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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: 10797
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 Ass.-Prof. Dr. Alice Vadrot and Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Immanuel Bomze, the PhD candidate (doctoral student) will pursue a comparative project on governing global commons through digital platforms across different policy fields.
The post holder based in the Department of Political Science, who will collaborate with colleagues in all departments and faculties involved in the research platform, will be expected to develop a research project related to digital and material commons, understood as a particular form of collaborative governance of shared resources. Combining empirical case studies of digital commons governance (e.g. genetic data of living environmental resources, human genomic and health data etc.) with conceptual analyses, this project should pay particular attention to socio-economic inequalities and power relations playing out in the design and legal implementation of such platforms. The aim is to understand the specificities of governing common resources through digital infrastructures in different policy areas by comparing different cases and by analysing the dynamics in the production and distribution of scientific/administrative knowledge and related benefits. The project will also explore mechanisms and technologies intended to build "digital trust" via technologies such as blockchain, as well as practices of trust-building beyond those that require material technological mediation (such as collaborative governance, deliberation, etc).
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, 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 successful candidate will have
a background in Economics, Political Science, the Social Study of Science, Sociology, Philosophy, Anthropology, or a related field with a focus on global commons, digital infrastructures, health or environments. Experience with empirical (qualitative or quantitative) research, as well as computer literacy (e.g. in the use of statistical software packages) 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 (Diploma, MA) in one of the following fields: Economics, Political Science, the Social Study of Science, Sociology, Philosophy, Anthropology, or another relevant discipline
• Professional competence in one of the following areas: global commons, digital infrastructures, health, environments, data governance/politics, ethics
• Exceptional analytical capability
• Ability to communicate complex information clearly
• Excellent knowledge of German and English
• Ability to work in teams
Application: Applications should be include the following documents in English Language:
• Motivation Letter
• Academic Curriculum vitae
• One academic writing sample (e.g., publication, term paper, chapter of master thesis)
• 3 references, preferably submitted together with the application documents via the Job Center. If the person who gives the reference prefers to submit it directly, it should be addressed to Ass.-Prof. Dr.
Alice Vadrot and sent to
Natália Varabyeu Kancelová, BA
• Short doctoral project proposal on the topic “Governing common resources via digital platforms” (2-3 pages, references not included in page count)
• List of publications, evidence of teaching experience (if available)
Main research field
Special research fields
Research policy;Comparative politics;International relations;Science and technology policy
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 20.07.2020, mentioning reference number 10797.
For further information please contact 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.