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Research Fellow (Social Sciences)
Ref. 50061230

Salary
£42,340 - £47,022 per annum (Incl.LWA)

Department/School
Liberal Arts and Sciences

Location
Central London


This post is full time, 35 hours per week and is fixed term until December 2023. 

The University encourages ‘Smart Working’, which may involve a combination of on site and remote working. The postholder will need to be based in the UK and can expect to travel into the central London campus regularly. 

We wish to appoint an experienced researcher to work on the project “Motivations for sharing political disinformation on social media”, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, commencing January 2022. False political information on social media is a critical problem, with profound consequences for society. Much of the spread of false material online is due to the actions of ordinary social media users who encounter it, then forward it on to their social networks. 

Little is known about people's motivations for doing this. This project will directly ask people why they have - deliberately or unwittingly - spread false information. We will examine competing explanations of such behaviour, and test whether key variables they identify actually predict real-world behaviour. Some information about the project can be found on the Leverhulme websitewhile prior publications directly underpinning it can be found here, PLOS ONE and Science Direct

The successful candidate will work with Professor Tom Buchanan and Dr Deborah Husbands. They will be based in the Psychology team within the School of Social Sciences, which comprises over 50 academic staff and researchers, 2 technicians and a diverse, multicultural student population. There is a supportive research culture, with regular research seminars and an annual research forum.

The research programme will comprise a series of linked studies, combining quantitative (psychological questionnaires) and qualitative (short-form online interview) work and analyses. All data collection will be conducted online, directly approaching individuals who have been observed sharing false information on social media, and also using participants drawn from paid research panels. The postholder will execute and analyse all the studies. They will prepare ethics applications, work on draft outputs, and be responsible for data management and other project-related duties. They will co-author all publications from the project.

The postholder will be an experienced researcher, with strengths in both quantitative and qualitative methods relevant to the project. Candidates should have a degree and a PhD in Psychology or cognate discipline closely relevant to the project focus. Excellent communication and organisational skills are essential.  

To apply for this vacancy please click above. Further information can be found in the job description and person specification, which can be accessed through link below. 

At the University of Westminster, diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity are at the core of how we engage with students, colleagues, applicants, visitors and all our stakeholders. 

We are fully committed to enabling a supportive and safe learning and working environment which is equitable, diverse and inclusive, is based on mutual respect and trust, and in which harassment and discrimination are neither tolerated nor acceptable.

Closing date: midnight on 24 October 2021
Interviews are likely to be held on: 15 November 2021

Administrative contact (for queries only): Recruitment@westminster.ac.uk