Post-doc researcher at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences


University of Groningen

Since its founding in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education, offering high-quality teaching and research. We encourage the 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Among the best research universities in Europe, we join forces with prestigious partner universities and networks around the world, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences is the university’s centre of knowledge focusing on individuals and society. Our focus is on issues relating to human behaviour, as well as the relationships between people and society as a whole. Part of the Faculty is the Department of Sociology, one of the world’s leading departments focusing on quantitative approaches to theory building and empirical research in sociology. The department is a member of the ICS graduate school. The postdoc position will be embedded in the research group “Norms and Networks” (prof. Flache), a group known for its strong contributions to computational modelling in sociology.

Job description

We are looking for an early-career scientist with a strong interest in the development of formal models of social dynamics and expertise in programming.

The post-doctoral researcher will play a pivotal role in two closely connected projects. First, the ToRealSim project, a large-scale research project with researchers from France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK, focusing on linking empirical and agent-based modelling studies of opinion polarization. Second, SpinOut, a project focusing on polarization of intergroup attitudes in multi-ethnic classrooms, linking empirical classroom data with stochastic actor oriented modelling of social network dynamics, both for simulation and data analysis.

You will contribute to the further development and application of a simulation framework designed to analyze models of opinion dynamics in networks in both projects. In addition, you will contribute to the empirical test of central model assumptions about social influence, using longitudinal social network data and Stochastic Actor Oriented Modeling. You will work in collaboration with other team members towards disseminating results of this research in high-quality publications in international peer-reviewed scientific journals. You have good skills in theoretical and quantitative analysis of social dynamics and experience with agent-based modeling or methods of social network analysis, preferably both.

You will actively contribute to the research line Norms and Networks at the Department of Sociology, and contribute to teaching in the bachelor or master programmes of the Department of Sociology.


You have:

• a PhD degree in (Computational) Sociology or a related field with strong expertise in statistical methods and programming; alternatively, a PhD in computer science or a related field with experiences in modelling social processes and empirical research, as well as clear affinity with social sciences
• preferably you have experience in stochastic actor oriented modelling of the co-evolution of networks and actor attributes
• you have experience with R and programming experience, preferably with Python
• good teaching skills and experience or affinity with a variety of didactical methods
• a relevant publication record with good publications in high quality international peer-reviewed journals, or an equivalent publication record as a co-author or book author, is desirable
• you are a team player, with good communication and project management skills
• experience with quantitative methods of collecting and analyzing data
• the ability to communicate orally and in written form in English (command of English C1 level) and command of Dutch (Dutch is B2 level) or willingness to learn Dutch.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 24 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary depending on qualifications and work experience starting from a minimum of € 2,790 to a maximum of € 3,746 (salary scale 10.7) gross per month for a full-time position.
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus
• 232 holiday hours per calendar year for full-time employment
• participation in a pension scheme for employees
• a temporary appointment of 1.0 FTE for a specified period of two years.

The preferred starting date is 1 September 2021.

Job Application

Do you want to become a member of our team? Please send your application to us, by submitting the following documents in one document (pdf-file):

• a letter of motivation explaining why you are suitable for the position (max. 1 page)
• a full curriculum vitae (including a list of publications)
• transcripts and copies of academic degrees (MA/MSc and PhD), or a statement from your PhD supervisor that you will have completed the PhD requirements before the appointment date
• contact details of two academic referees who are familiar with your work, and who can be contacted directly if further information is necessary.

You can submit your application until 27 June 11:59pm / before 28 June 2021 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you 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:

Andreas Flache

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 221401

Digital application form