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University Assistant (prae doc) at the Research Platform Governance of digital practices
The University of Vienna (20 faculties and centres, 178 fields of study, approx. 9.800 members of staff, about 90.000 students) seeks to fill the position from 01.10.2020 of a
University Assistant (prae doc)
at the Research Platform Governance of digital practices
Reference number: 10881
The successful candidate will work in an interdisciplinary research team within the Research Platform "Governance of digital practices" led by Professor Barbara Prainsack, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences.
Being advised by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrike Felt and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Barbara Prainsack, the PhD candidate (doctoral student) will pursue a comparative study on knowledge-intensive human work in the age of digital transformation in academic environment.
The doctoral student (‘pre-doc’) will be based in the Department of Science and Technology Studies, but will collaborate with colleagues in all departments and faculties involved in the platform. The post holder will be expected to develop a research project aiming to create an in-depth understanding of how digital transformations have impacted academic work, more specifically a comparative study of digital practices in datafication, data sharing, and automation in academic daily work routines. This could include questions such as the increasing use of artificial intelligence, decision support systems, and sorting tools within research, and their relation to the (quality of) knowledge produced; data sharing practices and changing workplace cultures; or new forms of responsibilities and duties of knowledge workers with regard to digitalisation.
The Research Platform Governance of Digital Practices will bring together experts from the social sciences, law, and operations research to study and improve the governance of digital practices. Digital practices refer to all social, political, scientific, and economic practices that create, use, or modify digital technologies - which, in turn, are understood as socio-material entities. Our focus on the governance of digital practices will enable us to both analyse how digital practices are shaped and regulated, and how people, places, and populations are governed through digital practices.
The work of the Research Platform includes an analytic and a normative component: Rather than merely studying what factors give shape to digital practices, members of the platform will also work towards developing new solutions for governing digital practices. This is particularly important in cases where digital practices lead to inequalities, exclusion or discrimination. At the same time, good governance of digital practices has the potential to enhance equity and strengthen democracy.
The Department of Science and Technology Studies is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Science and Technology Studies is a social science field with a strong interdisciplinary orientation that analyses the interactions of science, technology, and society. Department research focuses on knowledge and technology cultures, the relations of techno-sciences and publics, and the governance of techno-sciences and society. The department offers the English language master program 'Science-Technology-Society', as well as a number of course formats for other programs.
The successful candidate will have a background in the Social Sciences, with clear evidence of significant prior experience in Science and Technology Studies;
experience with empirical qualitative research, as well as computer literacy, will be an advantage.
• Participation in research, publication and communication activities of the research platform;
• Develop a research plan for a doctoral dissertation project within the first 6 months of employment (we expect the successful candidate to sign a doctoral thesis agreement within 8-12 months);
• Keep up to date with literature relevant to the project;
• Collaborate with members of the research platform in the organisation of lectures (“Ringvorlesung”), workshops and events, as well as in activities geared at increasing visibility, networking, and societal impact;
• Participation in teaching and independent teaching of courses as defined by the collective agreement;
• Present research outputs at academic and other meetings, participate in academic publications, etc.
• University degree (Master or equivalent) in the Social Sciences with clear evidence of significant prior experience in Science and Technology Studies;
• Knowledge of the theories and methods of Science and Technology Studies;
• Ability to successfully plan, conduct, and write up research;
• Excellent analytical skills;
• Very good computer skills, including some experience with digital scientific methods is an advantage;
• Excellent proficiency in English, proficiency in German is an advantage.
The ideal candidate should also demonstrate the following:
• Ability and interest in team work;
• Interest in mixed methods;
• Excellent organisational skills and the capacity to make long-term plans;
• High reliability.
Applications should include the following documents in English Language:
• Letter of motivation specifying your capacities in the above-mentioned areas of work, including related non-academic activities;
• Academic Curriculum vitae;
• One academic writing sample (e.g., publication, term paper, chapter of master thesis);
• Contact details of two referees;
• A 3-5 page exposé (outline) for your proposed PhD project in Science and Technology Studies on a topic relating to “Knowledge-intensive human work in the age of digital transformation in academic environments” (references not included in page count);
• List of publications, evidence of teaching experience (if available);
Main research field
Special research fields
Other Social Sciences
Social studies of science;Technology studies
Applications including a letter of motivation (German or English) should be submitted via the Job Center to the University of Vienna (
http://jobcenter.univie.ac.at) no later than 13.07.2020, mentioning reference number 10881.
For further information please contact Felt, Ulrike +43-1-4277-49611, Varabyeu Kancelová, Natália +43-1-4277-28801.
The University pursues a non-discriminatory employment policy and values equal opportunities, as well as diversity (http://diversity.univie.ac.at/). The University lays special emphasis on increasing the number of women in senior and in academic positions. Given equal qualifications, preference will be given to female applicants.