Post-doctoral Research Assistant

The Alan Turing Institute

The Post-doctoral Research Assistant (PDRA) will work on two projects related to the role of social media in influencing political behaviour. The first project looks at political advertising on social media, exploring the relative effects of different advertising designs – varied according to the degree of social information about what other people are doing – on an individual’s own likelihood in participating in public good behaviour. The second project looks at political volatility, generating a wide range of data sources to explore how social media feed volatility in political systems, with chains of social influence creating continual series of punctuated equilibria. The PDRA will work as part of a project team that includes political scientists Peter John and Helen Margetts. They will gather data sources; liaise with social media platforms; design experiments; analyse data; work with the other members of the team to devise theoretical models of political behaviour on social media platforms and to prepare conference and journal papers reporting on the results; contribute ideas to the ongoing project, including looking at potential longer term impact development; and plan the integration of any new ideas with emerging grant proposals. The position is suitable to candidates who have completed a PhD degree in a social science discipline, with a strong data analytical and/or experimental focus.

The role is available for one year, either full or part-time, with the possibility of an extension should further funding be secured.

Informal inquiries to Peter John and Helen Margetts via are welcomed.

How to Apply

This is an exciting opportunity to join a diverse, growing organisation with a strong team of individuals at the helm. There is a generous benefits package including Health Care, enrolment into a generous pension scheme, Cycle2work and childcare vouchers. The Institute also offers 30 days’ holiday per year exclusive of bank holidays.

Further information about the role, duties and responsibilities can be found on the Turing website and person specification:

If you consider that you meet the criteria set out in the person specification and would like to apply for the role, please email your CV and cover letter to Please also arrange for two references to be sent directly to this e-mail address by the closing date at the latest. Applications will not go forward for shortlisting without references.

Closing Date for Applications: 29th October 2017

Note if you do not hear back from us by the 6th November, please assume your application has not been successful.

The Alan Turing Institute is committed to creating an environment where diversity is valued and everyone is treated fairly.  In accordance with the Equality Act, we welcome applications from anyone who meets the specific criteria of the post regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender reassignment, marital status, pregnancy, religion or belief or sexual orientation. Reasonable adjustments to the interview process can also be made for any candidates with a disability.

Please note all offers of employment a subject to successful security screening and continuous eligibility to work in the UK.

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