Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Senior Researcher Digital Inclusion

Apply before 30 Apr 2021

The research group SMIT (Studies in Media, Innovation and Technology) is a research centre connected to the Vrije Universiteit Brussel with over 75 researchers. It is part of the Faculty Social Sciences & Solvay Business School and the department of Communication Sciences. SMIT is also part of imec which is the world-leading R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. For over 25 years now, SMIT specializes in social scientific research on media and ICT, with an emphasis on innovation, policy and socio-economic questions.

The increasing digitalization of our society comes with both opportunities and challenges. Within the research domain Digital Inclusion we combine policy and user research that focuses amongst others on 1/ identifying and explaining the underlying mechanisms of digital exclusion and inclusion, 2/ mapping the (dis)advantages of using digital tools and online services, 3/ identifying those at risk of being digitally excluded, 4/ identifying and evaluating best practices, and 5/ formulating policy measures and interventions required to prevent digital exclusion. From a methodological perspective, we consistently apply an action-oriented and participatory approach based upon permanent collaboration with different stakeholders such as governmental agencies, private sector, civil society, policy makers and citizens. SMIT plays a central role in the field of digital inclusion in Belgium. SMIT is the initiator of the Taskforce e-Inclusion, the Knowledge Centre on Media Literacy (Mediawijs) and the Knowledge Centre Data & Society.

To further expand its research and leading role we are looking for a senior researcher who will 1/ manage and lead ongoing applied and fundamental research projects, and 2/ define and write future research proposals related to digital exclusion and inclusion.


In collaboration with the senior researchers of the Data & Society program and the Digital Inclusion unit, you will take the digital inclusion program of SMIT to the next level. You will develop it into a fully-fledged research program that transcends both VUB and IMEC. You will take on a leading role and support a research team of junior and doctoral researchers. You will develop a strategic, long-term and sustainable research plan in collaboration with relevant actors in the field and define SMIT’s research agenda in the field of digital inclusion. You will keep up to date with the (international) research on the topic, initiate and coordinate research proposals and projects. The latter will be done in close collaboration with the research team and external, societal partners.

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 that combines theory, practice and policy.
  • Support and guidance by an experienced team of senior researchers.
  • Attractive salary with extra-legal benefits.
  • A full-time contract.

We are looking forward to discovering your relevant skills and expertise required to execute the task. In your CV we expect at least the following:

  • A PhD degree (or soon to be obtained);
  • Affinity with projects and research in the field of digital exclusion and inclusion;
  • Proven experience in successfully initiating, managing and executing research projects, with a specific emphasis on research experiences with vulnerable groups such as people in poverty, asylum seekers…;
  • Proven experience in setting-up, coordinating and managing interdisciplinary (funded) research proposals;
  • Proven references of publications in renowned international academic journals and presentations at international scientific conferences;
  • Proven experience in translating research results into strategic policy recommendations and/or hands-on tools, with specific attention to science communication towards a broader audience, civil society and policy makers;
  • Excellent English proficiency. Fluency in Dutch and French is a must.

Send your elaborated CV (with references) and letter of motivation via mail to Ilse Mariën ( and Wim Cloots (, as soon as possible, and before 30/04/2021.

Sounds like the job for you?

Apply before 30 Apr 2021 by sending your CV and motivation to .