
• strong motivation to complete a PhD dissertation in four years
• research experience, affinity with ethnographic methods and knowledge of Dutch are assets.


Conditions

The PhD Scholarship student will be enrolled in the PhD Scholarship Programme and receives a scholarship of €2,249 per month (gross) from the University of Groningen. For more information on the RUG PhD scholarship programme and its benefits please check the website at https://www.rug.nl/education/phd-programmes/phd-scholarship-programme/conditions-application/.

The PhD Scholarship contract is offered for four years. Prolongation of the contract after year 1 is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected.

A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty. As part of the programme, the PhD student will take part in the Career Perspectives Series, which provides a thorough preparation on the career after the PhD, inside or outside academia. During the course of the doctorate, the PhD candidate will develop research and teaching competencies as well as leadership skills through a tailor-made programme from the GSCF.

Additional information

Prof. dr. J.A. Beaulieu, Department of Knowledge Infrastructures, Campus Fryslân
j.a.beaulieu@rug.nl

Dr J. Houtman, Coordinator of the Graduate School Campus Fryslân
j.houtman@rug.nl

University of Groningen
Campus Fryslân