Job Vacancy: “Post-Doctoral Researcher, Collaborative Engagement on Societal Issues project”, (Sciences Po CEE, France)

Deadline March 1

Sciences Po CEE are seeking to appoint a Researcher to work with Prof Dominique Boullier in the project “Collaborative Engagement on Societal Issues” (COESO) (Grant number 101006325) of the H2020 program Swafs 2020 funded by the European Commission. 

The COESO (Collaborative Engagement on Societal Issues) project facilitates and supports participatory research in SSH, through a service-first approach. COESO supports ten Citizen Science pilots presenting a variety of disciplines, societal challenges and types of engagement with citizens in different European countries. COESO project will specifically support collaborative practices in Citizen Science by developing a Virtual Ecosystem for Research Activation (VERA), a platform envisioned as a “collaboratory” providing a set of tools to discover potential partners, to define and co-design the activities, to co-create new knowledge and solutions, and to deliver them to society. COESO will furthermore collaborate with research funding organizations to enhance financial support to Citizen Science projects in the SSH and explore the frontiers of innovation in SSH public engagement by achieving a complete mutual learning with the teams involved in the Pilots. Finally, “Cooperation analytics” will be designed to measure the quality of collaboration between researchers and citizens in VERA. Those analytics will be useful to the project teams themselves but they will also be a major contribution to funders, policy makers, research organizations and other stakeholders supporting Citizen Science policies. COESO’s overall objective is to overcome the obstacles that hinder the development of Citizen Science in the SSH. COESO will enable a dramatic growth of Citizen Science projects in these disciplines and will intensify the collaborations between SSH researchers and citizens to tackle together the many societal challenges European societies face today. VERA will be one of the core services offered by OPERAS Research Infrastructure to the scientific community.More specifically, Sciences Po- CEE (FNSP) will be in charge of the WP 5, the design of cooperation analytics. Used as a “collaboratory”, the platform VERA will provide a relevant observation field to understand and assess the conditions of collaboration in the Pilots. Why do we need this feedback? COESO is experimenting new public arenas for social research. This is a strong commitment related to the rather difficult times for investigation in journalism and short-term requests for social sciences from decision makers. How is COESO able to demonstrate the added value of citizen science: through new way of framing issues? Through new access to fields of observation and data? Through different ways of mixing research and operational requirements? The observation and analysis of the quality of collaboration in the different Pilots are needed to reach the COESO aims at testing and validating quantitative and qualitative evaluation criteria. 

To assess this collaborative process, a monitoring grid for each stage of the research and quality criteria will be established in the project. They will also be used by Pilots teams to have them benefit from constant feedback on the quality of their collaboration so that they can adjust in real-time their practices. 

The quality criteria for citizen research must be both conceptually based (and not only normatively a priori) and operational, i.e. based on precise indicators, sometimes even calculable. 

All these indicators should, in the long term, form the framework for a set of “cooperation analytics,” largely investigated by the Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) community68. The models of the analytics implemented by digital platforms can serve as a guide for COESO because it is at a lower level of recover traces of activity that can be very elementary, such as clicks, reading times or likes-equivalents, but beyond that also treat anything that is a written expression left on posts, comments, and versions of working documents. Our ability to process these sources will be essential, for example, to provide citizen research collectives with conceptual maps of research terms; by mobilizing fairly elementary but meaningful text-mining techniques for stakeholders. Similarly, the contribution criteria can be based on audience measurements or its equivalent (how many are connected and read) but also on commitment.

How to apply

Please send (1) a cover letter outlining precisely the qualifications and skills that match the requirements for the position, as well as the expected salary, (2) a CV and (3) an example describing previous work managing similar tasks to those involved in this project to by 5 pm on Monday 1st March 2021. 

Interviews will be planned for the week of 8th March. 


The RA will be expected to: 

  • Prepare and undertake all the necessary tasks relating to the three tasks of the work package (WP5) under the supervision of the WP leader
  • produce a state-of-the-art report on cooperation analytics, including the older versions from CSCW, conceptual frameworks on cooperation in projects (from social sciences and management traditions), traditions in citizen science research, and extract relevant features and ideas for the development of our system.
  • Contribute to the design of the indicators and to the test of their implementation within the platform VERA.
  • conduct field and on line observations with the 5 pilots projects in order to learn from their forms of cooperation and from the critical situations, and to start testing paper versions of cooperation analytics (before they are implemented in the platform).
  • Conduct field and on line observations with the 5 pilots projects that will be selected and will benefit from the fully operational VERA platform, including the analytics.
  • Collect, store and code linguistic material from exchanges, meetings and documents between the partners of each pilot. The use of NLP techniques will be required. 
  • Contribute to publications from the observations of the cooperation and learning processes during the pilots. 
  • Identify and understand work requirements prioritising tasks and responsibilities within an agreed timeframe agreed with the WP leader;
  • The post holder will be required to effectively manage his/her time to deliver on the priorities of the project. The post holder will need to plan ahead to ensure the research is delivered in accordance with the overall research objectives and deadlines. This may include defining tasks and schedules, organising meetings, preparing intermediate reports on data and findings, and contributing to the project final report; 
  • Any other tasks that might be necessary for the proper undertaking of the role and the successful completion of the work packages.

Requirements (please, do not apply if you do not meet those outlined as Essential)

Qualifications, Knowledge and Experience 


  • A PhD in any Social Science with a strong methodological focus relevant to the project, particularly involving field observations in organizations and the management of linguistic material for quantitative analysis. A PhD in Digital Humanities or Data Science with a strong training in social sciences will be considered too. 
  • Demonstrable training in NLP techniques and robust statistical training
  • A sociological background related to organizational analysis, communication processes, quantification processes and STS. 
  • An interest and experience in user-centered design for interfaces
  • Prior research experience in externally funded projects.
  • Proficiency in English.*

Desirable, but not essential:

  • Research experience in topics related to citizen science and cooperative projects
  • An ability to communicate in French (active and passive use of the language).

Skills, Abilities and Competencies:


  • Proven ability of social science data input, management and analysis with Excel.*
  • Proven ability of social science data input, management and analysis with Stata or R.*
  • Proven ability to write up research findings.*
  • Ability to take initiative, self-manage and contribute intellectually to the overall project.
  • Expertise with relevant Office packages
  • Ability to work as part of a team.
  • Good oral and written communication skills.*
  • Attention to detail.*

Desirable but not essential:

  • Familiarity with international standards for the production, documentation and archiving of survey data (e.g. DDI, Dublin Core, RDA recommendations, etc.)
  • Intermediate-level quantitative analysis skills.
  • Evidence of coherent research activity (such as involvement in successful grant applications and publications).

Read more here.