Social Sciences & Humanities – Communication and Media Studies

 Fixed-Term from 1 March 2021 – 31 January 2024 in the First Instance 

Source: Loughborough University

The Online Civic Culture Centre (O3C) at Loughborough University is seeking to appoint an enthusiastic and highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to work with Professor Andrew Chadwick and Professor Cristian Vaccari on a new, Leverhulme-funded, research project, Understanding the Everyday Sharing of Misinformation on Private Social Media.

Developments over recent years, including the global Coronavirus pandemic, indicate that addressing the problem of online misinformation requires much richer and contextual understandings of why people share false and misleading information. Digital platform affordances, technologically mediated and face-to-face social networks, local, national, and international media, political and cultural elites, and community and family structures all play a role in shaping how false and misleading information circulates. Understanding these factors is a key challenge for societies.

This is an exciting postdoctoral research role. The researcher’s main responsibilities will be to contribute to project management; gather, organize, and analyze qualitative and quantitative data; arrange events and meetings relating to research online and/or in person; and contribute to the dissemination of the research in academic publications and public reports. Qualitative skills, including experience of in-depth interviews (online and/or in person), focus groups (online and/or in person), and open thematic coding of these sources of data are essential. Some experience of using Nvivo or similar will be an advantage. Quantitative skills, including knowledge of multivariate statistical analysis and random assignment survey experiment design, are essential. Some experience of using R will be an advantage. Familiarity with basic concepts and methods of social network analysis will also be desirable but not essential.

The successful applicant will be an experienced researcher with PhD-level social science training in either communication and media, political science, sociology, social psychology, or a cognate discipline or interdisciplinary field, such as behavioural science. They will be a team player, have excellent writing, presentational, and time management skills, be highly technologically literate, and be committed to the development of original social science theory and concepts.

The successful candidate will primarily work with Professor Andrew Chadwick (Principal Investigator) and Professor Cristian Vaccari (Co-Investigator). They will also collaborate with the PhD student who will also be funded by the project and with the project’s International Advisory Board. Applicants should hold, or be very close to being awarded, their PhD.

In the latest UK Research Excellence Framework (2014), Communication and Media at Loughborough was ranked 2nd in the UK for research intensity, with 90% of its research “world leading” or “internationally excellent.” It was ranked Top in the UK in the Times Good University Guide in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, and Top in the UK in the Complete University Guide for 2021.

Informal enquiries may be made by email to Professor Andrew Chadwick, director, Online Civic Culture Centre (O3C), Communication and Media, Loughborough University via email at

Application Closing Date: 21 December 2020 (midday)

It is expected that interviews (including presentation) will take place during the week commencing 25 January

Please follow this link for details