PhD position in Information Verification for Peace and Justice

Do you have the ambition to address the Grand Challenges for the coming decennia? Do you wish to analyse and solve complex socio-technical problems that involve many parties with conflicting interests? In the light of the core contents of the EPA (Engineering and Policy Analysis) programme of the Faculty of TPM (Technology, Policy and Management), Delft University of Technology, this PhD position is defined on the theme of Information Verification for Peace and Justice.

Information verification plays a pivotal role in the decision-making processes of many domains. Despite its value, verification is often complex, onerous, and sometimes unworkable. It is becoming even more so in the digital age, where new media and technologies such as online social platforms, crowdsourcing, imaging satellites, and mobile devices keep on generating an abundant amount of data, with various standards of quality.

For the grand theme of peace and justice, information quality in the digital age is often critical, posing great concerns and challenges with new opportunities. Taking the humanitarian domain for example, in recent crises such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the West Africa 2014 Ebola outbreak, social media information resulted controversial outcomes. Some reported that it complicated and escalated the crisis situation by spreading misinformation, rumor, worry and fear, while some others reported it improved the detection, preparedness and response by filling the information gaps – as a complement to traditional field work based surveillance approach. The same situation can be found, e.g. in evidence collection and statement verification processes by national and international judicial institutions.

New media and new technologies create immense possibilities for information gathering, but the unreliable information quality is the root of its low acceptance for high-impact decision-making. Reliable information verification can remove a huge obstacle towards effective decision-making for peace and justice in the digital age. This raises significant research questions for information professionals and scholars. How to first learn from traditional domains such as investigative journalism and business/police/civilian/military intelligence, and to adapt the methodologies in innovative ways to meet the needs and necessities of information consumers for peace and justice is one of the many pressing questions to tackle. For this PhD position, you have the freedom to scope and define your research topic within the the broad theme of Information Verification for Peace and Justice.

As a PhD candidate, you are expected to work at Delft as well as at the TPM Campus in The Hague, the international city of Peace and Justice, engaging with various institutions, national and international organizations, NGOs and other related partners.

Requirements

  • A master’s degree in data science, information science, computer science, artificial intelligence or a relevant socio-technical discipline
  • Demonstrable interests in complex socio-technical problems, particularly in information verification for peace and justice, e.g. in humanitarian and human rights applications
  • Strong analytical and reasoning skills
  • Knowledge of and experience with qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods
  • Good programming skills
  • Good social skills; open to collaboration; willingness and ability to work in an international and interdisciplinary team
  • Self-motivated, dedicated, proactive and goal-oriented, striving for high-quality research
  • Good command of both spoken and written English

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit http://www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.

Contract type 4 years (38 hours per week)

Salary € 2325 – € 2972

Job number ATTBM 19.008

Contact Yilin Huang, should you need more information about this position.

To apply please compile the following documents (with the following orders) into a single pdf file named lastname_firstname.pdf:

  • Statement of purpose
  • CV
  • The contact list of three references
  • Academic transcript of completed courses (Bachelor and Master).

Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Applications should be submitted to vacature-tbm@tudelft.nl, referring to vacancy number ATTBM 19.008 in the subject of the email. Application deadline is 10 June 2019.

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