Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft
Veröffentlicht am: 10.06.2020

Three Post-Doctoral Research Positions

University of Zurich, Department of Political Science, Zurich

Bewerbungsfrist: 13.07.2020

Three Post-Doctoral Research Positions (ERC-Project “Problem Definition in the Digital Democracy”; PI: Fabrizio Gilardi)

Description of UZH unit and position

The Department of Political Science at the University of Zurich ( invites applications for three postdoctoral research positions in the research group of Professor Fabrizio Gilardi ( The postdoctoral researchers will be part of Fabrizio Gilardi's ERC-funded research project "Problem Definition in the Digital Democracy" (PRODIGI, 2021-2025, https://fabriziogilardi.or/PRODIGI/), as well as of the Digital Democracy Lab (

PRODIGI studies the connection between digital technology and politics, with a focus on the ways in which the issue has been framed, that is, how political actors have constructed arguments regarding the nature of the problems arising at the intersection of digital technology and democracy, and how actors have linked these arguments to particular policy actions. Specifically, PRODIGI is structured in several work packages pursuing four objectives : 1. develop a theory of problem definition that accounts for the role of digital technology (Work Package 1); 2. develop new methods to measure problem definition based on computational social science (Work Package 2); 3. analyze problem definition in the case of policy responses to digital technology's implications for democracy in the USA (Work Package 3a) and in Germany (Work Package 3b); and 4. analyze the effects of problem definition on opinions using survey experiments (Work Package 4). The Work Packages are described more in detail at The full project is available upon request.

Fabrizio Gilardi is committed to building a diverse research team. Researchers belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in the social sciences are particularly encouraged to apply.


  • Take a leading role in one of three work packages: Work Package 2, Work Package 3a, or Work Package 3b. The work packages are described at; the full project is available upon request.
  • Take a co-leading role in Work Package 4. The work packages are described at; the full project is available upon request.
  • Participate in Work Package 1. The work packages are described at; the full project is available upon request.
  • Conduct and publish high-quality research within the context of PRODIGI.
  • Disseminate research results by presenting at academic conferences, publishing in top outlets, and conducting outreach activities to the broader public.
  • Collaborate closely with other project members.
  • Provide support for project-related research, organizational, and administrative tasks.
  • Participate in the activities of the Digital Democracy Lab as active team members.


  • PhD in political science or a related discipline (completed or close to completion).
  • High level of interest in digital technology and politics.
  • Ambition and ability to produce high-quality and high-impact research, both independently and in a team.
  • Ability to work constructively and effectively as part of a research team.

Methods skills

  • Proficiency in quantitative research methods.
  • For Work Package 2: outstanding skills in computational social science approaches, especially text analysis and machine learning.
  • For Work Packages 3a and 3b: intermediate skills in quantitative text analysis, and willingness to improve them.
  • For Work Package 4: basic skills in survey methodology, including survey experiments, and willingness to improve them.

Language requirements

  • Very good command of English.
  • Knowledge of German and other European languages is an asset.

We offer

  • Participation in a cutting-edge research project funded with an ERC Advanced Grant.
  • Opportunity to develop your own research agenda within the broader contours of the project, and to develop a strong academic network.
  • Funding for conferences, additional training, and research activities.
  • A highly motivated, engaged, and supportive team.
  • Full integration in the Department of Political Science and the Digital Democracy Lab.
  • Career mentoring.
  • Excellent working conditions in a leading research-oriented and international department that provides a constructive and collaborative research environment.

Starting date, duration, and salary

  • The preferred starting date is January 2021. A later start is possible.
  • A minimum of two-year commitment is requested; renewal up to five years in total is possible and contingent on research productivity and continued fit.
  • The salary is approximately 80,000 CHF/year.

How to apply

Further information

Closing date for applications

  • Review of applications will begin on July 13, 2020.
  • Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.