Postdoctoral-Level Research Assistant “Data Visualization and Policymaking”

Deadline for application: 2 July 2021

Download this information as a PDF here.

Project Overview
Data visualization is growing as a way of analyzing and communicating information to a variety of public users. This project aims to understand how visualization features in international policymaking, as well as its implications for governance, public perceptions, and politics. Project outputs to date include a virtual workshop and a special issue under review for the journal Convergence. It is funded by the British Academy Knowledge Frontiers Symposium scheme, and is co-led by Dr William Allen (Department of Politics and International Relations and the Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford), Dr Kathryn Nash (Political Settlements Programme, Law School, University of Edinburgh), and Dr Verity Trott (School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University).

Job Description
The project team is looking to hire a postdoctoral-level assistant to provide help with the research, including scoping and collecting examples of visualization in published policy documents, and its subsequent publication. The team is keen to emphasize that this researcher will share in the writing process, and, as such, will be included as a named author on output(s) emerging from the work. Specifically, they will be involved in:

  • Identifying and scoping the use of visualizations in UN organizations (to be selected in collaboration with the project team)
  • Systematically collecting and organising visualization examples from policy documents into a dataset
  • Analyzing the dataset, with the team, using qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed-method approaches
  • Writing outputs based on the analysis for academic and public-facing audiences, including policymakers

Candidate Requirements

  • Interest in, and knowledge within the broad field of data use in policymaking and/or international politics (essential)
  • Familiarity with, and basic knowledge of visual media and/or visual culture (essential)
  • Ability to manage own research and administrative activities (essential)
  • Ability to write for academic and public-facing audiences (essential)
  • Ability to work as part of a team to set and achieve research and writing goals (essential)
  • Prior experience in collecting and analyzing materials of various types, including but not limited to media content, visuals, text, or a mixture of the above (desirable)
  • Prior experience in qualitative and/or quantitative methods as applied to visual materials (desirable)

Due to grant and employment restrictions, this position is open to current postdoctoral-level researchers (i.e., having completed the viva before the research assistance commences) who have the right to work in the UK. Candidates who are currently enrolled on a postgraduate (e.g., PhD) course are not eligible. The position is based at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (SAME). Before starting, the successful candidate will need to meet a right-to-work check undertaken by the department.

Pay, Length of Contract, Reporting
The position will involve up to 150 hours of work, spread over up to 12 weeks. The rate of pay will be £18.38 per hour plus holiday pay, which corresponds with Grade 7.4 on the University of Oxford pay scales (which is within the levels normally paid to postdoctoral researchers). The required experience and level of anticipated work reflects this higher rate of pay. Although the candidate will engage with all of the team members, they will formally report to Dr William Allen as the line manager. Working hours are flexible and remotely-based, and we will accommodate candidates who need to work unconventional hours due to caring responsibilities or other reasons.

How to Apply
Send the following documents as a single PDF to Dr William Allen by the closing date 2 July 2021:

  1. a 2-page CV focusing on your research experience to date, and including one academic reference whom we may contact if needed; and
  2. a 1-page cover letter that clearly shows how you specifically meet the candidate requirements above. Short interviews with team members may be held in the week commencing 5 July 2021, but candidates will be informed of this in advance. Informal enquires may be directed to Dr Allen via the above email address.