Assistant Professor (tenure track) in Digital Participation and Social Aspects of AI

Location: AMSTERDAM
FTE: 0,8 - 1

Job description

The position
At the Athena Institute of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam we invite applications for a full-time appointment as assistant professor (tenure-track)* specializing in digital participation and social aspects of AI. Disciplinary areas of specialization might include, but are not limited to the following: science & technology studies, innovation studies, digital sociology, digital humanities. Affinity with sub-fields like material and digital participation and participatory data design are welcome. Methodological areas of specialization might include: natural language processing, machine learning, frame-reflection workshops, ethnography of data, transdisciplinary research methods. Although there are no specific requirements regarding topical areas of specialization, candidates need to relate their work to the five research themes of the Athena Institute; Emerging science and technology; (Global) health and well-being; Nature, agriculture and environment; Competency development in inter- and transdisciplinary research; and History of knowledge. The successful candidate is expected to collaborate with different colleagues in projects across these research themes.

*= subject to national level policy changes

Research approach
In this position you need to empirically study and experimentally shape the role of AI in action-oriented research practices. If you are mainly interested in critical and/or empirical studies of social aspects of AI ‘from the outside’, this position is not for you. While skepticism about the promise of AI is a crucial feature of good digital scholarship, your research approach should primarily be experimental and collaborative, with the aim of inventing new problem-solution packages for societal challenges regarding participation in science and technology, broadly defined. Research at the Athena Institute includes approaches such as STS Making & Doing; Interactive Learning and Action; Reflexive monitoring in action (RMA); and Situated Intervention, that share that issue-articulation and the exploration of directions for solutions are developed in collaboration with a wide range of actors/stakeholders.
 

Requirements

  • A PhD in science, technology & society studies, innovation studies, social AI, cultural AI or a related (inter)discipline;
  • Proven experience with digital methods for studying public issues/challenges/controversies;
  • Experience with participatory research methods and an interest in transdisciplinary research;
  • Proven ability to be a strong collaborator within interdisciplinary teams (listening, flexible, adaptive, pro-active);
  • Strong and relevant publication track-record, commensurate with the candidate’s career stage and complementing and extending the Athena Institute’s research portfolio;
  • Experience with applying for research grants and externally funded projects;
  • Excellent teaching skills and the ability to inspire students (demonstrated through a.o. positive student evaluations);
  • A teaching qualification (in Dutch BKO);
  • An (inter)national network relevant to the position;
  • Good command of Dutch and excellent command of English.

Given the extensive collaboration with both international as well as Dutch partners, a good command of Dutch language is required for the position. Since this appointment is intended to result in a tenured position, strong candidates who can convincingly show their ability to master a good working level of Dutch in a relatively short period of time (e.g. through having lived/worked/studied in the Netherlands or having mastered a similar foreign language before) are welcome to apply.

Please include in the application a cover letter, curriculum vitae, writing sample (fifteen to thirty pages), brief teaching statement, and an item that gives us a sense of you as a teacher (e.g., syllabus, assignment, etc.), as well as the names and contact information for  three references. Applications will be reviewed beginning on November 5, 2021, and continue until the position is filled.

Informal enquiries about the post should be directed in the first instance to dr. Teun Zuiderent-Jerak (teun.zuiderent-jerak@vu.nl). All enquiries will be treated informally and confidentially and will not be considered in the selection decision.
 

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,807 (scale 11)
and a maximum €5,211 (scale 11), depending on your education and experience. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

We offer a tenure track position for the duration of 6 years. After 2 and 4 years the performance will be evaluated in terms of teaching, publication record, and acquisition of project funding (in addition to the annual assessment with your supervisor). After a successful evaluation in your final year, permanent employment will be granted and a path will be outlined for future academic development.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • solid pension scheme (ABP),
  • possibility to save holiday hours, for sabbatical leave,
  • child daycare facilities available on campus

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity
We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.
 

Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences
The position is offered within the Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences. The institute’s mission is to study and design interfaces between science and society to contribute both to a deeper understanding of innovation processes as well as a responsible implementation of research and innovation in society. Athena’s research program amongst other focuses on analysing complex global health challenges, designing interventions and conducting participatory monitoring and evaluation research. The section presently has a position vacant for a Postdoc/Lecturer.
For more information about the Athena Institute visit our website.
 

Application

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 5 November 2021.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Dr. Teun Zuiderent - Jerak
Position: Associate Professor of Transdisciplinary Science & Technology Studies
E-mail: teun.zuiderent-jerak@vu.nl

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Job area: Assistant Professor
Educational Level: Postdoc
VU unit: Faculty of Science
Contract type: Temporary with prospects of permanent employment
Minimum FTE: 0.8
Minimum salary scale: €3,807 (scale 11)
Maximum salary scale: €5,211 (scale 11)
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