Job opportunity Job opportunity
-A +A


application deadline:
25 01 2018
Please submit application to:
Prof. Dr. Jeanette Hofmann
Email: Bewerbungen_DII [at] wzb [dot] eu

The WZB Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) invites applications for the position of a


(Reference No. FG18 13)

for the research project “Quantification and Social Regulation” within the BMBF-funded collaborative project "Weizenbaum-Institut für die vernetzte Gesellschaft“ (Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society), starting from March 1, 2018 and fixed-term until September 14, 2020. Appointments will be made at 65 percent of the regular working time (currently 25.35 hours per week).

The Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society (see will study the interplay of Digital Transformation and Society. The Berlin-Brandenburg consortium is led by the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Besides the WZB, it includes Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin University of the Arts, Technische Universität Berlin, University of Potsdam and Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS). Interdisciplinary research and cooperation across social, economic, and legal sciences with design research and computer science will be the main focus of the Berlin-Brandenburg consortium. Basic research and the exploration of concrete solutions in open labs will be combined with knowledge transfer to politics, business, and society.

As part of the institute the research group 18 “Quantification and Social Regulation” investigates the role of automated information and decision systems (using technologies such as big data or artificial intelligence) in politics and organizations as well as their regulation. Within the project, the task of the computer sciences will be to study the influence of computer interfaces on human decision-making. Another focus is to develop and discuss quality criteria for automated decision making processes, such as information security, information privacy, adequacy, correctness, transparency and accountability.

An extension of the contract beyond September 14, 2020 is possible if further funding is obtained from the BMBF. The project has two Principal Investigators: Prof. Dr. Jeanette Hofmann (WZB, FU Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Ina Schieferdecker (TU Berlin, Fraunhofer FOKUS), who are available as supervisors of the computer science qualification project. Besides the advertised position, the members of the research group are a Postdoc (Dr. Lena Ulbricht) and two doctoral candidates from the social sciences.

Tasks: Planning and conducting research within the framework of the research group in coordination with the project management; independent research, developing and completing a scientific qualification (PhD) in the thematic field of the project, publication and presentation of research findings; instructing the student assistants; contributing to the general activities of the Weizenbaum Institute and to the transfer of research results in cooperation with the network partners of the institute.

Requirements: A university degree (M.Sc. or equivalent) with outstanding results in computer science, business informatics, computer engineering, mathematical computer science or a related discipline; a clear focus on the societal implications of digitalized algorithmics, analytics and automation. Applicants should also have good knowledge in at least three of the following areas: machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data, visualization, human-computer interaction, algorithmic accountability, mobile computing, cloud/edge computing, personalization. Applicants should furthermore have very good German and/or English language skills. Applicants with little knowledge of German should have reached the level B1 after one year. Moreover, a high level of independence and commitment towards building up the new institute and research area are expected.

Remuneration: Group E 13 TVÖD (in accordance with German public service collective agreement)

Equally well qualified disabled persons will be given preference. The WZB actively invites women and people with immigration history to apply.

Please, submit your written application (in electronic form only, in one PDF file), including all relevant documents (motivation letter, curriculum vitae, publication list, certificates) as well as a two-page outline of your own ideas for the dissertation project, and quoting the reference No. FG18 13 in the subject line, by January 25, 2018 to:

Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH

Professor Dr. Jeanette Hofmann

Email: Bewerbungen_DII [at] wzb [dot] eu