Postdoctoral position in digital civil society and volunteering hos Københavns Universitet

Center for Social Data Science (SODAS), Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), invites candidates for a 2-year fixed-term postdoctoral position in digital civil society and volunteering starting on 1 September 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.
SoMeVolunteer: Social Media Enabled Informal Volunteering in Times of Crisis
This scholarship offers a rare opportunity to be member of a research team investigating how society's members organize informally on social media in order to help others during a crisis. In the last couple of decades, social media has created new avenues for organizing civic life, facilitating protest, volunteering, and help in everyday life and in crisis situations. Social media volunteering is generally organized informally, which in contrast to formal volunteering, leaves the assessment of who deserves to be helped at the discretion of the individual helper influenced by the context of social media group norms as well as wider societal discourses. Hence, for informal online volunteering, practices of deservingness is crucial to distribution of help and resources. Funded by the Velux Foundation, the SoMeVolunteer research project focuses on how deservingness is practiced at the levels of 1) general societal discourse, 2) social media group culture, and 3) individual-level interaction between volunteers and needy. These practices are studied in relation to three crisis situations concerning a) Syrian refugees in 2015, b) COVID-19 victims in 2020, and c) Ukrainian refugees in 2022. The project aims to compare how different deservingness practices are of consequence to i) from what segments of the population volunteers are mobilized, ii) the distribution of help, and iii) evaluations of moral and political responsibilities.

Job description

The postdoc will become part of a team consisting of a PhD, a student research assistant, and the project's two PIs, Jonas Toubøl and Hjalmar Bang Carlsen. The project combines data on 1) deservingness attitudes and accounts of participation from survey and in-depth interviews, 2) observed volunteering and helping practices on social media, and 3) public opinions and constructs of deservingness from news media. To utilize this rich collection of data sources, the project combines statistical analyses, machine learning, ethnography, survey experiments, and discourse analysis in order to infer deservingness practices and their consequences.
The postdoc will work closely together with the other members of the research team and in particular on developing and executing the large-scale text analysis of deservingness practices related to social media-enabled volunteering.
The postdoc will be enrolled in a collaborative and interdisciplinary work environment and will be expected to be an active member of the research team. This also entails taking an active part in the academic life of the SODAS research center.

Your Competencies and Opportunities

  • Extensive experience in handling and analyzing large-scale text data.
  • An expert in machine learning applications for the exploration and classification of large-scale text data.
  • The applicant must be fluent in written and spoken Danish to be able to analyze the contents of the project's various empirical sources.
  • Experience from conducting data analysis in both the qualitative and quantitative tradition is an advantage, but not a requirement.
  • The applicant must be motivated to take full advantage of the opportunities to expand the methodological toolbox offered by this project. This said, we do not expect applicants to have experience working with the full array of data types included in this project, but we will make sure that all the necessary competencies are present among the members of the research team.

The postdoc position is a full-time research position and does not involve any teaching obligations. For further information, including more details on the SoMeVolunteer project, please contact Associate Professor Hjalmar Bang Carlsen ([email protected]).

Strategy of the Faculty of the Social Sciences

The Department of Sociology is part of the Faculty of the Social Sciences. The Faculty is a successful academic community that strives to put knowledge into action by:
  • Engaging partners in the co-creation of knowledge, learning, and social change.
  • Empowering our students to become reflective and responsible citizens who have the vision, the knowledge, and the competences to change society for the better.
  • Energising global, European, and Danish communities of knowledge by innovating research methodologies and by research findings with impact.

For more on the Faculty strategy, see: .

Terms of Employment

  • Further information on qualification requirements as postdoc can be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities 2019 here: .
  • Terms of appointment and salary are in accordance with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (Akademikerne).
  • The salary range starts at DKK 36,400 per month + a 17.1 % contribution to the pension scheme. It is possible to negotiate salary supplements on an annual basis.

The recruitment process

Further information on the recruitment process at University of Copenhagen can be found here: .

An Equal Opportunity Workplace

The University of Copenhagen is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to creating an inclusive working environment and therefore encourages all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of personal background, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity, etc. For more on the diverse working place environment at the University and the University’s participation in the HRS4R HR Excellence in Research, see .

International applicant?

The University of Copenhagen offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including support before and during your relocation and career counselling to expat partners. Please find more information about these services as well as information on entering and working in Denmark here: .

Contact information

Information about the recruitment process is available from HR, e-mail: [email protected], please refer to ID number: 211-1784/24-2I.
Additional information about the position can be obtained from associate professor Jonas Toubøl, e-mail: [email protected].

How to apply

Submit a complete application at our online portal. Click on the “Apply now” icon at the bottom of the page to apply. The documents must be in Adobe PDF or Word.
Your application must be written in English and include the following documents:
  • Motivated application
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diploma (master and bachelor)
  • Other relevant material

The closing date for applications is 15 May 2024 23:59 [CEST].
Applications or enclosures received thereafter will not be considered.

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