Postdoc in Media and Communication Studies within the project Automating Welfare

Södertörn University Stockholm


October 20, 2022


Södertörns högskola (Södertörn University) in south Stockholm is a dynamic institute of higher education with a unique profile and high academic standard. A large proportion of the university staff holds doctorates and there is a strong link between undergraduate education and research. Södertörn University has around 13 000 students and 840 employees. Undergraduate and postgraduate education and research are conducted in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Technology and Education. Our site is in Flemingsberg. Södertörn University is an equal opportunities employer.

Media and Communication Studies is one of Sweden's leading environments for media research and education. It engages with the contemporary media landscape and is founded on a historically informed understanding in which digital communication technologies and their contexts are related to their predecessors. The research environment currently comprises around 25 researchers/lecturers, including five full professors, eight associate professors (docents), and four doctoral students. All the doctoral students have an international profile, and English is the working language for the doctoral degree programme.

Job tasks A postdoctoral fellow's duties primarily involve research, but may also include, for example, development of research activities and participation in the scientific community through commitments as reviewer, expert, and speaker. A certain degree of teaching (in Swedish and/or English) may be included in the duties, up to a maximum of 20% of the employment.

Administrative tasks may also occur (e.g. organisation of research seminars and networking events).

In addition, there are specific tasks related to the project Automating Welfare: Algorithmic Infrastructures for Human Flourishing in Europe (AUTO- WELF) funded by the Chanse programme Transformations: social and cultural dynamics in the digital age (project leader Anne Kaun):

  • Independent execution, documentation and analysis of ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and document analysis in Sweden and Estonia
  • Independent execution, documentation, and analysis of workshops with citizens on automation in the welfare sector in Sweden and Estonia
  • Processing of the empiric material for the comparative analysis
  • Organization of academic workshops and events (mainly in English)
  • Participation in presentations and publications (mainly in English)
  • Contribution to other activities relevant to the project
  • AUTO-WELF approaches automated welfare from the perspective of the people affected by automated decision-making (ADM) - the infrastructural engineers and designers of automated decision systems, the administrators who interact with automated decision systems, and the people whose data are fed into the systems and who are targeted in the processes to improve welfare through automation. AUTO-WELF addresses digital transformations of work by focusing on development and human-machine collaboration in ADM processes, and examines the role that technological, social, and cultural dynamics play in promoting or hindering progress in welfare automation.

    The candidate's research activities will contribute to the objectives of the project by planning and conducting empirical studies of the experiences of administrators and citizens with automated welfare in Sweden and Estonia, and to comparative studies of these experiences with other EU countries. The candidate is expected to work within a team to conduct qualitative and possibly quantitative research to understand the dilemmas and new opportunities associated with automated welfare provision for citizens' well- being, and to help assess the implications of automated public sector decision-making for the values underpinning the Swedish and Estonian welfare state.

    Eligibility Eligible to apply for a postdoctoral position are those who have completed a doctoral degree or have another degree equivalent to a doctoral degree, in media and communication studies or related fields such as media technology, sociology, ethnology, or political science and studies in public administration with a focus on (digital) media.

    Preference should be given to those who have completed a doctoral degree or have a qualification equivalent to a doctoral degree no more than three years before the end of the period for applying for the postdoctoral position. Those who have obtained a doctorate, or a foreign qualification equivalent to a doctorate, at an earlier date may also be considered if there are special reasons. Examples of special reasons are parental leave, sick leave, or a position of trust in a trade union. Otherwise, the applicant must have the personal qualities needed to perform the position well and to represent the university in a way that benefits its activities.

    This post requires a good command of Swedish (at least reading comprehension). Knowledge of Estonian is an advantage.

    Scientific excellence is demonstrated by a scientific thesis and other scientific publications in the relevant field and participation in research projects.

    Assessment criteria In addition, the following assessment criteria have been established for this post (in order of priority). The following points must be documented.

  • Social scientific research skills in the field of automation, artificial intelligence, algorithms, data mining, big data, digital media
  • Research skills in social science methodologies and proficiency in the use of analytical software such as MAXQDATA or Nvivo
  • skills in project participation and management
  • Language skills in Swedish (reading comprehension) and Estonian (optional)
  • Good collaboration skills
  • For full information on eligibility, assessment of eligibility and assessment criteria see Södertörn University's employment regulations.

    Employment The position is full-time and limited to 27 months or for the period 1/1 2023 to 31/3 2025. Commencement by agreement.

    Application The closing date for applications is 2022-10-20.

    For additional information contact Anne Kaun, Professor of Media and Communication Studies, 0046 8 608 4791, Fredrik Stiernstedt, Professor of Media and Communication Studies, Head of Department, 0046 8 608 4022, Mirjam Bargello Lindberg, HR-generalist, 0046 8 608 5174,

    Welcome with your application!

    On our website,, there is an application template that the applicant needs to follow. Publications referred to must be attached to the application.

    An application that is not complete or arrives at Södertörn University after the closing date may be rejected.

    The current employment is valid on condition that the employment decision becomes valid.

    Södertörn University may apply CV review.

    Union representatives: SACO: ST: SEKO: Henry Wölling tel: +46 8 524 840 80,

    Södertörn University has made strategic advertisement choices for this recruitment. Therefore, we decline all contact with advertisers and other salespersons of advertisement.

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