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Postdoctoral Scholars

Posted: 11/19/2018 (Employment)

Data & Society is recruiting one to three Postdoctoral Scholars whose work complements research projects currently underway at the Institute and advances our mission. Postdoctoral Scholars will be expected to work with senior research leadership to construct a viable research project that will both advance scholarly knowledge and contribute to the broader goals of Data & Society.

While at Data & Society, Postdocs will conduct original research; publish findings in both scholarly and public-facing venues; and engage with broader constituencies across numerous disciplines and perspectives. Postdocs are expected to be active members of the Data & Society community–participating in seminars, research exchange, and events; supporting peers in research development; and helping translate scholarly knowledge for a wide range of stakeholders.

Applicants will be asked to propose a potential postdoctoral research project. Candidates should be aware that Data & Society postdoc projects are co-constructed by the Postdoc and the Data & Society team, attentive to constraints in funding and strategic goals. With this in mind, applicants are especially encouraged to envision empirical research projects that address one or more of the following questions:

  • How are machine learning, artificial intelligence, and related technologies being applied in a particular domain? How might examining that domain and application help inform broader understandings of the future of work or labor, health outcomes, media and disinformation, or public institutions?
  • How are the intended and unintended applications of data-centric technologies reconfiguring geopolitics, informed citizenry, or assumptions about political, governance or financial systems?
  • How are long-standing inequalities reinforced, amplified, or remedied by new data-driven technologies?

Current research initiatives at Data & Society include:

Additionally, we continuously undertake exploratory work on new topics. Data & Society prioritizes postdoctoral scholars who are embarking on ambitious empirical research projects that address complex sociotechnical questions. We are looking for researchers who have strong methodological and theoretical foundations and experience doing fieldwork or data collection at the intersection of technology and society.


  • Candidates for this position should have a strong background in Science and Technology Studies (STS) or adjacent fields and a penchant for empirical research.
  • Candidates may hold a PhD in any number of disciplines, including anthropology, communication, information studies, media studies, and sociology; and take any empirical methodological approach. Candidates who can move across fields and methods are strongly preferred.
  • Candidates must have received their PhD in 2016-2019 (conferred by August 2019, when the Data & Society appointment begins).

Successful candidates will have a well-established research track record as demonstrated by journal publications and conference papers, as well as other scholarly experience (e.g., participation on program committees, running workshops, etc.). The ideal candidate may be trained in any number of disciplines but should have a strong empirical foundation; be interested in questions related to technology or the Internet and society or culture; and be interested in working in a highly interdisciplinary environment that includes computer scientists, lawyers, social scientists, journalists, and advocates. Candidates should enjoy working on collaborative teams, mentoring junior researchers, and engaging broad audiences with research.

Practical Considerations

  • You will be expected to work from the Data & Society office in NYC at least four days a week, unless traveling for pre-approved fieldwork, conferences, or meetings.
  • You will be expected to contribute to the life of Data & Society through active engagement in and hosting of events, seminars, reading groups, and other cross-topical activities.
  • You will receive a competitive annual salary for this position, as well as a laptop and $2,000 for conference travel and materials. Additional research budget will depend on the project.
  • You will be offered a generous benefits package including health insurance, vacation time, and paid holidays. You must be eligible to work in the United States; we are unable to sponsor visas.
  • Postdoc positions are typically one to two years in length, depending on the scope of project and the career trajectory of the scholar.
  • Postdocs will start September 2019 (earlier start dates are possible, depending on the needs of the research and project).

Application Process

To apply for a Data & Society Postdoctoral Scholar position, we ask you to complete an application at Submittable. You’ll be submitting information about yourself and your work to date, including:

  • A cover letter describing your current research agenda, your dissertation topic, and your planned research and professional trajectory. Also, indicate your desired start date and position length and when you received/will receive your PhD.
  • Two journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, or equivalent writing samples.
  • Your CV.
  • The names, affiliations, and email addresses of three recommenders.
  • A one to two page proposal for a potential research project that you’d like to pursue while at Data & Society. (If you have multiple projects in mind, please feel free to send two distinct proposals.) Your proposal should describe the research question, field site/data, methodology, and potential implications of doing this research project, as well as the connection to Data & Society’s mission and research priorities.

Note that references will automatically receive an email from Submittable, the application platform, prompting them to submit a letter of reference to Data & Society. Please make sure your references whitelist

If you are interested in applying to be a Data & Society Faculty Postdoctoral Scholar, please complete the application form by December 6, 2018.

Feel free to contact should you have any questions about the position. Questions about the opportunity or process will not reflect negatively on your application.

Applications are due December 6, 2018.

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Deadline: 12/06/2018

Location: Data & Society