Moritz Schlick position in the field of “Digital Political Communication”

The Moritz Schlick early-career programme (MSECP) at the University of Vienna supports early-stage postdocs with high potential for an academic career. Participants in the programme receive outstanding financial support as well as training and mentoring to allow them to develop their full potential. Moritz Schlick early-career Postdoc Programm (

1. General Description (research group)

The Political Communication Research Group ( at the Department of Communication of the University of Vienna studies the interaction between political elites, media, and citizens. Current research is focused on understanding how and under which conditions political elites communicate with citizens, what role media organizations and journalists play in the political communication process, and how citizens process elite and journalistic communication. Scholars in the group use a variety of qualitative and quantitative social research methods to develop and test theories that help understand the quality of political communication in democracies today. To extend the group’s research profile, we are looking for a motivated postdoc with a focus on digital political communication.

2. Job Description for the Moritz Schlick position

The postdoc will work closely with Prof. Sophie Lecheler and other scholars in the group to extend one of our core areas of research: the impact of digital technologies on democracies. Specifically, research should be focused on one or more of the following key phenomena in the field: (1) the impact of AI on democratic information processes, e.g., in election campaigns, political journalism, social media, and (dis-)information during international conflicts and war; (2) the changing nature of the transfer of expert information to and from political elites to enable effective political decision-making, e.g., through the use of digital technologies in governance, or new digital formats of science communication; (3) the (digital) empowerment of citizens to become engaged again in democratic processes, e.g., through novel digital engagement activities, increase of political trust and literacy, regulation of social media debates, or a fight against radicalization and conspiracy beliefs online.

The postdoc is expected to develop, conduct, and publish research using a combination of relevant methods, such as panel surveys, experiments, big data and computational approaches. While a focus on quantitative research methods is desired, the postdoc should be interested in the integration of quantitative and qualitative data. Data collection will be comparative, i.e., covering different countries and (media) systems.  Strong interest in open science approaches and development of ethical research standards is of advantage. The postdoc is also expected to collaborate with members of the research group in acquiring third-party funding. Moreover, the position involves independent teaching of political communication and/or methods courses as defined by the collective agreement within the teaching program of Communication Science. 

In this position, a one-time financial contribution of € 50K will be made available.

3. Qualification profile (minimum)

  • Doctoral degree/PhD in Communication Science or related discipline such as Political Science or Sociology
  • Knowledge of Political Communication research, with a focus on digital political communication
  • Track record of publications in renowned subject-relevant journals and academic presentations at international conferences
  • Experience of working on empirical research projects
  • In-depth knowledge of quantitative research methods, e.g., survey, experimental designs, content analysis, computational approaches
  • Very good knowledge of statistical data analysis (using, e. g., R, Stata, SPSS) and/or programming skills (using, e. g., Python)
  • Knowledge of principles of teaching
  • Excellent command of written and spoken language
  • Excellent English skills both written and spoken
  • Ability to work in teams


4. Qualification profile (additional skills, necessary language, IT qualifications etc.)

Desirable qualifications:

  • Knowledge of university processes and structures
  • Experience with writing proposals for third-party funding
  • Knowledge of open science research practices
  • Experience of supervising students


5. Research Fields (keywords)

political communication; digital democracy; politics and technology; AI; social science research methods


6. Mentor

The additional mentor for this position is Hajo Boomgaarden.


7. Earliest Start Date:

February, 2023