Postdoc in Ethical and Inclusive Community Engagement with Technology and Social Innovation

 The Socially-Intelligent Artificial Systems Group (SIAS) currently has a vacant Postdoc researcher position as part of the Horizon Europe funded coordination and support project “CommuniCity: Innovative Solutions Responding to the Needs of Cities & Communities”. The project, which will begin in September 2022 and last through September 2025, seeks to promote the socio-economic and technological engagement of disadvantaged or excluded groups in society through co-creation that is human-centred and community-minded


What are you going to do


You will join the Socially-Intelligent Artificial Systems Group at the Informatics Institute Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam. As part of a team of socially-engaged AI and data science scholars,  you will focus on setting the theoretical foundations for human-centred and community-minded approaches to technology development, adoption, assessment and improvement. You are expected to be the academic lead and liaison between the consortium and other partners, including academics, applied research institutes, cities and communities.


Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Research existing general frameworks, methods, tools and principles for ethical and inclusive co-creation and map these to disadvantaged or excluded groups in society;
  • Develop new principles of people-centred scaling down approaches, which, in contrast to market-centred principles of scaling up, concentrate not on what makes citizens and communities similar, but what makes them different;
  • Serve as a link between consortium partners and other relevant stakeholders such as Civic AI lab, and oversee the improvement of existing processes and impact;
  • Consolidate ethical engagement and co-creation learnings into improved principles of scaling up for use beyond CommuniCity, in order to stimulate increased societal uptake of new technologies and knowledge-based solutions;
  • Identify best practices and establish guidelines and frameworks for inclusive co- learning and co-creation.


What do you have to offer


You are a dynamic, socially engaged scholar working on co-design, studying interactions between technology and society: relationships, interfaces, and phenomena occurring between devices (applications, platforms, digital infrastructure) and users/stakeholders, with proper academic training (qualitative/quantitative research methods, reflective inquiry, academic writing skills). Your background shows affinities with design studies, citizen science, critical AI, and possibly field work. You are familiar with co-creation activities and working with communities, local administrations, and intermediate bodies (NGOs, local associations, etc.) You are able to write up project descriptions and findings for academic and professional audiences.


Your experience and profile:

  • A PhD in exact science with a focus on social innovation, or social science, humanities with a focus on technology, innovation and co-creation;
  • An active, ambitious and socially aware and engaged scholar;
  • Experience in working with methods and concepts from sociology, ethnography, citizen science, geography, socially-engaged and critical AI/computer science, organizational and information systems studies;
  • Experience in performing research at the nexus between social practices, institutional processes, computational tools, co-creation and outreach activities;
  • A good team worker and versatile at all levels, capable of working in multidisciplinary teams of artificial intelligence, data and computational science, information studies, law;
  • Excellent organisational experience and skills.


Research experience that entails collaboration with non-academic institutions and agencies in the Netherlands, Europe, and beyond is highly welcome.


Our offer


We offer a temporary employment contract for 38 hours per week for a period of 12 months. If we assess your performance positive, your contract will be extended with 12 months. The preferred starting date is 1 October 2022.


The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,960 to € 4,670 (scale 10). This does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance the UvA offers. The UFO profile Researcher 4 is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.


Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:

  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime);
  • Multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • Partly paid parental leave;
  • The possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • A pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • The possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • Help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.


Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.


About us


The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.


The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.


The mission of the Informatics Institute (IvI) is to perform curiosity-driven and use-inspired fundamental research in Computer Science. The main research themes are Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science and Systems and Network Engineering. Our research involves complex information systems at large, with a focus on collaborative, data driven, computational and intelligent systems, all with a strong interactive component.


The Socially Intelligent Artificial Systems (SIAS) group focuses on civic-centred and community-minded artificial intelligence (AI) that aims to reduce inequality and promote equal opportunity in society. The predominant question the group tries to answer: How can we use AI, and in particular learning systems, to advance society? And how can we do that in such a way that people from all corners of society benefit from it? SIAS positions itself in the AI and Data Science research themes of the Informatics Institute, with clear links to the Computational Science and Systems & Networking themes.


SIAS is engaged in a long-term partnership with Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the City of Amsterdam and the Dutch Ministry of Interior Affairs in the Civic AI Lab. This lab is part of the Innovation Centre for AI (ICAI), the Dutch national AI network that stimulates AI technology and talent development between academia, industry and government. Civic AI Lab develops AI technology that highlights the inequality of opportunity in society and that actively increases the prospect of equality of opportunity in education, well-being, environment, mobility and health. The lab also serves as an information point for residents and businesses who have questions about new technologies and the ethical and inclusive use of them.


Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.




Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:


Job application


If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 1 September 2022.


Applications should include the following information (all files besides your CV should be submitted in one single pdf file):

  • a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • a list of publications.


Please make sure to provide ALL requested documents mentioned above.
You can use the CV field to upload your resume as a separate pdf document. Use the Cover Letter field to upload the other requested documents, including the motivation letter, as one single pdf file.


Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.


We will invite potential candidates for interviews soon after the expiration of the vacancy.


The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.


If you encounter Error GBB451/ GBC451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.


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