Postdoc data science and the articulations of meaning in work (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society


University of Groningen

Job description

The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen (founded in 1614) is a leading European institution for the study of religion. We are proud to be ranked as the best teaching and research centre for religion in The Netherlands. We are committed to highest standards in critical academic research, and we translate our research into stimulating and cutting-edge teaching programmes. We train students to be independent and critical observers of the place of religion in its cultural and historical context, and we prepare them for the job market.

The postdoc will join the department of comparative study of religion. Within the faculty an interdisciplinary group studies various aspects of the relatively new research area of ‘meaning and work’. With this postdoc position, the faculty wants to support the most talented PhD’s in the fields of linguistic arts, digital humanities and/or artificial intelligence/data science to contribute to this field.

Job description
The postdoc will conduct research in a larger project that aims to explore how various professionals in diverse working contexts articulate their sense of meaning in work- related to both personal work satisfaction and how they value their own contributions within their organisation and/or to society. Starting by qualitative and quantitative analysis of linguistic datasets, we aim to use data science/AI to scale up. The aimed for results will create innovative opportunities for organizations to pay attention to meaning making processes on different organizational levels.

The postdoc conducts a pilot aimed at an exploration of which quantitative method is most appropriate to analyse meaning making/finding experiences in relation to work in (existing) qualitative Dutch datasets. At least two professions are involved (medical experts/physicians; IC nurses, financial controllers). In parallel, the postdoc builds upon a collection of qualitative datasets from different occupational groups. The next step will be to apply an analysis to these new datasets. Finally (a first attempt at) comparative research will be done on differences in the perception of work and meaning and the influence of context factors. Next to this research line, the postdoc strongly contributes to an interdisciplinary research proposal as a follow up.

We invite strong research proposals that fit the main research line. The postdoc is expected to submit an interdisciplinary research proposal with support of the funding officer of the faculty, and to submit at least one article (based on the pilot-data) in collaboration with the other team members. A minor part of the job concerns a limited number of educational activities.


Candidates for this postdoc position:

- have finished a PhD in the fields of linguistic studies and/or AI/data sciences in the last 12 months (at least the dissertation has to be accepted by the supervisor), or in (digital) humanities
- have a strong affinity with/record in interdisciplinary work (linguistic studies; AI; data science, humanities)
- have a record in both quantitative as well as qualitative methods, including qualitative data collection
- have affinity with the subject in various professional fields of expertise (starting with medical experts)
- have a strong academic record as evinced by curriculum vitae and list of publications
- have an international network
- have a concrete and creative idea for grant proposals, which fits the project and the faculty’s profile
- have organizational skills, an independent attitude and ability to work in a team
- have excellent proficiency in written and spoken Dutch and English
- preferably have some teaching experience.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 12 months.

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

- depending on qualifications and work experience, a salary of € 3,877 to a maximum of € 5,079 (salary scale 10) gross per month for a full-time position
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
- attractive secondary terms of employment; the position is classified in accordance with the University Job Classification (UFO) system; the UFO profile is Researcher 4
- a temporary contract of 1.0 FTE for a period of 2 years (1,0 FTE; 20% teaching).

Job Application

Deadlines and procedures
You may apply for this position before 7 October 2023 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on “Apply” below on the advertisement on the university website).

Note that the procedure will include interviews. Selected candidates will be invited for an interview in Groningen (Dutch). Interviews are scheduled to take place in October. The start of the PhD position is 1 January 2024.

Application requirements
Interested candidates should submit a complete application composed of:

- a letter of motivation, addressing the above criteria
- a complete CV with a list of publications and with names and contact details for two academic referees that argues that the candidate is in the top 10 to 15% in the respective research field
- a PDF with a summary of your dissertation and a self-selected “best paper”
- a brief description of scientific interests and plans for grant proposals.

Please send all credentials in PDF format and with all the credentials in separate attachments. Applications with missing credentials will not be taken into consideration.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:[…]/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

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Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. dr. Hanneke Muthert, Project leader, Head of the department of Comparative study of religion

In your application, please always include the job opening ID V23.0582

Digital application form