PhD Candidate: Digital/AI Technologies and Professional Interaction

1.0 FTE
Gross monthly salary
€ 2,770 - € 3,539
Required background
Research University Degree
Organizational unit
Faculty of Arts
Application deadline

How do AI/digital technologies affect interaction in professionals settings such as care, medicine and education? As a PhD candidate in the field of technology, language and social interaction, you will contribute to the research and value lines of the interdisciplinary hub for digitalisation and society (iHub) and to the research of the Centre for Language Studies (CLS).

There are currently many fears about digital technologies including robots and AI replacing humans at work or intervening in work practices. More realistically, recent research shows that automation is affecting certain tasks, rather than entire jobs. That is, humans will increasingly work with robots, AI and other technologies. This project moves beyond the 'grand' questions about AI and work and takes a novel 'micro'-approach to ask how robots/agents/digital technologies affect interaction and work qualitatively and in practice. A special interest will be how social categories (gender, race, class) are observably interrelated with the interaction between or around agents and technologies. The project takes an innovative approach to these questions by drawing on a combination of conversation analysis (and/or membership categorisation analysis) and ethnography of digitally mediated professional interactions. The project falls under 'Expertise and Meaningful Work', one of the four value lines of iHub. PhD supervision is interdisciplinary, including a philosopher and linguist (conversation analyst).

You are invited to develop your own research idea within the topic mentioned above; your application letter should include a preliminary sketch of this idea (max. 1,000 words), describing your focus within the proposed research line. The project is expected to include empirical work (data collection and micro-analysis) and a normative/ethical component, for instance reflecting on empirical findings. You will present the research outcomes at national and international conferences, and you will write at least three articles for international high-impact journals, to be included in your dissertation. You will develop yourself by taking courses at the Graduate School of the Humanities (Radboud University) and elsewhere to obtain relevant knowledge and skills, and you will actively participate in iHub activities. You will write a doctoral dissertation and publicly defend it to obtain your doctoral degree at the Faculty of Arts.


  • You should have or shortly expect to obtain a Master's degree in linguistics, communication science, or another relevant discipline.
  • You have an excellent command of written and spoken English.
  • You have excellent academic writing skills.
  • You have knowledge of and experience in ethnomethodology and/or conversation analysis. A Master's degree involving several months of experience and training on a scientific project will be a strong advantage.
  • You have strong social skills.
  • You are able to work in a team as well as independently.
  • You have well-developed personal management skills.
  • You have an affinity with interdisciplinary research.
  • Knowledge of Dutch will be an advantage.

We are

As a PhD candidate, you will be embedded at the Interdisciplinary Hub for Digitalisation and Society (iHub) and affiliated with the Centre for Language Studies (CLS) at Radboud University. iHub brings together researchers from various disciplines, including linguistics and communication, philosophy, computer science, law, science and technology studies, and organisational studies, focusing on the promotion of public values in digital society. iHub's research areas include AI and inclusive societies, the 'Googlisation of health' and other sphere transgressions, privacy and human rights, online manipulation, and the future of work. iHub also includes a lab for the development of value-driven prototypes. The supervisory team includes Wyke Stommel (supervisor) and Marcel Becker (co-supervisor).

Radboud University

We are keen to meet critical thinkers who want to look closer at what really matters. People who, from their expertise, wish to contribute to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This ambition unites more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University and requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,770 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,539 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Would you like more information?

For questions about the position, please contact Wyke Stommel, Associate Professor of Language and Communication at +31 06 31 13 30 14 or wyke.stommel [at] (wyke[dot]stommel[at]ru[dot]nl).

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 1 October 2023, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Wyke Stommel. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV.
  • Your project idea (max. 1,000 words).
You would preferably begin employment on 1 January 2024.
We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.
Apply now Application deadline

We would like to recruit our new colleague ourselves. Acquisition in response to this vacancy will not be appreciated.

Dr Stommel, W.J.P. (Wyke)

Associate Professor of Language and Communication
+31 06 31 13 30 14

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