I am hiring two postdocs to work on network science and computational social science topics within new projects related to polarisation, misinformation and coordinated activities in social media and the society. The ideal starting date is at the beginning of the year 2023 and the positions are for 3 years, but the starting date is flexible.
The positions are at the complex networks research group in the Department of Computer Science at Aalto University in Finland. You will be joining two PhD students working directly on these projects and a larger group of researchers working on similar topics. The department has a strong community on related topics: research groups working on network science, computational social science, and various topics in machine learning.
About the projects
1. CON-NET: CONtent and NETwork structure for detecting, understanding, and mitigating online misbehaviour
Aim: This project develops methods for detection and mitigation of online misbehaviour. The goal is to use multilayer networks, network visualization, and machine learning methods to develop tools for answering questions “How am I being misinformed?” and “How does my unique position shape the information I receive?”.
Consortium: The project is collaboration between my research group and groups of Fintan McGee (visual analytics, Luxembourg), Onur Varol (analysis of online behaviour, Turkey), Michael Quayle (social psychology & networks, Ireland), and Nikos Deligiannis (explainable AI, Belgium).
Our role: The role of my group is to work on network representations of data (multilayer networks) and other tasks related to network science. We will use the social media data our group is already collecting on various topics to test the new methodology that we and others will develop within this project.
2. DECA: The democratic epistemic capacities in the age of algorithms
Aim: The project investigates the political, social, psychological and technological mechanisms that develop and hinder the ability to receive, consume and distribute knowledge (i.e., the epistemic capacity) in different contexts and at different levels. It facilitates an understanding of how existing social inequalities intersect with epistemic capabilities, and promotes ways for safeguarding society’s epistemic capacity in the age of algorithms.
Consortium: This project is a large collaborative effort between 7 research groups which in addition to my group in network science include researchers from various fields: media and communication studies, social psychology, translation studies, journalism, and law. The project involves mechanisms for interacting with stakeholders in Finland from civil society, government organisations, policy-makers, educators, legacy media, and strategic communications professionals. The main stakeholder for my research group in this project will be the new national center of excellence in information security that was formed under the National Emergency Supply Agency in Finland.
Our role: The role of my research group is to focus on social networks and social media analysis, and to participate on the projects of other research groups projects related to social networks. This will entail both independent research on developing methodologies (e.g., in measuring polarisation and information operations) and working together with the other scientists in the project. For example, we will develop multilayer network methodology for measuring and modelling polarisation.
What do you get
– A key position in an ambitious research project with backing of research groups at the top of their fields
– Access to data and expertise related to project and otherwise
– Interdisciplinary team that already understands each other and is producing results
– Freedom and support to pursue your own research ideas (also outside of the project, see here for examples of research in my group)
– An environment where we care about your career development. For example, receiving mentoring, training on large-scale computing or possibilities of mentoring PhD/MSc students and teaching if that is what you are looking for
– Opportunity to work in Finland, which is a stable society and the happiest country of the world. English is our working language and very widely spoken in the country. Many of our international alumni have decided to stay in Finland
– Position in an active research group in network science, with highly diverse and international researchers (7 out of 9 members are international scholars)
– Decent salary (currently standard postdoc salaries are around 3800-4000 EUR per month before taxes)
Who am I looking for
You should have:
– Solid background in network science and/or computational social science
– Programming skills needed to do data analysis (we mostly use Python)
– You can be interested either in theoretical methods development or applications, or bit of both
– Interest to work in an interdisciplinary project
– Interest towards the topics of one of the two projects
It is considered a bonus if you have:
– Experience working with social networks, social media data, detection of coordinated activities in social media, polarisation research and/or multilayer networks
– Knowledge of or enthusiasm for political science, media studies or other fields related to the projects
How to apply
To apply just email me at mikko.kivela (at) aalto.fi. You can include a CV if you have one ready, but don’t let it stop you if you are still working on it. I will arrange remote interviews with candidates as applications come in.