Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: Applying the Tools of Data Science to Conflict Analysis at Stellenbosch University in Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch, South Africa. The postdoctoral research fellow will work at the heart of the Business & Conflict Research Initiative, an international consortium including the University of Stellenbosch, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Copenhagen, and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and also draws on Data Science expertise from the University of Michigan.
The initiative advances understanding of the dynamics of the private sector, conflict risk and its mitigation, and peaceful development, with a goal of informing policy, practice, and scholarship in these areas.
The postdoctoral fellow will co-lead efforts to consolidate and advance the development of the Business & Conflict Barometer, a tool for organizing and analyzing data on the private sector and conflict that has been under development since 2019. Elements of the Barometer (at different stages of development) include the following:
- The geospatial and temporal organization and integration of hundreds of datasets, allowing a wide range of data to be used contemporaneously to gain insight onto a particular place, and to learn from comparisons between places.
- Automated analysis of a wide range of textual data sources that identify the places, actors, themes, and timeframes discussed in documents, allowing the cataloguing and analysis of documents alongside quantitative data.
- The development of measures of whether the conflict temperature (defined as whether narratives of conflict are tending towards escalation or de-escalation) rising or falling over a defined period for a defined location, as well as identification of the actors and issues implicated.
- Development and integration of community-based data systems for data collection and analysis that can be integrated with global systems.
- User interfaces that lower the barriers to the use of the Barometer by a wider range of stakeholders.
- A relevant PhD is necessary for this Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Stellenbosch University. The candidate must have graduated within five years prior to beginning the fellowship.
- Experience with the development of large-scale relational databases, including their integration into ecosystems including user interfaces, text processing engines, APIs for data ingestion, processing, and output, and the like, will be a distinct advantage.
- Experience in qualitative research methodology and data analysis, and in particular, demonstrated skill and experience in the analysis of conflict narratives and/or automated textual analysis, will be an advantage.
- Working knowledge of and/or experience with themes such as the political economy of conflict, business and human rights, business and conflict, or peacebuilding will be an advantage.
- Demonstrated ability to learn, adapt, and apply new skills and understanding will be a distinct advantage.
Team leadership skills will be a distinct advantage.
In order to apply for Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Stellenbosch University, candidates must send the following to Dr. Lara Skelly, Research Manager of the University of Stellenbosch Business School, at the email address [email protected]:
- Letter of application.
- Comprehensive curriculum vitae, including a list of publications, and the names and contact details of at least two referees.
- A certified copy of your PhD; OR a letter from the registrar at the university where you are registered for you
- PhD, confirming that you have satisfactorily fulfilled the university’s requirements of the doctoral qualification.
- A copy of your ID; OR passport photo page as well as a transcript for your PhD.
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