Microsoft Research, Social Media Collective Postdoc Opening

The Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England (MSRNE) is looking for a social media postdoctoral researcher (start date: 1 July, 2014).  This position is an ideal opportunity for a scholar whose work draws on anthropology, communication, media studies, sociology, and/or science and technology studies to bring empirical and critical perspectives to complex socio-technical issues.

Application deadline: Monday 4 November, 2013.

Microsoft Research provides a vibrant multidisciplinary research environment with an open publications policy and close links to top academic institutions around the world. Postdoc researcher positions provide emerging scholars (PhDs received in 2013 or to be conferred by July 2014) an opportunity to develop their research career and to interact with some of the top minds in the research community. Postdoc researchers are invited to define their own research agenda and demonstrate their ability to drive forward an effective program of research. Successful candidates will have a well-established research track record as demonstrated by journal publications and conference papers, as well as participation on program committees, editorial boards, and advisory panels. The position offers the potential to have research realized in products and services that will be used world-wide.

Postdoc researchers receive a competitive salary and benefits package, and are eligible for relocation expenses. Postdoc researchers are hired for a two-year term appointment following the academic calendar, starting in July 2014.  Applicants must have completed the requirements for a PhD, including submission of their dissertation, prior to joining Microsoft Research. We do accept applicants with tenure-track job offers from other institutions so long as they are able to negotiate deferring their start date to accept our position.

While each of the thirteen Microsoft Research labs has openings in a variety of different disciplines, the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England (located in Cambridge, MA) is especially interested in identifying social science/humanities candidates with critical approaches to their topics. Qualifications include a strong academic record in anthropology, communication, media studies, sociology, science and technology studies, or a related field.  The ideal candidate may be trained in any number of disciplines, but should have a strong social scientific or humanistic methodological, analytical, and theoretical foundation, be interested in questions related to technology or the internet and society or culture, and be interested in working in a highly interdisciplinary environment that includes computer scientists, mathematicians, and economists.

The Social Media Collective is comprised of full-time researchers, postdocs, visiting faculty, PhD interns, and research assistants.  Current projects include:
– How does the use of social media affect relationships between artists and audiences in creative industries?  (Nancy Baym)
– What are the implications of regulating algorithms? (danah boyd)
– What are the politics, ethics and policy implications of big data science? (Kate Crawford)
– How does information infrastructure shape event epistemology? (Megan Finn)
– What are the cultural, political, and economic implications of crowdsourcing as a new form of semi-automated, globally-distributed digital labor? (Mary L. Gray)
– How do online technologies shape subcultures and communities of alterity? (Jessa Lingel)

To apply for a postdoc position at MSRNE:

Submit an online application at:

– Indicate that your research area of interest is “Anthropology, Communication, Media Studies, and Sociology” and that your location preference is “New England, MA, U.S.”
– In addition to the CV and names of three referees (including your dissertation advisor) that the online application will require you to include, upload the following  3 attachments with your online application:

a) two journal articles, book chapters, or equivalent writing samples (uploaded as 2 separate attachments);

b) a single research statement (four page maximum length) that addresses the following: outlines the questions and methodologies central to your research agenda (~two page maximum length);  provides an abstract and chapter outline of your dissertation (~one page maximum length); offers a description of how your research agenda relates to research conducted by the social media collective (~one page maximum length)

After you submit your application, a request for letters will be sent to your list of referees on your behalf. You can check the status of progress on individual reference requests at any time by clicking the status tab within your application page. Note that a complete application includes three submitted letters of reference.


Please make sure to check back with your referees if you have any questions about the status of your requested letters of recommendation.

For more information, see:

To learn more about the Social Media Collective, check out our blog: