Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Junior Researcher Social Studies of Science (1.0 FTE)  

Vacancy number
22-802 13236
Job type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
29 November 2022
Closing date
13 December 2022 Vacancy closed

The Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of the Faculty Social and Behavioural Sciences is looking for a

Junior Researcher Social Studies of Science (1.0 FTE)  
Vacancy number: 22-802 13236

Are you interested in the workings of the science system, in particular in the ways new forms of evaluation reconfigure science? Are you curious to unpack what happens at the intersection of scientific ambition, climate policy and the deep sea? And are you proactive, organized and eager to develop your skills as a researcher?

If so, we are looking forward to meeting you! We have a job opening for a pre-doctoral candidate with good qualitative research skills to work in the European Research Council (ERC)-funded project FluidKnowledge.

About the project

Through the rich case of ocean science, the FluidKnowledge project addresses a key challenge in social-scientific research regarding how evaluations are implicated in scientific understandings of the world. The project is led by Sarah de Rijcke and has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

Ocean science is increasingly multivalent. Not only is it expected to contribute to a more systemic understanding of the ocean as an ecosystem, it is also called on to analyse environmental effects of climate change, and help fight effects of intensified exploitation. At the same time, it operates in a highly research-focused and efficiency-oriented academic system whose norms partly work against societal relevance.

We have a job opening for a junior researcher to help develop an exciting case study on deep-sea mining. The deep ocean contains vast quantities of potato-shaped, mineral-laden nodules. Mining these is seen by some as a solution in the transition from oil and gas to green energy (e.g. the nickel and cobalt in these nodules are in high demand for manufacturing batteries). For others, deep-sea mining is hugely problematic, because the environmental impact of mining the ocean floor - a very complex technological challenge - is both unknown and highly contested. The team will analyse how the transition to a clean-energy economy is being addressed oceanographically within public-private partnerships that include ocean scientists, national governments, and the shipping and mining industry. These collaborations raise complex questions about scientific quality and integrity, sustainable R&D, and environmental justice.

Key responsibilities

  • Undertake desk research and document analysis;
  • Find relevant academic literature;
  • Assist in doing fieldwork;
  • Help with editing outputs and publishing findings;
  • (further) Develop their own identity as a researcher;
  • Contribute to project team and institute meetings.

Selection criteria
The succesful candidate has:

  • Completed a Master in science and technology studies, sociology of science, anthropology, or a related discipline;
  • Excellent skills in qualitative data collection, and analysis as exemplified in the master thesis or other research projects previously conducted;
  • Fluent in English, both spoken and written;
  • Strong communicative and interpersonal skills and a flexible and supportive attitude towards colleagues;
  • Interest in, and previous experience with, the field of ocean science (or related fields) is a plus.

About the faculty
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences consists of five institutes: Education and Child Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies. The faculty has approximately 7,000 students and 1,025 employees. The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences brings together high-quality research and outstanding teaching as well as in multidisciplinary approaches. Please, visit the faculty’s website for more information. 

The Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) is an interdisciplinary research institute at Leiden University that studies scientific research and its connections to technology, innovation, and society. Studies at CWTS range across the broad field of science, technology and innovation studies. Our staff have developed a special focus on research evaluation, research management, and science policy. Among the fields that significantly contribute to the core activities of the institute are science and technology studies, library and information science, computer science, sociology, anthropology, and economics.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time position until 28 February 2024, with the possibility of a 6-month extension. Ideally, the starting date will be as soon as possible. Salary range from € 2.960,- to € 4.670,- gross per month on a full-time basis (pay scale 10, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

Diversity and inclusion
Fostering an inclusive community is a central element of the values and vision of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

Enquiries can be made to Ilse Schuitema, ISchuitema@FSW.leidenuniv.nl

Please submit online your application no later than 13 December 2022 via the blue button in our application system.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

This website uses cookies.  More information.