Postdoctoral Researchers for Social Studies of Controversies in Nanobiology

The Institute for Science in Society at Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands) is looking for postdocs researchers that will investigate one of two projects concerning controversies about error correction in the field of nanobiology, and the activism surrounding this topic.

In contested research fields such as nanobiology, concerned scientists have expressed worries about the systematic error, sloppy research, or even outright research fraud. Some of these scientists have become veritable activists, raising attention among scientists, sleuthing for evidence of fraud, or campaigning for institutional reforms.

They call for enhanced peer review, better validation practices, improved methodological transparency or rigor, or more open communication in science. Some ‘epistemic activists’ have even quit their research jobs to devote all of their time to these campaigns. However, the backlash against these epistemic activists can be quite fierce, with potential career damage, slander challenges in court, and even outright threats. As a result, some activists operate anonymously, which in turn provokes criticism. This first postdoctoral study describes the activists and their motivations, analyses how these activists and their ‘scientific movement’ are received by other scientists, what contributes to the success of their campaigns, and how they accommodate their activism with their scientific careers. The particular focus will be on epistemic activists in nanobiology.

Duration: A full-time employment for 2 years.


  • The gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €2,836 and a maximum of €4,474
  • A free access to high-quality training programs on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
  • Annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes).
  • Family-friendly initiatives such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.
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Job Requirements

The Institute for Science in Society seeks applicants with the following criteria;

  • a PhD degree in social science, science and technology studies, philosophy of science, or a related field, preferably combined with some natural science background, or will obtain this degree shortly.
  • have published and presented your research work in your academic community.
  • have affinity with meta-questions about science, connecting the practical organisation of science with the epistemology and ethics of science.
  • excellent writing and communication skills in academic English.
  • well-organised, have an analytical mindset, and are committed to working at the forefront of science in a dynamic, international research team.

Application Process

The application for Postdoctoral Researchers for Social Studies of Controversies in Nanobiology should include:

  • Letter of motivation.
  • CV including a description of previous research experience and the names and contact details of at least two references.
  • Most relevant paper (published or draft).

To apply for Postdoctoral Researchers for Social Studies of Controversies in Nanobiology, click here

Application Deadline: November 15, 2021

For more information on Postdoctoral Researchers for Social Studies of Controversies in Nanobiology, visit the official site

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