A tenured professorship of Big Data in Social SciencesRagnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology

23/05/2017 Monnier Léa


Professor of Big Data in Social Sciences (tenure track)


  • Where to apply ?

Organisation/Company: Tallinn University of Technology
Research Field: Political sciences › Governance
                       Political sciences › Public policy
                       Technology › Information technology
Researcher Profile: Leading Researcher (R4)
Application Deadline: 15/08/2017 23:00 - Europe/Athens
Location: Estonia › Tallinn
Type of Contract:Permanent
Job Status: Full-time
Hours per week:35
Offer starting Date: 01/01/2018



  • Position's descriptions

Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance (RND) invites applications for tenured Assistant, Associate or Full Professor of Big Data in Social Sciences.

The development of information and communication technologies and growing digitalization of modern societies has created a demand for ‘digital social sciences’ as a new scholarly discipline to study and understand the possibilities and barriers (and how to overcome these) of using new types and forms of data (from mobile phones, GPS, search engines, social media, of digital ‘footprints’ of using public and private services) for coordinating societal developments.

Given its pioneering role in developing and adopting e-government services from e-prescriptions and online tax filing to internet voting and e-residency, Estonia offers a unique environment for interdisciplinary research in the area of big data in the public sector and data-driven public services, i.e. predictive public services, real-time economic and business analysis as public service. Building on its unique experiences, Estonia has become the leading country in many global e-initiatives. At the same time, Estonia has also arrived at crucial non-technical barriers for further development of data and innovation driven public services from ‘e-fatigue’ among politicians and civil servants to ‘gentrification’ of public services (focusing on mostly developing services for technological elites, start-ups and creative class while other social actors tend to receive less attention).

The main task of the Professor of Big Data in Social Sciences is to establish TTÜ and Estonia as one of the leading European interdisciplinary research centers where both research on the application and diffusion of big data solutions in public services as well its critical social science analysis is carried out in synergy.

The person elected to the position has to be competent in the latest developments in big data analytics and its application in social sciences, especially in the public-sector context. The person needs to have both excellent skills in big data analytics as well as interest in critical social science inquiry. The person has to have good international academic and policy networks to be constantly up-to-date with the developments of the field in the main strategic regions for Estonia (Europe, Asia, USA) to facilitate mutual knowledge transfer.


  • Key Tasks

- To coordinate the research and development activities of the field in TTÜ, including recruitment of PhD and post-doctoral researchers;
- To attract basic, applied and contract research through collaborations with Estonian and international academic and non-academic partners by coordinating and participating in Horizon 2020 and similar international projects, collaborating with Estonian ministries, other public agencies and enterprises as well as with the Estonian Infotechnological Mobility Observatory (a national strategic data R&D infrastructure; RND is a founding member);
- To publish research in the top-ranking journals of the field and guarantee high impact of the research carried out in TTÜ;
- To develop and coordinate the teaching of basic and advanced courses (also MOOCs) at all levels of higher education (BA, MA, PhD) across different Schools of TTÜ;
- To supervise graduate students in carrying out their independent research;
- To participate actively in the Estonian and EU level debates on big data, digital social sciences and data-driven public service developments and public sector reforms.



  • Conditions of the position

Start date: 1 January 2018 (or, 1 September 2018 the latest).
The position may be filled as tenured Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Full Professor, depending on the candidate’s merits and career stage.
The position will be located at the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, School of Business and Governance.
For the first 4 years, the position is financed from the national R&D institutions development program (ASTRA), which provides a) depending on the qualification and entrance level, annual income up to 60,000 EUR (including 20% national income tax) and national health, social security and pension benefits; b) seed funding for 1 post-doc position (24 months; the professor will be also eligible to apply for PhD positions financed by the national government); c) basic research cost supplement.


  • Application requirements

The following documents should be sent to the personnel department of TTÜ (personal@ttu.ee) by 15 August 2017:

  1. application;
  2. when applying for the 1st time for a position in TTÜ, duplicate of the required diploma (PhD) or other document proving the necessary qualification;
  3. curriculum vitae and a list of publications;
  4. portfolio of teaching experience;
  5. vision or activity plan for the professorship;
  6. the applicant may be requested to give an open lecture (venia legendi) or provide digital recording of such lecture.


For more details on the position, please visit this website or contact: Dr. Erkki Karo, Director of Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, erkki.karo@ttu.ee