Postdoc position “Governing the Digital Society” at Utrecht, Netherlands, May 2022

The Netherlands

Postdoc position “Governing the Digital Society” aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context for candidate with PhD in a field related to the GDS focus area is available at Faculty of Humanities at Utrecht University, Netherlands, May 2022

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General Info

Position: Postdoc
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 2 years
Salary: ranges between € 2,846 and € 4,764

Faculty of Humanities

Utrecht University (UU), the Netherlands


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Qualification Details

Candidates eligible for these postdoc positions will have the following professional and personal qualifications:

  • a completed PhD in a field related to the GDS focus area (e.g., mediastudies, law, governance studies, information science) and preferably a topic that is related to one of the GDS-research aims. The PhD should be approved and preferably defended before October 1, 2022;
  • excellent methodological skills;
  • excellent writing and presentation skills (academic publishing and conferences);
  • a strong interest in cross-disciplinary cooperation as part of Utrecht University’s research community;
  • some experience in non-academic publishing and audience communication.

Responsibilities/Job Description

Utrecht University offers two full-time positions for Postdoctoral researchers for two years (24 months) in the focus area “Governing the Digital Society” (GDS  external link). This interdisciplinary focus area fosters the  collaboration between the Departments of Media and Culture, Law, Governance, and Information Science. The GDS group promotes research on the social processes of datafication, algorithmisation and platformisation. Our basic research inquiry revolves around the question: How to develop and apply principles of (good) governance in digital societies? Applied research based on this question is also welcomed. The postdoc positions will be part of the Spinoza-funded project, led by Prof José van Dijck and will start no later than September 1, 2022.


Postdocs will pursue their own research plan which fits the larger research aims of the GDS group. Projects may differ in scale and scope, but some of the major questions to be addressed in our overall GDS-project are:

  • How can we help public institutions to become more transparent, accountable, and responsible by articulating public values and implementing them into (the design of) their online practices?
  • Which roles should governments, legislators, market actors, and citizens play in governing the digital society? How can important normative, ethical, societal principles of algorithmic design be implemented in governance structures?
  • How can data practices and data resources enable citizens and civil society to make public institutions more transparent and to participate meaningfully in democratic and decision-making processes?
  • How can we help (local, national, supranational) governments and independent institutions (e.g. educational, cultural or media organizations) to make sense of novel data resources and develop interpretative practices?

Please find descriptions of our core team  external linkand Special Interest Group  external linkmembers on the GDSwebsite.


The postdoc positions will be full-time, which means successful candidates can spend 80% of their time on research; they are expected to publish and present research results in the form of policy briefings, reports, articles in international peer reviewed journals, and papers at (inter)national meetings and conferences. In addition, they will spend 20% on professional activities organized in the context of GDS conjunction with members of the GDS team (outreach, teaching/course development, collaborative projects, seminar/conference organization, communication, etc).RESEARCH PLANCandidates are requested to send in a research plan not exceeding 2,000 words, in which they outline:

  • a succinct description of the research question to be pursued, including methodology and (empirical or theoretical) framework;
  • the proposed outcome/deliverable after two years in terms of publications;
  • potential plans for grant applications to be pursued (ERC, NWO);
  • contributions to the overall GDS theme in terms of interdisciplinary collaboration (e.g., staff members you plan to work with, Special Interest Groups you would like to be involved in).

How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: -

Application Procedure

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please submit your application via the 'apply' button below.

About the Organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 6,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city center of Utrecht, where the faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

The Department of Media and Culture Studies supports teaching and research in the fields of film, television, games, new media and digital culture, theatre, dance and performance, gender and ethnicity, musicology and cultural policy. Culture is a dynamic mix of artistic, creative and everyday practices with which people shape their identities and actions, and within which societal structures and institutions take shape. Media (old and new) are crucial factors in these processes.

About the Employer:



We offer a temporary position (0.8 - 1.0 FTE) for a period of two years. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience  - ranges between € 2,846 and € 4,764 (scale 10-11 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, a minimum of 29 leave days per year (for a full-time appointment),  (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information: working at Utrecht University.

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Contact details

For more information about this position, please contact:Prof José van Dijck (Professor), via [email protected]

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