Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Postdoc Researcher Data Governance & Digital Transformation

Apply before 17 Dec 2023

imec-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

The research group SMIT (Studies in Media, Innovation and Technology) is a research centre at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. It is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences & Solvay Business School, department Communication Sciences. It is also part of Imec, Flanders leading strategic research institute for nano-technology and ICT innovation. For over 25 years, SMIT has been specializing in social scientific research on media and ICT, with an emphasis on innovation, policy and socio-economic questions.

The Data, Government & Communities unit at SMIT aims to understand the opportunities and challenges presented by increased data use in the urban environment. Their research examines how data can improve public services and address issues like climate change while ensuring ethical use, privacy protection, and stakeholder trust through inclusive governance.

Research Context

Digital transformation is increasingly presented as a key lever to address major societal challenges, such as growing congestion, population ageing, and climate change. In order to effectively tackle these wicked challenges, it is necessary technological innovations are rolled out in a more strategic way and feed into encompassing data-driven decision support systems. In the European Union, via f.e. the Digital Europe program, the foundations for taking digital transformation to the next level are being laid through investments in digital infrastructure as well as by strengthening the digital single market. Nonetheless, many open questions remain as to the policy, regulatory, and societal implications of this ongoing widespread digitalization process.

The Opportunity

To further strengthen its central role in socio-economic research on digital transformation in Flanders and Belgium, we are looking for a senior researcher on data governance and digital transformation.

First, the senior researcher will be involved in different research projects focusing on (public sector) digital transformation and (data) governance. Specifically, the senior researcher will lead the team at SMIT in SOLIDLab, a large-scale Flemish research project on Social Linked Data and personal data stores, as well as co-coordinate SMIT efforts in a large EU project that will establish Testing and Experimentation Facilities (TEF) for AI and robotics in the domain of cities and communities.

Second, the senior researcher will perform both fundamental and applied research on the societal impact of increasing digitalization and digital transformation processes. The senior researcher will advance the state-of-the-art, while also translating scientific findings to a non-academic audience.

Third, the senior researcher will assist in shaping project acquisitions in line with SMIT’s research agenda with an emphasis on data governance and digital transformation aspects.

You Will

  • Develop your own research agenda on (personal) data governance and digital transformation;
  • Conduct original research and publish (journals and international conferences) in the field of digital transformation governance;
  • Steer and mentor a group of junior researchers;
  • Participate in the (research) management and coordination of the Data, Government & Communities (DGC) Unit;
  • Co-develop a new research line that fits with the multi-disciplinary, society-centered research agenda of SMIT;
  • Assist in project acquisition in line with SMIT’s research agenda;
  • Communicate and disseminate research findings to academic and non-academic stakeholders.

You Bring

  • A PhD in a relevant field;
  • Affinity with projects and research in the field of digital transformation and governance (demonstrable experience initiating, managing and executing research projects is a plus);
  • Ability and willingness to steer and conduct novel research in a multidisciplinary team (experience setting up, coordinating and managing interdisciplinary research projects is a plus);
  • Demonstrable skills in applying empirical qualitative, quantitative, or mixed research methods;
  • Experience in translating research findings into strategic policy recommendations and/or tools for practice;
  • Profound knowledge of the English language (knowledge of Dutch is a plus).

We Offer

  • A dynamic and stimulating work environment with enterprising young scientists and experienced senior research staff in an international setting;
  • High-quality innovative research on future-oriented services;
  • Support and guidance by and experience team of senior researchers;
  • A full-time contract;
  • Attractive salary with extralegal benefits.

Interested? Please apply before 17 December 2023 online via the VUB jobsite

Sounds like the job for you?

Apply before 17 Dec 2023 by sending your CV and motivation to .