A Research Associate (Post-Doc) (w/m/d) - fulltime, fixed-term contract for Fairwork Project

Permanent employee, Full-time · Potsdam

Your mission
At the intersection of its research clusters on the Digitalisation of work and Disruptive Technologies and Intelligence, the XU Exponential University (XU) is looking for:
A Research Associate (Post-Doc) – Fairwork Project (w/m/d)
Contract Duration: April 1/May 1, 2024, to March 31/April 30, 2026 (40 hours per week)
Location: Potsdam, Germany, and remote.

About Us: The XU Exponential University of Applied Sciences is privately managed, locally anchored in the Berlin/Potsdam region and with a global reach. Our programs are consistently geared towards digital transformation and the requirements of the labour and education markets. Our university is at the forefront of the Fairwork project, a global initiative committed to assessing ad promoting fair work conditions in the digital economy. As part of our dedicated team in Germany, we are seeking a highly motivated and skilled Post-Doctoral Researcher to contribute to our mission of driving positive change in the rapidly evolving landscape of digitally mediated work. The XU Exponential University of Applied Sciences is a private, state-accredited university of applied sciences in Potsdam, Brandenburg. XU’s offerings are consistently geared towards digital transformation, the entrepreneurial mindset, sustainable innovation and the new competencies and skills for the jobs of the future. XU’s goal is to enable students, entrepreneurs, employees and managers to grow in the digital age and influence positive change. 
Position Overview: As a Post-Doctoral Researcher within the German team of the Fairwork project, you will play a crucial role in conducting digital research (data analytics) to evaluate job quality and working conditions among workers engaged in digital labour platforms (e.g. Lieferando, Flink, Bolt, Uber etc.). This position involves utilizing research findings to inform action strategies, collaborating on publications, and actively participating in disseminating evaluations of platforms against the principles of fair work. 
The Fairwork project is jointly coordinated by the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, and the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). The post holder will work at XU University under the guidance of Professor Dr. Maren Borkert, Vice-President Research and Professor for Digital Entrepreneurship, and in collaboration with Professor Dr. Raad Bin Tareaf, Professor for Data Science. Being part of Fairwork’s Team Germany, the post holder will closely work with both the OII (Oxford) and WZB team (Berlin) and, occasionally, across the international research project. Fairwork as a global action research project has been implemented in over 30 countries worldwide, which provides a rich basis for comparison. 
The Team Germany of the Fairwork project will research the German platform economy with a particular focus on the effects of algorithmic management on working conditions and related challenges and prospects for collective bargaining and representation of workers. As part of this research, the team will be responsible for the Fairwork Germany reports for 2024 and 2025 and engage with key stakeholders to advocate for better regulation of platform labour.
Your tasks and duties: The post holder will be an experienced researcher with outstanding all-around skills to conduct high-quality, independent research. In particular, the post-holder will:

  • Conduct primary research and secondary comprehensive and comparative analysis of (digital) data collected in the Fairwork project,
  • prepare research publications, chapters, summaries, and reports,
  • engage actively in the activities of the XU Research committee and collaborate in the preparation and management of grant applications,
  • reach out and liaise with external partners and stakeholders, particularly unions, policymakers and platforms,
  • disseminate findings in the scientific community and the media.
Your profile
  • A relevant postgraduate degree in data science, business analytics, social sciences (e.g. sociology, geography, economics, internet research), or related fields, with a strong emphasis on social media analysis,
  • strong publication record and familiarity with the existing literature and research related to the platform economy, digital economy, and algorithmic management,
  • Demonstrable commitment to working towards the empowerment of workers, and to equality and inclusion,
  • academic or professional experience in the development of research projects and methodologies,
  • experience in conducting, analysing, and interpreting research data,
  • excellent communication skills, including the ability to write for publications, present research proposals and results, and represent the research group at meetings,
  • ability to effectively interact with a wide range of stakeholders like unions, platform workers, managers, policymakers and journalists,
  • ability to work independently, communicate effectively with a team, and be a constructive force in a team environment,
  • enthusiasm to work in a diverse and international team.
  • Preferably fluent in German and English.
Why us?
  • Remuneration oriented to EG 14 TVöD Bund.
  • Flexible working hours and the possibility of mobile working (min. 20% of the weekly working hours agreed in the contract).
  • Choose between Mac and Windows notebooks for an optimal workflow.
  • Modern workplace equipment on a stylish university campus with lots of flair at the “Bogen Babelsberg”, a flexible office space built in the immediate vicinity of Studio Babelsberg (where movies like Metropolis, The Blue Angel, The Bourne Conspiracy and Inglourious Basterds made film history) and at the hotspot for innovative IT & Media companies. 
  • Work in a flat hierarchy that supports flexibility and creativity.
  • International, cooperative, and diversified working environment and integration into the scientific and tech community in Potsdam and Berlin.
  • Comprehensive program for continuous professional development and further qualification in the own discipline and beyond through e.g. access to LinkedIn Learning.
  • Monthly ticket for local public transport (Jobticket or Deutschlandticket Job).
  • Regular team events on the premises. 
  • Discounted membership at Potsdam University sports.
  • Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve as free vacation days.
The position will be filled subject to funding approval. 
Equally qualified applicants with disabilities will be given preference. We value highly diversity and welcome all applications – irrespective of gender, nationality, ethnic or social origin, religion, disability, age, or sexual orientation. The XU expressly encourages women or persons with migration backgrounds to apply.

Candidates interested are requested to submit the following documents in English in a single PDF-file, until 24th of March 2024

  • Cover letter outlining motivation, previous experiences, career plans
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Writing/Working samples  
  • Copies of relevant certificates
  • One letter of reference from previous employers and contact information for two additional references
If you have any questions regarding the job opening, please contact Ms. Stephanie Apel (e: career@xu-university.com). 
For more information about the Fairwork Project, see fair.work.
For more information about XU University, see www.xu-university.com

To apply simply use the "Apply now" button below. Please let us know your salary expectations and your earliest possible starting date.

We look forward to hearing from you!
About us
The XU Exponential University of Applied Sciences is a private university with a central location in Potsdam, Brandenburg. The offers of the XU Exponential University are consistently geared towards the digital transformation and the requirements of the labor and education markets.
The aim of the XU Exponential University is to enable students, employees and managers to grow in the digital age and to actively shape digital change.
Your application!
We appreciate your interest in the XU. Please fill in the following short form. Should you have any difficulties in uploading your files, please contact us by mail at career@xu-university.de.

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