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  3. Postdoctoral position within Research Priority Area Personalised Communication 2

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Postdoctoral position within Research Priority Area Personalised Communication 2

The Amsterdam School of Communication Research ASCoR and the Institute for Information Law (IvIR) currently have postdoctoral vacancies as part of the RPA …

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Spui, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
32 - 38 uur
€ 3475 - € 4757 per maand


The Amsterdam School of Communication Research ASCoR and the Institute for Information Law (IvIR) currently have postdoctoral vacancies as part of the RPA project, directed by Prof. Claes de Vreese and Prof. Natali Helberger.

'Personalised communication' is a term that captures one of the key developments in present-day digital communication. It is a phenomenon that presents a number of advantages, disadvantages and challenges, which we will examine in this research programme. On the one hand, profiling users and targeting them with customised messages may present a solution to certain challenges created by modern media, such as information overload and ensuing attention scarcity. Through personalised content, search results and applications (apps), consumers’ consumption patterns and profiles can be analysed individually; health information can be targeted to improve certain lifestyle choices and manage diseases; and political information can be adjusted to individual voter profiles. On the other hand, personalised communication can manipulate or bias information which, in the worst case, can deprive people of access to more meaningful or more diverse information. This can have a number of worrying effects or conflict with values such as our right to privacy and freedom of expression. Furthermore, personalised communication offers unprecedented opportunities for unfair stereotyping, discrimination and social sorting.

The RPA in its first years has generated a broad basis of scientific knowledge and is currently looking for a Postdoctoral researcher with a communication science background interested in the areas of news, politics, and democracy.

The researcher will:

  • conduct (interdisciplinary) legal research;
  • develop concepts to be tested empirically;
  • work with existing data sets (survey data, tracking data);
  • design and collect new data fitting within the project themes;
  • work in the broader Personalised Communication team;
  • complete scientific papers on this topic;
  • contribute to the public debate, and organising outreach activities of the project;
  • contribute to fundraising activities at the ASCoR/IvIR and the project.

The position is 32 to 38 hours (0.8-1.0 FTE) per week. An 0.8 appointment, possibly with .2 FTE teaching time.


The candidate should have:

  • a clear research interest in the topic of the project (documented by publications and grant applications);
  • a relevant background in communication science or other relevant social science area like political science, sociology or psychology;
  • the ability, willingness, and commitment to do autonomous work in a multidisciplinary team, including communication scholars, legal scholars, and data scientists;
  • experience with writing grant applications and project proposals;
  • experience with organising workshops, lecture series, and similar events;
  • strong communication skills and experience with speaking to relevant national and international policy forums and media;
  • an excellent written and spoken command of English, as demonstrated by publications in English-language journals (written and spoken command of other languages, including French, German and/or Dutch is a plus);
  • a relevant PhD degree. Candidates who are due to submit their dissertation before 1 September 2018 are welcome to apply.


The position preferably starts 1 September 2018. It concerns, in principle, a two-year period after an initial test period.

For postdoctoral researchers the monthly gross salary, depending on your knowledge and experience, will range between €3,475 and €4,757 (Scale 11) based on a full-time basis.

We offer a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Additional information

Questions about the application procedure and other general questions may be addressed to:

To apply for this position, please send at least the following documents in English by e-mail to ascor-secr-fmg@uva.nl:

  • a motivation letter, including a brief discussion about how the candidate sees her/his fit with the topic and objectives of the RPA;
  • a curriculum vitae, including publication list and overview of academic activities and achievements thus far (e.g., conference visits, courses taken, awards);
  • proof of your PhD degree. If you have not completed your degree at the time of application, please provide a statement from your supervisor confirming the expected date of completion of your degree;
  • an academic writing sample in English (e.g., journal article, PhD dissertation) and
  • a list of names that could be consulted by the RPA as a reference for the candidate (no reference letters required).

Please send all your documents in PDF or doc(x) format. Only complete applications will be considered.

The deadline for applications is 4 April 2018. Please state vacancy number 18-090 in the subject line of your application.


With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences and Faculty of Law

The Research Priority Area Personalised Communication is a collaboration between the Amsterdam School of Communication Research ASCoR and the Institute for Information Law (IvIR). Both research institutes are among the leading in the world.