PhD position in Communication Science at University of Amsterdam in Netherlands 2021

The University of Amsterdam is offering a PhD position: Automated Social network and news media analysis to promote cancer screening in the 2021/22 academic session.

Project details:

Social media discussions have been shown to reflect and influence public perceptions on a myriad of topics, including support for health policies and screening programs, and mistrust of government and medical institutions. People often turn to social media to look for health information. At present, very little is known about the causes and the consequences of these social media discussions on support for the cancer screening program, public trust in national health institutes, their perception of balanced information provision by those health institutes, and their subsequent news media selection.

The goal of the PhD position is to understand the dynamics between news media content, social media discussions, and trust and participation in cancer screening programs. The PhD position is embedded in the project ‘SENTENCES’, a ZonMw-funded research project that focuses on not only understanding the causes and consequences of social media discussions, but also to develop and validate artificial intelligence tools to promote informed decision making regarding one’s health. Within ‘SENTENCES’, we work together with key academic expertise on artificial intelligence, communication science, and natural language processing. We also work together with key societal partners, including National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Netherlands Cancer Foundation (KWF),, and Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL).

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The tasks for the PhD position include:

  • development and application of computational methods for automated content and sentiment analysis;
  • conducting and analyzing focus group interviews with members of the public;
  • writing papers together with other project members;
  • communicating the results of the research to academic and public audiences;
  • present your work in (inter)national conferences;
  • finalize the papers in a PhD thesis.

Worth of Award

  • Your salary will be €2,395 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €3,061 in the final year, based on full-time employment and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities
  • Secondary benefits at Dutch universities are attractive and include 8% holiday pay and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.


Candidates for this position should have a (research) master’s degree in communication science, computer science and/or computational linguistics, or equivalent.

In addition, you:

  • have proven affinity with research on new communication technologies and health;
  • have training in and/or experience with natural language processing techniques;
  • have solid statistical skills;
  • have excellent organizational and social skills;
  • are willing to learn and think across disciplines;
  • have good communication skills and are well able to communicate with your fellow peers , the research population and societal partners;
  • are collaborative and like to work in a team;
  • have excellent English writing and presentation skills, and preferably speak Dutch.
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How to Apply

  • Submit your CV and covering letter.
  • You may apply online by clicking on the link below.

Deadline: The deadline for applications is October 26, 2020. Interviews will take place in Mid November. #LI-DNP.


Click here for more details and to apply