Skip to content

Details Job vacancies

2 x 65% PhD position (f/m/d)

The Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) at the University of Bremen is offering two salaried 3-year PhD positions (f/m/d) at a newly established research lab to be led by Cornelius Puschmann.

Description of the positions

Duration: 3 years
Starting date: 1 February 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter
Remuneration based on grade E13 TV-L (65% of a full-time position) of the German federal employee scale

General description of the position: The PhD student will join a newly established research lab, led by Cornelius Puschmann, and situated within the interdisciplinary ZeMKI of the University of Bremen. The members of this lab will study the relationship between digital media use – for example using social media platforms, engaging with online news, finding information through search engines – and current social, cultural and political phenomena, such as the spread of disinformation, cultural fragmentation, and social disenfranchisement, through a combination of computational and traditional research methods. The PhD student will be actively involved in the research activities of the lab and contribute to sharpening its research agenda and growing its research output. It is also expected that the PhD student will be an active contributor to the interdisciplinary intellectual environment of the ZeMKI. For more information on the lab and the ZeMKI, please see below.
Research and teaching duties

  • Develop an independent PhD research project based on the objectives of the lab (see below)
  • Collaboration in current and future research projects undertaken within the lab
  • Presenting research results at national and international conferences and workshops
  • Contributing to scientific publications
  • Teaching (2 hours per week in communication and media)

Essential qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Media and Communication, Sociology, Psychology, Computer/Information Science or Computational Linguistics
  • Command of R (alternatively Python)
  • Interest in computational methods, e.g.
    • Automated content analysis/text mining or
    • Network/sequence analysis or
    • Survey analysis/online experiments or
    • other standardized methods relevant to media usage research
  • Interest in media and communication (for applicants with backgrounds in other fields)
  • Experience with social media data analysis is desirable
  • Strong command of English

The University of Bremen intends to increase the proportion of women in science and therefore urges women to apply. Handicapped applicants with the same professional and personal suitability are given priority. Applications from people with a migration background are encouraged. Candidates who already hold a PhD degree will not be considered.

For questions pertaining to the position, please contact Cornelius Puschmann (puschmannprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de).


The application should include a brief description of his/her research interests, a written CV, copies of academic certificates and a writing sample (Master’s thesis, research paper, or other scholarly output, such as software code), as well as a short project sketch (0.5-1 page).

Please send your application including the reference number A309/19 until 1 December 2019 to:

Universität Bremen
Zentrum für Medien-, Kommunikations- und Informationsforschung (ZeMKI)
z.H. Frau Denise Tansel
Postfach 33 04 40
28334 Bremen

or as PDF via Email (single file) to: dtanselprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

The employment is fixed-term and serves the scientific qualification, governed by the Act of Academic Fixed-Term Contract, §2 (1) (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz). Therefore, candidates may only be considered for appointment if they still have the respective qualification periods available in accordance with § 2 (1) WissZeitVG.

About the lab

Informed citizens are a prerequisite for functioning Western societies and reliable information on politically and socially relevant issues increasingly reaches us online. Mobile apps and websites of major media brands play an important a role, as do niche offerings, popular blogs and dubious or even manipulative content (clickbait, fake news), some of which is mediated by non-human agents (social bots). There is currently a clearly identifiable research gap when it comes to the systematic investigation of media and news use on the basis of digital communication data -- a deficit that the new research lab will seek to address. Methodologically the lab will draw on:

  1. digital user tracking (through browser plug-ins / apps, data donations)
  2. automated content analysis (topic modelling, machine learning, sentiment analysis)
  3. survey data (online surveys, experience sampling)

Our long-term ambition is to link these instruments in panel designs in order to draw conclusions regarding causal relationships, for example between routine digital media usage and user attitudes.

About the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI)

As an inter-faculty research institute, the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) bundles research activities at the University of Bremen in the area of media and communicative change regarding a broad range of cultural, social, organisational and technological context fields. The research institute is committed to interdisciplinary cooperation, integrating researchers from the areas of media and communication studies, cultural studies, information management and media pedagogics. In addition to their research activities, ZeMKI members are active in the various media related study programmes at the University of Bremen. The ZeMKI oversees the profile-building research group "Communicative figurations of mediatized worlds" of the University of Bremen. The research group has been supported as a "Creative Unit" by the institutional strategy "Ambitious and Agile" of the University of Bremen funded within the frame of the Excellence Initiative by the German Federal and State Governments.


Created on 30.10.19 by Alexandra Gutherz