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Open Research Position

Doctoral Researcher in Visual Sociology (m, f, d)
(Salary grade E 13 TV-L, 65%)

Chemnitz University of Technology invites applications for a doctoral position in the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC 1410) Hybrid Societies – Humans Interacting with Embodied Technologies. Employment is offered until December 31st, 2023 starting March 1st, 2020.

Research Environment and Tasks: Research in the CRC 1410 Hybrid Societies pertains to the interaction with Embodied Digital Technologies (EDTs) as artificial bodies moving in real or virtual environments ( Interdisciplinary research in the CRC is guided by two leading questions to ultimately ensure smooth and efficient encounters between humans and embodied technologies in hybrid societies: What is required so that humans can coordinate with EDTs as smoothly as with conspecifics? How to design EDTs to meet these requirements? Cooperating researchers from psychology, engineering, computer science, human movement science, linguistics and gesture studies, sociology, law studies, physics, and mathematics scientifically inquire the interaction of humans with EDTs from the level of single actions up to the attribution of intentionality.

The project Social Displays – On the Accountability of Embodied Digital Technologies in Everyday Life investigates the communicative integration of Embodied Digital Technologies (EDTs) such as driverless cars or artificial companions into the social world’s routines of action and cooperation. The micro-sociological hypothesis of the project is that a reliable cooperation of humans and EDTs, in which EDTs have to decide and act autonomously to some degree, presumes the human cooperation partners to be informed clearly about the EDTs’ alignment in the situation and the EDTs’ overall accountability. In its empirical approach, the research project therefore aims to analyze different anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, fictional, and purely functional designs used in the development of EDTs to inform human cooperation partners about an EDT’s specific cooperative features and capabilities. The project systematically asks about the (meta-)communicative constitution of accountability seeking to reconstruct different social types and taxonomies of (non-human) accountable others.

Researchers in the CRC Hybrid Societies contribute to the CRC’s joint research activities and actively participate, for instance, in research colloquia, lecture series, and workshops. The doctoral position includes the enrollment in the CRC's doctoral program.


  • University degree (Master/Diploma or equivalent) in Sociology, Media Studies, Visual Studies, or a similar background
  • Expertise in theories of social interaction and in qualitative methods
  • Strong interest in the analysis of non-verbal communication
  • Expertise in Visual Sociology or Sociology of Knowledge or in a similar subject area such as Microsociology, Sociology of Technology, Sociology of Media or in Design Theory is a plus
  • Fluent in English (both written and spoken)

Application procedure:

Applicants should send their complete application documents including a motivation letter (1 page) with a brief description of personal qualifications and research interests, a tabular curriculum vitae, copies of degree certificates and academic transcripts, a publication list if applicable, and abstracts of Bachelor- and Master-/diploma theses (1-2 pages) and an exemplary text (master thesis, term paper, essay, etc.) preferably as a single pdf-file via email (stating: “CRC1410_D04”) to . The closing date for applications is January 31th 2020. Please, do not include links in electronic applications. Please, send copies only. Original documents will not be returned.

Chemnitz University of Technology
Faculty of Humanities – Institute for Media Research
Professorship of Visual Communication and Sociology of Media
Prof. Dr. Michael R. Müller
09107 Chemnitz

Chemnitz University of Technology is committed to ensuring an environment that provides equal opportunities and promotes diversity. To increase the number of women working in science and teaching, applications by women with the required qualifications are explicitly desired. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. They will be given preference if equally qualified.

Employment will be governed by the provisions of the German law on fixed-term contracts in academia (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz).

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