Researcher on the Classification, Analysis and Modelling of online disinformation spreading behaviour

FBK is a private research institution devoted to excellence in research in numerous disciplines and designated to the role of keeping the Autonomous Province of Trento in the mainstream of European and international research. Each research area is assigned to a specific research centre, of which there are eleven totals. Information regarding the research centres, their activities and production is available at http://www.fbk.eu/research-centers.


Digital Society (DigiS) is a research centre of Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) formed by a multidisciplinary team of more than 100 researchers, technologists, and managers (including Ph.D. students). It is organized in 13 research units dedicated to specific research areas in the ICT domain and two support units focusing on project management and technology maturation.
Our mission is to perform advanced research and develop innovative digital technology to address the future digital society’s key challenges. Digital technology has a pervasive impact on our lives and is reshaping our society. The challenge is to ensure that digital technology becomes a steppingstone to create a more sustainable, inclusive, and secure society. More information is available at https://digis.fbk.eu/#vision

FBK actively seeks diversity and inclusion in the workplace and is also committed in promoting gender equality.

Workplace
The position is opened by the Complex Human Behaviour Lab (CHuB, https://chub.fbk.eu), an interdisciplinary research unit lead by Dr. Riccardo Gallotti carrying out fundamental and applied research informed by the statistical analysis of large behavioural datasets and aimed at modelling individual behaviour and collective social phenomena using the methods of complexity science, computational social science, and network theory. The topics covered within the unit range from individual decisions, human mobility and transportation to online communication, cultural production and infodemics.


Job Description
FBK-CHuB is seeking a Researcher in the field of the classification, analysis and modelling of online disinformation spreading behaviour.
In particular, the candidate will be involved in a large European research project focused on the development of a platform tackling misinformation and disinformation across the EU by empowering scientific researchers and media practitioners with advanced AI-based technologies that: 1) allow multichannel (distinct online social media and news feeds), multilingual and multimodal (textual, visual and audio content) monitoring, detection and recording of misinformation and disinformation on online social media and traditional media; 2) estimate the risk of unreliable information consumption; 3) create a trustworthy online environment involving researchers, media practitioners and policy makers to facilitate the creation and distribution of reliable information and counter-narratives, while labelling and countering mis/disinformation.

The candidate will work in collaboration with other researchers of the Centre, as well as with partners involved in the project. 
The candidate is expected to:

  • support the design of a data gathering and processing pipeline to process, organize, and analyse large datasets of online communication data
  • analyse large social media datasets to identify emergent individual and collective behavioural patterns that could be harnessed to reduce the spreading of disinformation
  • build an information diffusion model describing the evolution of communication volumes and community engagement to capture early-warning signals of fabrication of tampered content and social manipulation
  • support the development of an open observatory platform, continuously informed by social media and news media streams, providing trustworthy services for media journalists, policy makers and research communities based on the data driven and model driven tools developed within the project



Job requirements
The ideal candidate should have:

  • Master degree in a data-oriented field (Computer Science, Computational Social Science, Social Physics, Applied Math, Data Science, …), PhD is a plus
  • Software development skills (preferably in Python)
  • Practice in the treatment of large bases of online communication data
  • Good knowledge and proficiency of the English language
  • Team working attitude
  • Good communication and relation skills
  • Autonomy in developing research and organizing work activities

In depth previous experience in at least one of the following areas is required:

  • Complexity Science
  • Network Science
  • Natural Language processing
  • Data Mining

Background knowledge and/or previous experience in the following areas will be considered favourably

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Statistical Modelling
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Agent-based Modelling


Employment
Type of contract: fixed term contract
Work hours: full time
Start date: March 2023
End date: February 2026
Duration: 3 years
Gross annual salary: about € 36.200
Workplace: Povo - Trento 
Benefits: flexitime, company subsidized cafeteria or meal vouchers, internal car park, welcome office support for visa formalities, accommodation etc., supplementary pension and health found, training courses, public transport, sports facilities, language courses fees. Further details at https://www.fbk.eu/en/work-with-us/


Application
Interested candidates are requested to submit their application by completing the online form   (https://jobs.fbk.eu/). Please make sure that your application contains the following attachments (in pdf format):

  • Detailed CV
  • Motivation letter


Application deadline: 03 February 2023

Please read our Recruitment Regulations before completing your application.
For further information, please contact the Human Resources Services at jobs@fbk.eu.
Candidates who pass the preliminary curricular screening will be contacted shortly afterwards for an interview.
Non-selected applicants will be notified of their exclusion at the end of the selection process. 
Please note that FBK may contact shortlisted candidates within a period of 12 months, for the selection processes of similar vacancies. 
For reasons of professional transparency, the name of the successful candidate and the names of suitable candidates will be published on the FBK website.


 
Business units
Centro Digital Society; Centro Digital Society/CHuB
Locations
Science and Technology Hub - Trento
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