Call for applications: Postdoctoral researcher vacancy – Netlab

Call for applications
Postdoctoral researcher vacancy
Netlab – Internet Studies and Social Media Lab
School of Communication, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ, Brazil.

Netlab is a research laboratory on Internet Studies and Social Media at
the School of Communication (ECO), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
(UFRJ) – Brazil, specialized in Online Disinformation Campaigns. We
combine traditional social science methods and computational
communication approaches. We understand that research into computational
communication requires seamless integration of meaningful theoretical
questions and background, powerful statistical tools and efficient
computing algorithms. Researchers in our lab are working to unravel the
intricate mechanisms behind burgeoning computational communication
phenomena by collecting and analyzing online data on an unprecedented
scale, bringing new life to old ideas, and new ideas to social life.

Main Research Topics
Netlab is seeking to appoint Post-doctoral Research Fellows to work on
the interplay between misinformation, disinformation, news, and social
media, with an emphasis on public opinion on at least one of these topics:

1. Civil society and social movements
2. Politics and elections
3. Climate change, land use, and environmental issues
4. Science and health

We welcome postdoctoral submissions that further the understanding,
development, and application of computational methods in disinformation
research. Computational methods include (but are not limited to) methods
such as text analysis, topic modeling, social/semantic network analysis,
online experiments, machine learning, visual analysis and agent-based
modeling and simulations. Computational methods can be applied to “big
data” and social media, or online behavior data, but can also be used to
provide a more sophisticated understanding of “small data” or for
theoretical explorations.

Selection Criteria
The successful candidates must have a completed doctorate degree in any
area but with experience in a substantive field of social science,
including communication and media studies, sociology, statistics,
political science, economy and/or social data science. The ideal
candidate must also have familiarity with existing academic work on
misinformation, disinformation, public understanding of politics,
science and technology, media manipulation and propaganda, news media,
online platforms, and digital media.

Excellent written, editing, and verbal communication skills in English
which demonstrate a potential to write and present at an international
level are required. Portuguese and/or Spanish language skills are
desirable. A record of published work on misinformation, disinformation
and social media are very desirable, as well as a detailed knowledge of
existing research on misinformation, public understanding of news,
politics, elections, environmental issues and its relation to digital media.

How to Apply?
We have opened three postdoctoral positions. These are full-time,
fixed-term appointments with a desired start date as soon as possible
and no later than April 2021 for a one-year research fellowship. The
individual appointed will be working with other researchers;
postdoctoral fellows; Ph.D., master, and undergraduate students; and
with the principal investigator behind the project, Professor R. Marie
Santini, Head of the Netlab research team.

Grant: R$4.100,00 per month (one-year fellow). This is a full-time,
one-year position with the option of a second-year extension based on
demonstrated performance.

The closing date for applications is 11 pm on Monday, 12th April 2021
(GMT -3, Brazilian Standard Time). Candidates are required to send an
email to <>. All emails must
use the subject title “Netlab Post-Doctoral Research Fellow” with the
following documents attached (files in PDF format):

   * A supporting statement: a cover letter explaining your interest in,
     and experience with, the Netlab research agenda (written in
     English). The candidate must choose and indicate in the letter one
     of the areas below to work with: 1) civil society and social
     movements; 2) politics and elections; 3) climate change, land use
     and environmental issues; 4) science and health.
   * A Research Proposal (written in English) as part of your application
     in a 2- or 3-page project. This proposal is not necessarily a
     commitment to what you will work on at Netlab, but serves as a way
     for the application committee to assess your ability to plan a
     research project.
   * An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae with full academic records (in English).
   * A writing sample of a research paper or working paper (preferably in
     English but can be in Portuguese or in Spanish).
   * Reference letter (with contact information), preferably from an
     academic advisor, co-author, or research peer.

Postdoctoral Researchers Responsibilities
The duties of the researchers will be:

   * To work with other team members and the PI on developing
     methodological approaches.
   * To arrange and conduct empirical research and data collection.
   * To work with colleagues on analyzing and interpreting the data.
   * To interpret the results in light of contextual background provided
     by the wider project and other people’s research.
   * To liaise with other team members, the PI, and other partners on
     getting advice and input on the research design, data analysis, and
   * To develop academic publications and other project output based on
     the research done, working closely with other postdoctoral
     researchers and the PI to finalize output.
   * To prepare a range of presentation materials suitable for external
     events, conferences, meetings, and workshops.
   * To represent the project at external events/conferences, either with
     the PI, postdoctoral researchers, or alone.
   * To develop ideas for further research (including ideas for
     generating research funds) and to present detailed research
     proposals to the principal investigator for future work in the
     Netlab area.
   * To work with other team members, the project coordinators, the
     principal investigator and Netlab partners (such as technology
     developers, companies, start-up partners, etc.) on other aspects of
     the wider project, to develop innovation and technology, and work
     with the rest of the Netlab staff as part of the everyday life of
     the laboratory.
   * To teach undergraduate and graduate classes under the PI’s
     supervision and coordinate internal workshops and study groups with
     Netlab staff.
   * To organize and coordinate Netlab external events, workshops, Summer
     and Winter Schools (2021-2022).


Job title

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Federal University of Rio de Janeiro


School of Communication and The Brazilian Institute of Information,
Science and Technology

Graduate Program

PPGCI – Graduate Program in Information Science –


Netlab – Internet and Social Media Research Lab

Position modality

Remote work


R$4.100,00 per month (one-year fellow).


Full time (40 hours per week)

Contract type


Reporting to

Dr. R. Marie Santini (ECO/UFRJ)

Research topics

1) civil society and social movements; OR  2) politics and elections; OR
3) climate change, land use, and environmental issues; OR 4) science and

Principal Investigator and Supervisor

Dr. R. Marie Santini (ECO/UFRJ).

Laboratory website <>