Postdoctoral Researcher In Interethnic Social Networks (1.0 Fte)

Utrecht University


May 30, 2022


Postdoctoral Researcher in Interethnic Social Networks (1.0 FTE)

Job description

As part of the ERC Consolidator project 'Bridges in social networks: Harnessing dual identity to improve interethnic relations', we are looking for a postdoctoral researcher for four years, starting September 1, 2022.

The Postdoc will work at the European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER) at the Department of Interdisciplinary Social Science. ERCOMER has a strong research track record in interethnic relations with a particular focus on ethnic identity formation, international migration, cultural diversity, labour market discrimination, and interethnic networks. It is part of the Dutch research school Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS).

Project description

The postdoctoral Researcher will implement a sequential mixed-methods design to understand how perceptions of social networks and dual identifiers' position in them develop. The Postdoc will start by conducting in-depth interviews with an ethnically diverse sample of college students to reveal how people make sense of others' ethnicity and relationships in social networks. These insights will be used by the research team to design and evaluate a new software to measure people's perceptions of others' ethnicity and their social networks (e.g., friendships) in quantitative surveys (e.g., Stark & Krosnick, 2017). The Postdoc will then use methodological triangulation in a longitudinal school study to test if self-reported friendships, perceptions of such friendships, and actual interaction patterns (e.g., Grantz et al., 2021) predict the perception of other people's ethnicity.

The postdoctoral Researcher will work together with Dr Tobias Stark (principal investigator) and Dr Zsófia Boda (Advisory Board; University of Essex) and be a member of the ERC team which also includes three PhD students. Apart from 0.8 FTE research time, the Postdoc will spend 0.2 FTE on managing the larger ERC project.

Grantz, K. H., Cummings, D. A. T., Zimmer, S., Vukotich, C., Galloway, D., Schweizer, M. Lou, Guclu, H., Cousins, J., Lingle, C., Yearwood, G. M. H., Li, K., Calderone, P., Noble, E., Gao, H., Rainey, J., Uzicanin, A., & Read, J. M. (2021). Age-specific social mixing of school-aged children in a US setting using proximity detecting sensors and contact surveys. Scientific Reports , 11 (1). https: //

Stark, T. H., & Krosnick, J. A. (2017). GENSI: A new graphical tool to collect ego-centered network data. Social Networks , 48 , 36–45. https: //

Core tasks include:

  • conducting and analysing in-depth interviews;
  • collaborating with programmers to develop a new software to measure people's perceptions of other people's ethnicity and their social networks;
  • evaluating the new software with a Randomized Controlled Trial among college students;
  • collecting and analysing a combination of position data (Bluetooth/GPS), self-reported social networks, and perceived social networks to detect how perceptions of social networks and dual identifiers' position in them develop;
  • reporting results at conferences and in articles in peer-reviewed journals;
  • project management.
  • Qualifications

    We are looking for a postdoctoral Researcher with:

  • a PhD in the field of sociology, (social) psychology, educational science, anthropology, or related fields;
  • experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods (you should be an expert in one method and have some experience with the other);
  • an interest in social network analysis;
  • theoretical expertise in intergroup relations, integration and/or migration research;
  • a track record appropriate to the stage of their career, and an obvious curiosity and enthusiasm for academic research;
  • a professional attitude and conduct that includes organizational sensitivity, integrity, pragmatism, and good communication skills;
  • independent thinking and a hands-on mentality;
  • excellent collaborative skills;
  • high proficiency in English (C2 level). Proficiency in Dutch is an asset, but is not required.
  • Offer

    We offer a four-year position (1.0 FTE, including 0.2 FTE project management of the ERC project). The initial appointment will be a full-time employment contract for one year, starting September 2022, with an extension of three years after a positive evaluation. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €2,846 and €5,230 (scale 10-11 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information: working at Utrecht University.

    About the organization

    A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

    The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is one of the leading faculties in Europe providing research and academic teaching in cultural anthropology, educational sciences, interdisciplinary social science, pedagogical sciences, psychology, and sociology. Research and teaching activities are concentrated in five areas: Behaviour in Social Contexts, Child and Adolescent Studies, Cognitive and Clinical Psychology, Education and Learning, and Methodology and Statistics. More than 5,600 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has some 850 faculty and staff members, all providing their individual contribution to the training and education of young talent and to the research into and finding solutions for scientific and societal issues.

    Additional information

    For additional information, please contact Dr Tobias Stark by email:

    Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please upload your motivation letter, the contact information of two referees about your previous work, and a full curriculum vitae via the 'application' button below.

    The application deadline is 30/05/2022

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