PhD Position on ‘Contemporary political satire: The effects of satiric news’

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    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
    Cultural studies
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    30/04/2018 22:00 - UTC
    Netherlands › Amsterdam

The Department of Communication Science at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has a vacancy for a PhD Candidate on the topic of ‘Contemporary political satire: The effects of satiric news’. The research project has been funded by a VIDI grant by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and is being led by dr. Christian Burgers. You will be part of a larger project team, containing the principle investigator, two PhD Candidates and a number of student assistants. Next to the Department of Communication Science and the Institute for Societal Resilience, this project will also be embedded in the Metaphor Lab Amsterdam.
The project is highly interdisciplinary, combining elements from communication-scientific insights into political satire with elements from the applied-linguistics literature on effects of linguistic framing.

The goal of the project is unravelling the impact of language use in satiric news, with a particular focus of figuration (metaphor, hyperbole, irony). You will study how differential language use in satiric news impacts processing, and its subsequent enjoyment, appreciation and political impact. To answer this question, you will conduct a number of quantitative experiments. You will have the opportunity to use specific techniques for measuring online processing (e.g., eye-tracking). You will write research articles which will culminate in a PhD dissertation.

• Set up and running experiments on Dutch-language satiric news;
• Analyze data using quantitative techniques (e.g., multivariate statistics, Structural Equation Modelling);
• Write a PhD dissertation consisting of research articles;
• Work in an interdisciplinary research team;
• Participate in international conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities;
• Participate in outreach activities of the VIDI project in collaboration with the other team members;
• Participate in the VU Graduate School for Social Sciences.


The initial appointment will be for a period of 1 year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.

The successful candidate will begin their project on 1 September 2018. A later date is negotiable.

You can find information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment at our website like:
• Remuneration of 8,3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance;
• Solid pension scheme (ABP);
• A minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment;

The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and amounts € 2222,00 gross per month in the first year up to € 2840,00 in the fourth year (salary scale 85) based on a full-time employment.

Selection process

Please submit your application before 30 April 2018 and through e-mail at with the vacancy number and job title as subject. As attachment (in one-single pdf file), please include a motivation letter (max. 2 A4), CV, proof of Master degree, list of grades from your Bachelor and your Master degrees, contact information for two academic references and a recent academic writing sample that you have first-authored (e.g., academic article, master thesis). It is also possible to apply if you expect to complete your master degree by 1 September 2018. In that case, please include a statement by your thesis supervisor that you are on track to complete your thesis and degree by that date.

Interviews will be scheduled around the middle of May 2018.

Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with.

Additional comments

For additional information, please contact the project leader dr. Christian Burgers.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

• Master’s degree in Communication Science or a Master’s degree in another discipline relevant to the project such as Journalism Studies, Communication and Information Sciences (CIW), Linguistics or Political Science (candidates with another Master’s degree may apply, but should motivate why their experience suffices for this project). Having completed a research master or holding equivalent qualifications is a plus;
• Experience with quantitative experiments;
• (Near-)native proficiency of Dutch (as you will be designing Dutch-language experiments focusing on differences in language use);
• Familiarity with quantitative data analysis in programs like SPSS or R;
• The motivation to work in an interdisciplinary team.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
1081 HV
De Boelelaan 1105

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EURAXESS offer ID: 286482
Posting organisation offer ID: 45982