Postdoctoral researcher, “NanoBubbles” at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, History Department at Maastricht University
You are invited to apply for a 4-year postdoctoral position within the “NanoBubbles” project. The project is funded by an ERC Synergy grant awarded to a consortium led by four co-principal investigators at universities in France and the Netherlands; the Maastricht University co-PI is prof. dr. Cyrus Mody.
The NanoBubbles ERC Synergy project’s objective is to understand how, when and why science fails to correct itself. The project’s focus is claims made within the field of nanobiology. Project members combine approaches from the natural sciences, computer science, and the social sciences and humanities (Science and Technology Studies) to understand how error correction in science works and what obstacles it faces. For this purpose, we aim to trace claims and corrections through various channels of scientific communication (journals, social media, advertisements, conference programs, etc.) via both qualitative and digital methods. More information can be found here: https://nanobubbles.hypotheses.org/
Your part of the project will be to apply digital humanities approaches to the study of how claims and counter-claims do (or don’t) move through different contexts of scientific work (laboratories, conferences, funding agencies, start-up companies, etc.). You will also be responsible for integrating digital humanities approaches with the qualitative methods (ethnography, archival research) and sources that the other Maastricht project members will employ; and you will work with members of the project at other universities who experts in computer science and library science to refine their, and your, digital humanities/social science techniques.
This is an exciting opportunity to join a highly interdisciplinary research team working at the forefront of Science and Technology Studies, Digital Humanities, ethics of/in research, and nanoscience.
- Help identify key communication channels within science (both past and present) where digital methods can be applied in tracing claims and counter-claims.
- Apply digital tools and methods (scripting and coding such as NLP) for elaborating historical and ethnographic understanding of debates arising from data in scientific conferences, archives, interviews, and social media (e.g., tweets related to recent conferences; conference monitors’ reports from older conferences; post-publication peer review comments).
- Coordinate OCRization of sources gathered by Maastricht University members of the project (you will set up an infrastructure and provide training so that other Maastricht project members and student assistants can carry out OCRization); work with personnel at other NanoBubbles sites to maintain best practices for OCRization across the entire project.
- Develop scripts using Python or R to interrogate the data, linking the diverse data sources to data gathered (throughout the NanoBubbles project) on the movement of claims and counter-claims through journal articles, social media, grant proposals, patents and other sources.
- Work closely with the NanoBubbles PhD candidate and co-PI at Maastricht University to meld historical, ethnographic, and digital approaches to the study of scientific conferences.
- Work closely with NanoBubbles team members outside Maastricht (affiliated primarily with sociology, computer science, and library science) to broaden the acceptance and applicability of data-driven claim-tracing tools and methods to a variety of new sources. These colleagues will provide some training; further training opportunities will be available both at Maastricht University and elsewhere.
- Write and co-author academic publications together with other members of the team.
- Plan and participate in team meetings as well as other project-based events and activities.
- A completed PhD in Science and Technology Studies, Digital Humanities, Sociology, History, or related field
- Methodological experience in digital methods
- Experience with organizing workshops, lecture series, and/or similar events.
- Excellent written and spoken command of English, as demonstrated by academic publications and presentations at international conferences.
- A willingness to contribute proactively to the development of the NanoBubbles project.
- Good skills in managing your time and your research activities.
- Experience in teaching at the BA or MA level.
The position is 0,8 fte research and 0,2 fte teaching. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences offers a BA Digital Society and an MA Digital Cultures as well as one- and two-year STS master’s programmes and a BA Arts and Culture. Information on those and other FASoS teaching programmes can be found on our website. Other faculties at Maastricht University also host programmes, such as the BA Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, that provide teaching opportunities closely related to your expertise.
Apply via postal mail
Don’t forget to mention AcademicTransfer and the job number: AT2021.352 in your letter.
You are invited to submit:
- A letter of motivation summarising relevant experience and reasons for interest in the position
- A CV including a complete list of publications
- A grade transcript of previous education at Master/graduate level
- PhD degree certificate
- Your best article or book chapter, preferably single-authored
- The contact information of two references (including e-mail; phone number, mailing address, and relationship to the applicant). The references do not need to prepare a letter and will not necessarily be contacted.
Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.
The deadline for submitting your application is 4-10-2021.
Please send your application electronically to the Secretariat of the department History: