PhD candidate in Communication Science

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Amsterdam School of Communication Research

7 september 2017
Master's degree
€2,222 to €2,840 gross per month
4 oktober 2017
38 hours per week

The Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) is the research institute in Communication Science at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam. ASCoR is looking for a PhD candidate.

Project description

News for you! News consumption in a world of news sites, algorithms, and social media

This project analyses consumers in an online media ecosystem. It tackles the question how content features, consumer features, and context features interact in shaping news exposure and, ultimately, political interest and political participation. In particular, we analyse how consumers are directed to news via their social networks and via algorithmic news recommender systems. Both differ from traditional 'one-size-fits-all' contexts (like reading a newspaper or visiting a news site) in that the consumer features (like ties or past behaviour) can potentially have a much more direct effect on what content one is exposed to. As a multi-method study, this project involves the analysis of online tracking data, a laboratory experiment, and a field experiment. Combining the insights of these, we aim to better understand news use and its effect in the evolving media landscape. It will contribute to the scientific and societal debate about the existence and consequences of echo chambers and filter bubbles, using networking theories and often ignored contextual factors. Furthermore, the project will test the influence of multiple predictors (consumer features and content features), which might together explain who is exposed to what kind of news. Such questions are of tremendous importance as citizens, especially younger adults, are increasingly and predominantly using online and social media to get informed about the world around them.

The candidate is expected to contribute to the overall project, do research, and publish on the basis of the research, culminating in a PhD dissertation.


The PhD candidate should:

  • hold a Research Master’s degree in communication science or equivalent qualifications. Candidates who are due to graduate before February 2018 are also welcome to apply. Research Masters from related fields such as political science, sociology and economics, are also welcome to apply, but might have to do some extra coursework to get acquainted with the field of communication science. Candidates who do not hold a Research Master degree or equivalent will be required to complete a transfer program prior to the project start date. A Research Master is a 2-year Master program with 30 EC of methodological coursework;
  • have active knowledge of statistical techniques and packages, such as R, Stata, or SPSS. We expect the candidate to be interested in using Python and/or R. If not familiar with these languages yet, we expect the candidate to acquire this knowledge in the first months of the project;
  • excel academically, as shown in the grade transcripts and curriculum vitae;
  • have a firm basis in research methods and data analysis;
  • have an excellent written and spoken command of English;
  • have excellent organizational skills;
  • have the ability and interest to work in a team.

Further information

A detailed project description may be obtained from:

Questions about the project content should be addressed to:

Questions about the application procedure and other general questions should be addressed to:


The starting date of the position is negotiable, but the project starts in principle as soon as possible. The position is initially for 1 year. Extension of the contract after the first year to a total of three years and two months is subject to satisfactory performance.

For PhD candidates, the gross monthly salary will be in accordance with the salary scales for PhD candidates at Dutch universities, i.e., ranging from €2,222 in the first year to €2,840 in the final year. Conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities.

Job application

NB Please do not apply if you have already made an application when this job advertisement first appeared in April 2017.
The deadline for applications is Wednesday 4 October 2017. Please state vacancy number 17-445 in the subject line of your application, as we have multiple vacancies. To apply for this position, please send all your documents in a single PDF file by e-mail to

N.B. A complete application contains at least the following documents in English:

  • ASCoR PhD application form;
  • motivation letter;
  • curriculum vitae;
  • proof of your Master's degree, including grade transcripts. If you have not completed your degree at the time of application, please provide a statement from your supervisor confirming the expected date of completion of your degree;
  • an academic writing sample in English (e.g., journal article, Master's thesis).


No agencies please

Gepubliceerd door  Universiteit van Amsterdam