Student Assistantship: Analyzing Climate Discourse using Natural Language Processing

The interdisciplinary project “Connecting Climate Discourse and Religious Language” of the VU profile theme “Connected World” is looking for two Academy Assistants, one student with technical skills in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and text mining and one with a background in religious studies, linguistics or social sciences. This vacancy concerns the first position.

The Academy Assistants engaged in a collaborative project to mine text from websites of prominent environmental NGOs, including Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund. They utilized archived instances of these websites to ensure a comprehensive historical perspective spanning the last decade.

One of the Academy Assistants, with a background in religious studies, linguistics, or social sciences, focused on relating this environmental discourse to religious language and current societal debates about environmental issues. This assistant aimed to explore the intersections between religious beliefs, linguistic nuances, and environmental advocacy.

The other Academy Assistant was responsible for scripting and executing the text scraping and analysis. They developed scripts to systematically extract and analyze texts from the NGO websites, identifying key themes, trends, and shifts in environmental messaging over the years.

Throughout the project, the two Academy Assistants maintained continuous interaction, providing feedback and insights into each other’s work to ensure a multidisciplinary approach.

The findings and analyses conducted by the Academy Assistants will be reported to the project team. They will also contribute to the final deliverables of the project, which include a public event to disseminate the research findings and an academic journal article for scholarly publication.


In accordance with the collective labor agreement for Dutch Universities, they offer:

  • a salary € 2.618,00 (SA) gross per month, on a full-time basis.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
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Job Requirements

The ideal candidate is expected to have the following qualities:

  • Expertise in NLP and text mining, including Python programming skills
  • Eager to learn from other disciplines, related to history, religion, sustainability
  • Completed BA or 3rd year BA in a relevant discipline (e.g., Computer Science)
  • Being enrolled as a student at a university in the Netherlands

Application Process

Applications in one pdf should include:

  • a motivation letter
  • a complete and up-to-date curriculum vitae;

To apply for the Student Assistantship: Analyzing Climate Discourse using Natural Language Processingclick here.

Deadline: May 07, 2024.

For more information on Student Assistantship: Analyzing Climate Discourse using Natural Language Processing, visit the official site.

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