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PhD position in Science and Technology Studies to work on the ERC-funded project "Processing Citizenship"

University of Twente (UT). Enschede, 12.04.2017

2 PhD positions in Science and Technology Studies to work on the ERC-funded project ’Processing Citizenship’


Function types
Scientific fields
Job number
About employer
PhD positions
Economics, Law, Behaviour and Society
38.0 hours per week
€ 2191 - € 2801
University Graduate
University of Twente (UT)

Job description

The Department of Science, Technology, and Policy Studies (STePS), Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences at the University of Twente is hiring two PhDs in Science and Technology Studies (STS) to join the ERC-funded project ’Processing Citizenship: Digital registration of migrants as co-production of citizens, territory and Europe’ (ProcessCitizenship), with Dr. Annalisa Pelizza as Principal Investigator. The positions are fully-funded, full-time, and require commitment to the project's goals.

Project and work description
’Processing Citizenship’ investigates the information infrastructure for migrant registration at and across European borders, focusing on how citizenship, modernist institutions and territory are co-produced.

Intensifying migration waves are changing EU policies--with Hotspots being set up in frontline countries--but also the way knowledge about migrants, institutions and territory is created. Information systems are key enablers of this knowledge. They materialize legislative, political, administrative dynamics in which citizenship, state and borders are co-produced. ProcessingCitizenship aims to establish information systems as 'interfaces' that make changes in the modern nation state visible. It aims to develop a history of the present that accounts for contemporary materially-embedded practices of registration of migrants at Hotspots as activities of governance transformation.

The project combines border studies and surveillance studies in IT and migration with a materialist performative approach derived from science and technology studies and media geography. Data will be collected and analysed via qualitative and computational techniques.

We offer an interdisciplinary, interactive and international research environment in a leading Science and Technology Studies (STS) department. The PhDs will work as part of a trans-disciplinary team of seven, working under the supervision of the Principal Investigator and three post-docs.


The PhDs will conduct technology-focused qualitative analysis, as well as analyses using computational methods.

Fieldwork research will be conducted mainly at Hotspots for migrant registration in Greece and Italy. It will consist of non-participant observation of identification and registration practices, focusing on the techno-social settings. Interviews with migration officers will also be conducted.
Computational analyses will be conducted through existing and ad hoc developed techniques.

PhDs will receive initial training in STS and information systems, ethnographic methods and interviewing methodologies, plus training in the computational methods developed by the project team. Already possessing some of these skills is a plus.

As part of the team, the PhDs will conduct communication and organizational activities related to the project, and participate in publications and conferences. As doctoral researchers, they will submit a final PhD dissertation, on a topic drawn from their involvement in the project.


The ideal candidates have a master (or equivalent) degree in:
  • profile 1: computer science or communication, including knowledge of the socio-political implications of technologies;
  • profile 2: anthropology, qualitative sociology, human geography or political sciences, including knowledge of the socio-political implications of technologies.
  • Master degree completed by the deadline;
  • Skills in computational and/or qualitative methods for social research;
  • Proficiency in English as working language;
  • Willingness to embark on international fieldwork research;
  • Commitment to the project’s success, willingness to collaborate in a research team and write joint publications;
  • Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to plan one’s work and meet deadlines;
  • Understanding of the potential non-academic impact of the research and ways of engaging with it;
  • Familiarity with management of resources and willingness to accept Horizon2020 administrative and ethical behaviour guidelines;
  • Motorcycle or car driving license, valid in Europe (to reach fieldwork on a daily basis).
  • Linguistic fluency either in modern Greek or Italian;
  • Experience as research assistant, particularly on-field experience;
  • Knowledge of major STS approaches and/or STS literature in information infrastructures;
  • Ability to think across disciplinary boundaries, creating an inclusive and creative culture.
Application procedure

Applications should be submitted via before May 7, 2017 h. 23:59 (CET).

Applications should include:
  • A motivation letter describing to which profile you are applying, why you would be a good fit for this project, and why you wish to embark on a PhD trajectory;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • A description of your PhD research plans (max 1200 words);
  • Email and telephone contact information for two referees (please notify them in advance that they might be contacted).
Only complete applications submitted by the deadline will be taken into consideration.
Interviews will take place in May/June 2017. In case needed, a second round of interviews will be conducted in June 2017. For more information on this position please contact Dr. Annalisa Pelizza (Principal Investigator) a. mailto:

In case of equal qualifications, recruitment will be conducted with an attention to fostering gender, age, linguistic and national diversity. Hence, submissions from international candidates and/or from candidates from academically under-represented groups are welcome.

The University of Twente reserves the right to make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.

Conditions of employment

We offer a full-time contract spanning a period of 4 years. The appointees are expected to take office on September 1st, 2017. The monthly salary starts at € 2.191 gross per month in the first year, leading up to € 2.801 gross per month in the last year.

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labor Agreement for Universities (CAO). Employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.

We offer excellent auxiliary terms of employment, such as professional and personal development programs; a secondary remuneration package; a dynamic environment with enthusiastic colleagues; an organization focusing on internationalization and a high degree of responsibility and independence. Last but not least, the University of Twente combines a unique location at the core of Europe - with major cities easily reachable by train (e.g., Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr Area) - with a truly international academic environment and a high quality of life.


The University of Twente. We stand for science and technology, high tech, human touch, education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programs. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research. The Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences strives to hold a leading position in their fields in relation to the science and technology research programs of the University of Twente. In all these fields, the faculty provides bachelor, master and professional development programs.

Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences The Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS) strives to play a pivotal role in understanding, co-engineering and evaluating innovation in society. Innovation is driven by advances in technology. Through ’social engineering’ these technological advances are embedded in society befitting human needs and behaviour, within proper public and private management and business structures. For this the faculty of BMS upholds high quality disciplinary knowledge in psychology, business administration, public administration, communication science, philosophy, educational science and health sciences. All with a focus on the challenges in society. Research is strongly connected to our Institutes on Governance (IGS), ICT (CTIT), Health (MIRA) and Nanotechnology (MESA+).

The Department of Science, Technology, and Policy Studies (STePS), University of Twente, The Netherlands, takes the assessment and governance of innovations and emerging technologies as its central theme of teaching and research. STePS considers in particular strategic issues that are multidisciplinary: they involve developments in science, technology, politics and society, as well as interaction between them. Studies conducted within STePS link analytical and normative perspectives, and consider not only technological innovations but also innovations in governance (