CITAP is Hiring!

SPILL Postdoctoral Research Associate

CITAP, a research center examining issues of democracy, technology, and society at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work on the Search Prompt Integrity & Learning Lab (SPILL) research initiative. The position will report to Dr. Francesca Tripodi.

About SILS and CITAP

SILS seeks to advance the profession and practice of librarianship and information science, to prepare students for careers in the field of information and library science, and to make significant contributions to the study of information.

Located within SILS, the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) is a research center dedicated to understanding the growing impact of the internet, social media, and other forms of digital information sharing in the context of the people who design, use, and govern them. CITAP conducts original research that illuminates how people, technology, and power intersect. Our topics of study include: how inequalities are coded into new technology systems, networked communities and how people come together online, platform governance, and identity and disinformation. We take a holistic approach grounded in history, society, culture, and politics to the study of technology platforms and information systems.

The Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) is an interdisciplinary center that brings together principal investigators from SILS, the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and the College of Arts and Science’s Department of Communication to address the roles mediated information plays in globally connected, digitally mediated social systems. CITAP’s research team of faculty, postdoctoral researchers, visiting faculty, and graduate and undergraduate students will research questions of relevance to information quality, with a particular focus on algorithms, misinformation, polarization, propaganda, and political institutions. CITAP will also work closely with the School of Law and the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy. CITAP is committed to making research and data publicly available to inform technological development, journalistic best practices, and policymaking.

About the Role

The Search Prompt Integrity & Learning Lab (SPILL) is a research initiative led by Dr. Francesca Tripodi. The lab will track the impact of data voids across platforms to mitigate their spillover effects. The team’s first objective will be to develop a system for detecting data voids proactively using edit history data from Wikipedia.

We invite applications for a postdoctoral research fellow to join SPILL. They will be responsible for pulling data from a Wikipedia API and analyzing phrase frequencies using Python in support of the lab’s mission. The candidate will be expected to work with SPILL and own independent research projects, joining other pre-existing center studies, and contributing to the intellectual life of the center. The position requires no teaching, but fellows may opt to teach up to one class per academic year.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements

  • A PhD in Information Science, Computer Science, Data Science, Sociology, Communication, or related field is required.
  • The PhD should be completed, dissertation defended, and transcript indicating degree awarded in hand by the time the postdoc begins.

Required Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience

  • Strong computational research, coding, quantitative analysis, and writing skills are required for this position.
  • The ability to work independently but also in close interaction within a team is crucial.
  • The candidate must be able to think and work within a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary team
  • The candidate must be able to tailor written and oral communications to multiple audiences such as the public, journalists, tech industry professionals, policymakers, and academic communities.

Preferred Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience

The successful candidate will demonstrate strong quantitative skills and expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • Computational social science (specifically API-based data collection and quantitative analysis)
  • Human-computer interaction (HCI)
  • User experience (UX) design