The Professorship of Science & Technology Policy (Prof. Dr. Ruth Müller), based at the Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS), Technical University of Munich, announces two open positions for a doctoral researcher in Science & Technology Studies (STS) (TV-L E13, 65%, 3 years) as well as one open position for a postdoctoral researcher (TV-L E13, 100%, 4 years). The positions are announced in three different research projects (see descriptions below). All positions start on Oct 1, 2021.
The research group “Science & Technology Policy” (STP) at MCTS explores the interactions between science, technology, society and policy, with a distinct focus on the social studies of the life sciences and biomedicine. The group is based at the MCTS, an interdisciplinary research center in Science and Technology Studies (STS). As of October 2021, the MCTS will transform into the Department of Science, Technology & Society at the newly founded TUM School of Social Sciences & Technology. The MCTS – and the future STS Department – is home to about 60 researchers in STS and two international MA programs (MA Science & Technology Studies and MA Responsibility in Science, Engineering and Technology), as well as a hub for international guest researchers in STS.
About the research projects
We are seeking researchers to join our team in three projects that will start on Oct 1 2021:
1) A doctoral researcher in the project “De- and Restabilizing Evidence in the Corona Crisis” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The project is part of the DFG research group “Practicing Evidence – Evidencing Practice” and explores processes of creating, communicating and negotiating scientific evidence during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project at the chair of STP will focus specifically on how researchers in virology and epidemiology have been dealing with the uncertain and ever evolving character of evidence during the pandemic and how this has been affecting their work and communication practices. Due to its specific focus on the German research community, German language skills are beneficial for this position.
2) A doctoral researcher in the project “Responsible Innovation Communication in AI Research” funded by the TUM-IAS. This project is a cooperation with Prof. Dr. Maja Horst (DTU Copenhagen). It will explore what it might mean to consider communication as a key element of responsible research and innovation, focusing specifically on representations of AI research and researchers in public discourse in Germany and on the role scientists play in generating and responding to public narratives. Due to its specific focus on German public communication about AI, German language are beneficial for this position. For further information see: https://www.ias.tum.de/research-areas/political-social-and-technological-change/responsible-innovation-communication
3) A postdoctoral researcher in the interdisciplinary TUM Innovation Network “Neurotechnology in Mental Health”. Together with colleagues in medicine, neuroscience, AI and medical ethics, this project explores the potentials of neuromodulation technologies to treat chronic pain, depression and cognitive disorders. The project follows an embedded ethics & social science approach, i.e., an STS researcher and a medical ethicist will be part of the project from the starts, analyzing and addressing social, ethical and political issues as they arise. This includes bringing in the perspectives and needs of patients and medical staff who might work with these technologies in the future through co-creative approaches. The project is conducted in particularly close collaboration with the TUM Chair for Ethics in Medicine and Health Technologies (Prof. Dr. Alena Buyx). For further information see: https://www.tum.de/en/research/research-centers/innovation-networks/
Your tasks as a doctoral researcher
As a doctoral researcher, you will work as part of a project team. Your tasks will include empirical research and data analysis, preparation of results for publication, presentation of results at (international) academic meetings, contributions to the teaching portfolio of the group and support for organizing project-related academic events. You will develop an innovative research question for your PhD thesis as part of the project and in collaboration with the project leader, Prof. Ruth Müller. You will regularly meet with your supervisor to discuss and support the progress of your thesis. Beyond the project, you will be part of the Science & Technology Policy research group at and the lively research community at the STS department more generally. You will actively participate in the academic life of the group and the department, which both regularly host international guest researchers and academic events. As a PhD student at TU Munich, you will be enrolled in the TUM Graduate School, which provides a structured PhD program and offers a rich program of courses in academic and transferable skills.
Applicants should hold a Master’s degree in the social sciences, humanities, or the life sciences. Familiarity with STS concepts and experience with qualitative social science research methods is highly desirable. You should be interested in working across the disciplines and in engaging with other knowledge cultures. You should further be capable of and interested in working both as part of a team and independently. Fluency in English is essential for the academic life at the center. We are looking for inspired and inspiring new talents who want to work in and contribute to an exciting, interdisciplinary STS research environment.
Your tasks as postdoctoral researcher
As a postdoctoral researcher, you will work as part of the project team, together with Prof. Dr. Ruth Müller. Your tasks will include empirical research and data analysis, presentation of results at international academic meetings and in international academic journals, contributions to the teaching portfolio of the group and the organization of research-related academic events. Beyond the project, you will be part of the Science & Technology Policy research group and the lively STS research community at the STS department more generally. You will actively participate in the academic life of the group and the department, which both regularly host international guest researchers and academic events.
Applicants should hold a PhD in STS or related social science research fields. A successful candidate will be familiar with STS concepts and theories; experienced in qualitative social science research methods; interested in working in an interdisciplinary, collaborative research environment and in engaging with other knowledge cultures; able to work independently and as part of a team; and capable of both rigorous and creative academic work. English language skills at a high level of quality are essential for the position and for academic life at the STS department in general. We are looking for inspired and inspiring new talents who want to work in and contribute to an exciting, interdisciplinary STS research environment.
Your complete application documents must include your CV, your Master’s/PhD degree certificates, a letter of motivation (max. 2 pages), 1-2 writing samples (e.g., thesis chapters, articles, etc.), and names and contact details of 2 references, including a brief statement explaining your relationship to each of the named references.
It is possible to apply for one or both PhD positions. In case you want to apply for both, please send two letters of motivation explaining your specific interest in each project and how your skills will contribute to the project’s success.
Please send your complete application as a single pdf document to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will accept and review all applications received up until and including Monday, July 12, 2021. Interviews will be conducted shortly after the application deadline, in person or via a video conferencing tool.
We are committed to raising the number of women and gender-non-binary individuals in research and teaching, who are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities are treated with preference given comparable qualification.