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Doctoral Researcher: Social datafication and spatial mobility

13.06.2019 14:50 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

University of Technology,  Tallinn

Deadlines for applications: 15th of June

Interviews will be scheduled  soon after. Priority will be given to applications received on or before  June 15 2019.

Start of appointment: September 2019 

Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance (RND) is one of  the largest, most internationalized and leading social science research  centres in Estonia. As part of Tallinn University of Technology  (TalTech) and its School of Business and Governance, RND functions at  the intersection of technological and social science research. 

The emergence of big data era has led to serious discussions about  social datafication – i.e. the socio-cultural consequences of big data  on societies, individual lives, and governmental organizations. Positive  consequences like control of spatial mobilities through algorithms  and negative consequences like discrimination through datafied decisions  are central in these discussions. Estonian society with its  contradictions – a highly digitalized environment, moderate use of open  data, low awareness of algorithmic control and privacy concerns – offers  a highly attractive environment for studying the societal consequences  of big data, algorithms, and AI. 

Key tasks: 

• The main task of the doctoral researcher is to carry out research in  data studies in the field of spatial mobilities (e.g. refugees, highly  skilled immigrants, e-residents, ‘data rich’ and ‘data poor’ mobile groups). 

• Participation in the research activities in the domains of 

(1) data justice - how to avoid discrimination through data, automatized  inequalities, racial bias, and movement towards more just data practices; 

(2) awareness of algorithmic control (the perspectives of data subjects  from the Global South, data rich and data poor ethnic / mobile groups), 

(3) data governance (use of social scoring, AI, machine learning methods  in governmental institutions for controlling mobility). 

• Participation in the teaching activities of the research group,  including supervision of students; 

• Participation in the administrative functions of the research group; 

Qualification requirements: 

• MA or equivalent in social sciences (in the fields of sociology,  public administration, media and communication, human geography, or a  related discipline); 

• Excellent knowledge of research methods, including quantitative  (survey, mobility tracking, basic and advanced statistics, social  networks analysis) or qualitative methods (interviewing, textual  analysis, visual analysis methods). Knowledge of digital or  computational research methods are advantageous. 

Specifics & Benefits: 

We offer the chance to do high-level research in an internationally  recognized research team; opportunities for conference visits;  networking with leading universities in the field of data studies;  publishing in high-level journals in the field. 

The position is fixed-term (4 years) 

Start date: 1 September 2019 (or as soon as possible). 

The position is financed from the state scholarship and from the  projects, which in total provides monthly income up to 1200 EUR net  (including 20% national income tax, Estonian national health, social  security and pension payments). 

Application requirements: 

• Cover letter 

• Curriculum vitae 

• Research proposal (5 pages) 

When applying for the 1st time for a position in TalTech, duplicate of 

the required  diploma (MA) or other document providing evidence of the necessary  qualification. 

For more information on TalTech, see  

For more information on RND, see 

 For more details on the position, please contact: 

Dr. Anu Masso, Associate Professor in Big Data in Social Sciences, 

Ragnar NurkseDepartment of Innovation and Governance, 



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