Call for Postdoctoral Scholars

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 12:00am to Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 12:00am

Data & Society is hiring two to four postdoctoral scholars.

Data & Society is an NYC-based research institute dedicated to addressing social, technical, ethical, legal, and policy issues that are emerging because of data-centric technological development. D&S brings together researchers, entrepreneurs, activists, policy creators, journalists, geeks, and public intellectuals to gather, debate, and engage one another on the key issues introduced by the increasing availability of data in society.

The Positions

Data & Society is looking for two to four postdocs whose work complements research projects currently underway at the Institute. Postdocs will be expected to spend half of their time directly contributing to an existing Data & Society project, under the supervision of the project lead, and half to their own research, under the supervision of danah boyd.

Postdocs will publish research and advance scholarly conversations while engaging with broader constituencies across numerous disciplines and perspectives. They will be expected to be active members of the Data & Society community – participating in seminars, research exchange, and events.

Role #1 — Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in Computer Science:

Candidates for this position should have a strong grasp of technical systems (including machine learning), as well as a rich understanding of socio-technical discussions. For example, candidates might have an undergraduate degree in computer science and a PhD in a social science field. Or they may have a more hybrid degree in an information school or CS program. They may be a data scientist or study data scientists.
Candidates should be able to translate between engineers and critics, feel comfortable at ACM/AAAI/IEEE conferences and want to publish in law reviews or social science journals as well as CS proceedings.
Candidates should be excited by the idea of working with researchers invested in fairness, accountability, and transparency in machine learning (e.g.,
Preference given for researchers who have qualitative empirical skills.
Postdocs working in this area will also work directly with two computer science professors - Suresh Venkatasubramanian (University of Utah) and Sorelle Friedler (Haverford).


Role #2 — Technology & Society:

Candidates for this position should have a strong background in Science and Technology Studies (STS) and a penchant for empirical research.
Candidates might have a PhD in any number of disciplines, including information, social science, or critical fields and take any empirical methodological approach. Candidates who can move across fields and methods are strongly preferred. JDs with strong research experience will be considered.
Candidates for this position should be interested in engaging one of several emerging research streams at Data & Society, such as:

Future of labor and work
Accountability in media and sociotechnical systems
Personalized learning and use of data in education contexts
Technology in criminal justice
Automation (in warfare, health, cities, etc.)
Artificial intelligence in society
Infrastructure and the Internet of things
Preference given to those with interest in direct engagement with practitioners or policymakers.


Additional Requirements

Eligible candidates will have received their PhD in 2015-2017. Start date for this position will be late August 2017. Successful candidates should have earned their PhD before the start date. (NYC-based ABDs working in this space who are interested in part-time work on existing projects while completing their dissertations are also welcome to reach out for more information.)


Successful candidates will have a well-established research track record as demonstrated by journal publications and conference papers, as well as participation on program committees, editorial boards, and advisory panels. The ideal candidate may be trained in any number of disciplines but should have a strong social scientific, critical methodological, or data analytic foundation; be interested in questions related to technology or the Internet and society or culture; and be interested in working in a highly interdisciplinary environment that includes computer scientists, lawyers, social scientists, and practitioners. Candidates should enjoy working on collaborative teams, mentoring junior researchers, and engaging broad audiences with research.


Practical Considerations

You will be expected to work from the Data & Society office in NYC at least four days a week, unless traveling for pre- approved fieldwork, conferences, or meetings.
You will be expected to contribute to the life of Data & Society through active engagement in and hosting of events, seminars, reading groups, and other cross-topical activities.
The annual salary for this position is $60,000. You will also receive a laptop and $2,000 for conference travel and materials. Additional research budget will depend on the project.
You will be offered a generous benefits package including health insurance, vacation time, and paid holidays. You must be eligible to work in the United States; we are unable to sponsor visas.
Postdoc positions are 1 year in length, with the possibility of a 1-year renewal depending on project alignment.
Postdocs will also receive additional training and skill development as part of the job.


Application Process

Please send the following materials to

A cover letter describing your current research agenda, your dissertation topic, and your planned research and professional trajectory. Also, indicate your desired start date, when you received/will receive your PhD, and which position you’re applying for.
Two journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, or equivalent writing samples.
Your CV.
The names, affiliations, and email addresses of three recommenders.

Feel free to contact should you have any questions about the position. Questions about the opportunity or process will not reflect negatively on your application.


Applications are due December 6, 2016.

The work and well-being of Data & Society is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We welcome applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, and persons with disabilities.



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