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  3. Assistant / Associate Professor Data Science for Life Science Communication (Tenure Track)

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Assistant / Associate Professor Data Science for Life Science Communication (Tenure Track)

Are you highly motivated to understand and advance the use of data science / computational social sciences to address challenges in communicating complex life …

ongeveer een maand geleden


Droevendaalsesteeg, Wageningen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 7054 - € 7054 per maand


Are you highly motivated to understand and advance the use of data science / computational social sciences to address challenges in communicating complex life science topics in dynamic and polarized environments?

The Strategic Communication (COM) group is looking for a hardworking and ambitious assistant / associate professor in Data Science for Life Science Communication. In this position, you are responsible for the coordination, organization, and implementation of new research activities on the application of innovative approaches from data science / computational social sciences in communication research, building a leading international position in this field. We expect you to generate external financial support for an innovative research agenda. Your work has a focus on critical challenges in life science domains such as health (specifically Global One Health), climate change, water, biotechnology, agri-food production, and sustainable consumption. As our new colleague, you will critically explore and contribute to the understanding of how data-driven approaches in digital communication contexts can impact on and contribute to broader individual and collective shifts in these life science domains. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • studying interactions and communication processes in public spheres and social media, especially with regard to understanding digital communication mechanisms and/or strategies of misinformation and post-truth;
  • analyzing the use of machine learning in designing producer - user/consumer interactions;
  • evaluating the reach, resonance, and ethical dimension of data science driven and digital communication campaigns in life science contexts ethical dimension of data science driven and digital communication campaigns in life science contexts.
Furthermore, we challenge you to motivate and teach students and to be involved in innovation of our education. A significant part of the teaching duties includes the development of two courses in the new master specialization 'Data science for health promotion', in cooperation with other chair groups. This interspecialization will be further developed into a full master's program at Wageningen University. You are expected to work with students from various programs, supervise them in the use of data science approaches in communication, and support them in executing coherent research projects. We provide you with training and mentoring in order to accomplish all of this.

You prefer inter- or transdisciplinary approaches and an international orientation. To address current problems and solutions, societal engagement (e.g. with governments, societal actors and researchers) is both a topic for analysis, as well as an approach to work with society in teaching and research projects.

As an assistant / associate professor Data Science for Life Science Communication you are able to navigate between and connect to the interdisciplinary fields of data science/computational social science as well as strategic communication. As such, you feel comfortable with a wide range of perspectives present in both communication science and data science.

Tenure Track is a career path for hardworking scientists who pursue to excel in education and research. We seek to attract scientific talent and to stimulate and support their development.


You are an ambitious scientist and a standout colleague, dedicated to research and education within our broad field of expertise. To further strengthen our group, you:

  • hold a PhD in a relevant social science field- or discipline (e.g. data science, communication science, (social) psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc.);
  • are an inspiring teacher and student supervisor with enthusiasm for teaching and working with students in an international setting;
  • have experience with communication research on online media, including new or social media; and have a proven track record in using innovative approaches from data science for the collection, preparation, and analysis of large text datasets for, e.g., document summarization, web scraping, sentiment analysis, social network analysis, or discourse analysis;
  • have a strong international and interdisciplinary orientation;
  • have an excellent publication record relative to your stage of career;
  • possess the capacity or potential of acquiring, leading and managing externally-funded research projects;
  • are committed to achieve societal impact in relation to global challenges;
  • enjoy to team up with your colleagues and possess good management skills.
This position requires excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.


This challenging career path starts at the level of assistant professor, from which you can grow into an associate professor and furthermore grow to personal professor position. Depending on your experience and track record, you can enter at various levels.

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will be offered a fixed-term, 7 year contract which, upon positive evaluation based on criteria elaborated in the University's Tenure Track policy, can lead to a permanent employment contract as professor. Your salary will depend on expertise and experience and the maximum gross salary for Assistant Professors is €5.922,- per month and for Associate Professors the salary can grow up to €7.054,- per month. Both based on a full working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU).

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the "Best University" in the Netherlands for the 16th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.
Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact dr. Marijn Poortvliet (marijn.poortvliet@wur.nl) or dr. Bob Mulder (bob.mulder@wur.nl).

For more information about the procedure, please contact Sandra Willemsen, Corporate recruiter or Bianca Aversteeg, Recruitment support via recruitment.ssg@wur.nl.

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including the 11th of October, 2021. We hope to schedule the first job interviews as soon as possible after closing date.

We would like to receive your online application with:
  • letter of motivation;
  • curriculum vitae;
  • and your research vision on Data Science & Communication for Lifestyle Change (max 1 A4). You can upload this in the same file as your curriculum vitae.
Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our
inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.