Postdoctoral researcher ‘Who’s Breaking the News’ project (0.6 FTE)


Faculty of Arts


University of Groningen

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has established an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative university offering high-quality teaching and research. Its 31,000 students are encouraged to develop their own individual talents through challenging study and career paths. The University of Groningen is an international centre of knowledge: it belongs to the best research universities in Europe and is allied with prestigious partner universities and networks worldwide.

Job description

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to join the research project Who’s Breaking the News? Global Conflict Reporting in the Digital Age. You will perform research on actor networks and content production to explore how conflicts and crises are covered today and work closely with project leader Dr Ansgard Heinrich. This is an excellent opportunity for a talented young researcher to join a vibrant research-active department and an international, enthusiastic team of media and journalism scholars.

Project information: “Who’s Breaking the News? Global Conflict Reporting in the Digital Age”

The project Who’s Breaking the News? analyses the fundamental transformations of global conflict reporting. Funded with the help of an NWO Aspasia grant, the project takes the digitisation and globalisation of societies as point of departure to explore today’s complex, digital information networks in which a variety of agents cover conflict. We research how, in an age in which human suffering, abuse of human rights, terror and ongoing wars across the globe are prevalent, the communicative infrastructure to understand these issues is fundamentally disrupted. While legacy news media across the globe seem to struggle to define and to keep their audiences and while misinformation and outright propaganda appear to undermine democracies, a new information sharing sphere has evolved. Numerous agents are empowered by digital tools to take part in news production and dissemination. We research what such redistribution of conflict reporting means for the news and information supply that underlies public debate and decision-making on pressing social issues. Overall, Who’s Breaking the News? aims to cater to the urgent need to understand the dynamics of (online) communication networks that craft our perception of conflict today.

Key responsibilities

You will be expected to initiate and engage in research projects in close collaboration with the project leader. This will include research, writing and publication of articles in academic publications and the presentation of first research results at workshops and conferences. You will also actively assist in the acquisition of further funding and be part of the organising team for an international workshop on the topic. You will be supervised by the project leader and will actively participate in regular research meetings at the Centre for Media and Journalism Studies (CMJS).
The selected candidate can discuss the opportunity to (additionally to the research position) teach within the Department of Media Studies and Journalism, University of Groningen (0.2-0.4 FTE, subject to negotiation), depending on expertise and experience.


• a PhD in a relevant field (e.g., journalism studies, media and communication studies)
• excellent research track record, including relevant publications that show promise and potential for the project
• proven affinity with the topic
• strong organisational, communication and team working skills
• an excellent command of the English language
• the ability to work independently and as part of a team
• ideally experience with applying qualitative and quantitative methods in the field of international news and reporting, conflict communication and/or alternative news media and actor networks
• ideally a broad network nationally and internationally
• teaching experience which is desired if candidates do indicate interest in lecturing throughout our programmes.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 12 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:
• offers a salary, depending on qualifications and work experience, with a minimum of € 2,709 to a maximum of € 4,274 (salary scale 10) gross per month for a full-time position
• 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus and participation in a pension scheme for employees; favourable tax agreements may apply to non-Dutch applicants
• an appointment on a temporary basis for 1 year.

For more detailed information about working conditions and working for the University of Groningen, please check:

Preferred date of entry into employment is 1 November 2019 or as soon as possible after.

How to apply

Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include:

Your application (in English) should include the following:

• letter of motivation explaining why you are suitable for the postdoc project
• full curriculum vitae (including a description of previous relevant research experience)
• short proposal outlining a topic idea that fits with the Who’s Breaking the News project (max. 600 words)
• MA degree certificate, an official transcript of grades and a PhD degree certificate, or a statement from your PhD supervisor that you will have completed the PhD requirements before 1 November 2019
• one publication, a list of publications and names and contact details of two academic referees.

You can submit your application until 22 August 11.59pm / before 23 August 2019 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Only complete applications submitted by the deadline will be taken into consideration.

Job interviews will be held in Groningen (or if necessary via Skype) in the first half of September 2019.

We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity. We have adopted an active policy to increase the number of female scientists across all disciplines of the university. Therefore, women are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Ansgard Heinrich, Assoc. Prof./PhD, project leader

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 219407

Digital application form