Deadline Extended: 15 Multidisciplinary PhD Positions in Digital and Data Journalism


Note: the deadline is extended to 15 June 2018

JOLT is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) network aimed at harnessing digital and data technologies for journalism.

JOLT is recruiting 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to advance new theoretical insights, technical advancements, and best-practice guidelines for digital and data journalism. In addition to completing a PhD, the researchers will receive specialised training to advance future careers in academia and industry, produce research publications under the guidance of their supervisors, undertake work experience in different environments, and establish an excellent network of contacts across the academic, industry, and non-profit sectors.

JOLT brings together multidisciplinary expertise from nine academic and industry partners:

 The Early Stage Researchers will be recruited for 36 months and be enrolled onto a PhD programme at one of the academic partner institutions.

The 15 PhD research projects will be supervised by leading experts in the fields of journalism and communication studies, data science, computer engineering, and social science. A more detailed description of each project is available in the accompanying advertisements.

Research Strand: New Digital and Data Practices

  1. Algorithms and News will investigate computer assisted reporting in terms of consumer trust, transparency, and the ownership of algorithms. Host: Dublin City University, Ireland.
    Advert: JOLT_Algorithms and News
  1. Storytelling Innovation will investigate how multimedia analysis techniques – including NLP, computer vision and information retrieval –  can be developed for a better understanding of how different modalities can be linked and accessed via a high-quality user experience. Host: The Irish Times, Ireland (PhD Enrolment: Dublin City University). Advert: JOLT_Storytelling Innovation
  1. Data Journalism will investigate the integration of data journalism into newsroom practices and the implications for the socio-political roles of journalism. Host: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.
    Advert: JOLT_Data Journalism
  1. Visualising Topic Threads in News Data will investigate new techniques for multimodal topic thread discovery and visualization in large data sets. Host: University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Advert: JOLT_Visualising Topic Threads
  1. Adaptive Content Delivery will investigate delivery of multiple interrelated multimedia content streams and high bitrate content using data analytics. Host: British Broadcasting Corporation, UK (PhD Enrolment: Dublin City University). Advert: JOLT_Adaptive Content Delivery
  1. Production of New Content Forms will investigate low complexity methodologies for processing new content including classification and impact on video coding. Host: British Broadcasting Corporation, UK (PhD Enrolment: Dublin City University). Advert: JOLT_Production of New Content Forms
  1. Mining Online Multimedia Data will investigate new data analysis techniques for finding relations, groups, and patterns in multimedia data. Host: European Journalism Centre, Netherlands. (PhD Enrolment: University of Amsterdam). Advert: JOLT_Mining Multimedia Data

Research Strand: Business and Organisational Disruption

  1. Impact of Infomediaries and Platforms on Journalism will investigate the relationship between journalism and infomediary platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Host: University of Toulouse III, France. Advert: JOLT_Impact of Infomediaries
  1. Branding Data Journalism will investigate the strategic value of data journalism, including data journalism collaborations, for individual legacy newspapers.  Host: University of Navarra, Spain. Advert: JOLT_Branding Data Journalism
  1. Globalised Online News will investigate the globalisation of news provision beyond traditional geographic boundaries. Host: University of Navarra, Spain. Advert: JOLT_Globalised Online News
  1. Audience Analytics will investigate improved techniques for measuring performance and a critical understanding of how newsrooms can integrate data-driven decision making. Host:, France (PhD Enrolment: University of Toulouse III). Advert: JOLT_Audience Analytics

Research Strand: Politics, Values and Ethics

  1. Politics and Ethics of User-Generated Content in Journalism will investigate a critical understanding of how newsrooms integrate user-generated content into newsgathering. Host: University of Toulouse III, France. Advert: JOLT_Ethics of UGC
  1. Political Economy of Digital Journalism will investigate a critical taxonomy of the new actors and new forms of journalism and the impact on newsrooms. Host: Dublin City University, Ireland. Advert: JOLT_Political Economy of Digital Journalism
  1. Journalism, Security, and Surveillance will investigate best-practice policy recommendations for journalistic security and media freedom. Host: Dublin City University, Ireland. Advert: JOLT_Journalism Security and Surveillance
  1. New Journalism Publics will investigate how digital media trigger new consumption practices, including the circumstances that contribute to the sharing of fake news.  Host: Dublin City University, Ireland. Advert: JOLT_New Journalism Publics

Eligibility Requirements: All applicants should ensure and demonstrate compliance with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie rules: (1) Applicants may be of any nationality, but must not have resided in or carried out their main activity (work or study) in the host country for more than 12 of the 36 months prior to recruitment. This condition excludes short stays such as holidays. (2) Applicants must have less than four years research experience (full-time equivalent) and must not have obtained a PhD. Registration on taught programmes such as undergraduate degrees or taught Masters degrees do not count as research experience. (3) Applicants must be willing to travel for two secondments or work-placements (where each is approximately 4 weeks in duration).

Salary and Benefits: The Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme offers highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions. These include a living allowance/salary (see individual advertisements for details), a mobility allowance (€7,200 gross per annum), and a family allowance if applicable (€6,000 gross per annum). Expenses such as registration fees and training are covered by the JOLT network. Researchers will be funded for three years.

Responsibilities of the PhD Researcher

  • To manage and carry out the research project within 36 months.
  • To write a PhD dissertation.
  • To participate in research and training activities within the JOLT network.
  • To publish articles and deliver presentations to the research community
  • To participate in public outreach and engagement.
  • To participate in JOLT meetings and the organisation of JOLT events.
  • To liaise with relevant research staff and students
  • To write progress reports and prepare results for publication.
  • To attend progress and management meetings as required.

How to Apply: Please complete the online application form and submit the following documents  compiled in the following order into a single PDF file(i) Research Proposal outlining your understanding of the topic, proposed theoretical approach, methodology, field for empirical research, and potential significance/contribution to existing state of the art (max. 2000 words); (ii) Curriculum Vitae (including two referees’ contact details); (iii) Certificates or Transcripts of Degree and/or Master degree.

Closing Date for Applications: 27 May 2018  15 June 2018

Candidate Interviews: Selected candidates will be invited for interview within one month. Interviews may be conducted in person or electronically.