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Postdoctoral Training Opportunity - Computational Social Science

The Center for Communication & Public Policy (CCPP) within the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Communication has up to a two-year postdoctoral trainee opportunity in the area of computational social science beginning September 2021. CCPP has several ongoing research projects examining online political and health misinformation funded by the National Science Foundation, Facebook, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

CCPP is looking for a data scientist who has a wide variety of skills and proficiencies to address a diverse range of datasets, methodological challenges, and analyses contributing to these projects.

Under the supervision of the CCPP director, the postdoctoral scholar will collaborate with CCPP affiliated faculty, doctoral students, and undergraduate students on the analysis of text, behavioral, and survey panel data collected from these projects and others. They will contribute analyses and writing for peer-reviewed manuscripts. The CCPP postdoctoral trainee will also directly supervise teams of doctoral and undergraduate students as needed and author CCPP research reports and briefs in collaboration with the center director. They will also assist in the preparation and submission of new external grant and sponsored project proposal submissions.

The postdoctoral trainee will be a co-author on manuscripts to which they directly contribute and will have opportunities for first authorship using project data.

The postdoctoral trainee appointment is for one year with an option for an additional year of appointment based on performance. The start date for the position will be September 1, 2021.

Minimum Qualifications

  • A completed doctoral degree by August 2021 in a quantitative social science discipline such as communication, political science, sociology, or psychology.
  • Advanced statistics and social science methods training.
  • High level of proficiency in computational social science methods including machine learning, text analysis, network science, web scraping, data science, R, and python.

Desired Qualifications

  • Prior experience with large-scale, complex data analysis of textual, behavioral, or social media data.
  • Familiarity with using APIs to access social media analytics tools (e.g. CrowdTangle, NewsWhip, Crimson Hexagon, etc.).
  • Experience analyzing longitudinal survey panel data employing fixed effects and structural equation modelling.
  • Theoretical interest in the spread, endorsement, and effects of online misinformation desired but not necessary.


Review of applications will begin January 15, 2021 and will continue until position is filled. Please email a C.V., a brief statement of research interests and background, a sample manuscript or dissertation chapter, and the names, emails, and phone numbers of three academic references to:

Erik C. Nisbet

Owen L. Coon Endowed Professor of Policy Analysis & Communication and Associate Professor

Director, Center for Communication & Public Policy


Please include “CCPP Post-doctoral scholar” in the subject line of email.

About the Center for Communication & Public Policy (CCPP)

The Center for Communication & Public Policy is within the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Communication at Northwestern University. CCPP advances interdisciplinary and collaborative communication scholarship informing public policy across a variety of social, political, international, health, science, and environmental policy domains. The center’s projects and scholarship primarily fall within four research areas: Inter-organizational Networks & Advocacy, Misinformation, Networked Democracy, and Policy Discourse, Framing, and Opinion. More information about CCPP may be found at

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.