Post-doctoral researcher, social media analytics for algorithmic profiling

 The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) are looking for a

Post-doctoral researcher, social media analytics for algorithmic profiling
Vacancy number: 22-472

Project description
The research will be conducted in the Achieving Accountable Algorithmic Profiling program (A3P). The position forms a bridge between two of Leiden University’s Interdisciplinary Research Programmes: Social Resilience and Security and the AI programme SAILS, collectively aiming to contribute to the creation of a Leiden University Algorithmic Resilience Hub. 
The position involves research in artificial intelligence, in particular social network analysis,  and natural language processing in the context of, amongst others, profiling and mis-information. This topic is of great societal importance. The work includes but is not limited to: planning the research, developing software, tools and experiments, publishing findings, co-authoring scientific output with the other team members, as well as organizing and participating in conferences and communication with the general public, commensurate with the societal importance of the topic. Moreover, as the Accountable Algorithmic Profiling program (A3P) is growing and expanding, the position involves taking initiatives to reach out and engage with colleagues already involved, as well as making new connections. 

The position is hosted by Leiden University, at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science, in close collaboration with the Faculties of Law and Governance/Global Affairs, and the SAILS and Social Resilience and Security programs.

SAILS, Society, Artificial Intelligence and Life Sciences, is a university wide initiative aiming to facilitate collaboration across disciplines on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Jointly, experts from among others computer science, public administration and law engage in interdisciplinary research and teaching on AI and algorithms. One area of particular interest is algorithmic decision-making, and more specifically the impact this may have on citizens, consumers and society at large. 

Social Resilience and Security is an interdisciplinary, interfaculty collaboration, bringing together key expertise on transgressive behaviours across social research disciplines and key societal stakeholders. We team up with researchers from governance, developmental psychology, child studies, clinical psychology, criminal law, archeology, and humanities. One pillar of the project focuses on resilience; this project specifically seeks to study resilience in youth from public health, criminology and psychology perspectives, using a range of methodologies.

The Postdoc A3P will be a key member of both teams, as part of a multidisciplinary program (computer science, law and governance). To achieve Accountable Algorithmic Profiling, a balance must be found between the interests and needs of individuals on the one hand, and the interests and needs of businesses and government on the other hand.

(1) How can individuals (consumers / citizens) make best use of data-hungry platforms to improve their lives, while maintaining a high level of privacy and autonomy? (developing accountable profiling for the benefit of individuals).

(2) How can large organizations (technology firms / governments) best protect the edge that they gained due to building profiles of their users, given current legal and technological constraints? (developing accountable profiling for the benefit of society and economy)

Selection criteria
●    A PhD degree in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science or a similar field;
●    Experience in social media analytics or working with social media data
●    Excitement about working in a multidisciplinary team, with a goal that is of high social relevance;
●    Excellent communication and coordination skills;
●    Community-minded, enjoying networking and growing of a research community on a topic of great societal relevance;
●    Creative thinking and high motivation;
●    Excellent proficiency in the English language.

Our organisation
The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2.300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

You will be part of the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS).

LIACS offers courses at the Bachelor and Master of Science level in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, ICT in Business, Media Technology, and Bioinformatics. According to an independent research visitation, LIACS is one of the foremost computer science departments of the Netherlands. We strive for excellence in a caring institute, where excellence, fun, and diversity go hand in hand. We offer a clear and inviting career path to young and talented scientists with the ambition to grow. For more information about LIACS, see the website.

Terms and conditions 
We offer a full-time, fixed-term post for three years, with a salary range from € 2.960,-  tot € 4.670,- gross per month (pay scale 10 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).
Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

D&I statement
Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

Enquiries can be made to Prof. Joost Batenburg, email  If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Maaike Veldkamp, email

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to  Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:
●    Curriculum Vitae,
●    Letter of Motivation,
●    The names of two references who can be contacted for shortlisted candidates.
Only applications received no later than August 27th, 2022, can be considered.

Apply now

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