Postdoctoral Fellow in Infrastructure Studies, University of Michigan

Postdoctoral Fellow in Infrastructure Studies, University of Michigan

The University of Michigan announces an eleven-month postdoctoral fellowship position. The position will start September 1, 2013.

Salary: $50-60,000 per year (depending on negotiated duties), plus a competitive benefits package, $5,000 in discretionary funding, and the opportunity to appoint and supervise one or more paid undergraduate research assistants to work on projects of your choice.

To apply:

Candidates should submit the following materials electronically to Prof. Christian Sandvig

Email one PDF file which includes:

  • A statement of interest describing your relevant background and skills
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • The name and contact information for three references. (One reference should be your doctoral advisor.) Letters of recommendation will only be solicited from finalists.
  • Two publications or other writing samples
  • Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.


Position Description

The Department of Communication Studies (in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts) and the School of Information are jointly offering a postdoctoral fellow position in the multidisciplinary area of “infrastructure studies.”

The addition of information technology is transforming the way society provides important infrastructures, including those that support media, telecommunications, power, and transport, but also those that support knowledge, culture, and scientific data. Thanks to new capabilities in computing and control, every year our infrastructures claim to be “smarter,” with new capacities for distributed processing, analysis, sensing, adapting, and autonomous self-improvement. This radical transformation is well underway, but the assessment of its consequences is still in its infancy. For example, infrastructure unevenly distributes benefits and capabilities, with complex and sometimes unforeseen implications for politics, economics, knowledge, and social justice (to name just a few domains). This position will fund a researcher who will have the opportunity to work alongside senior collaborators to define and shape this new area of scholarship.


The successful applicant will have completed the Ph.D. in a related area by the start date with a dissertation related to information and/or media infrastructures, broadly defined. The ideal candidate may be trained in science & technology studies, information science, media theory, computer-supported collaborative work, and/or human-computer interaction. Applicants should have some familiarity with qualitative research methods. Applicants who also have some technical background related to the infrastructure(s) they study are of particular interest, but this is not required.

This position is jointly sponsored by two academic units located on adjacent floors of the same building. The postdoctoral fellow will have office space in the Department of Communication Studies and may have the opportunity to teach one course in the School of Information (to be negotiated). The postdoctoral fellow will pursue his or her own independent research agenda, but will also be expected to collaborate with the faculty on the convening committee (listed below).

The postdoctoral fellow will be an equal member of the research group. S/he will be expected not only to conduct independent research, but also to collaborate actively in joint research projects with faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate research assistants. This responsibility includes regular communication and coordination with the project team. The postdoc will also be expected to contribute substantially to publications related to “infrastructure studies,” acting as first author on some and as a secondary author on others.

Convening committee:

Prof. Christian Sandvig (chair)
Prof. Carl Lagoze
Prof. Paul N. Edwards

Please feel free to contact any member of the convening committee with questions about this position. As mentioned above, please send application materials to the search committee and not to individual committee members.

Non-Discrimination Policy Notice

The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional Equity, and Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-647-1388. For other University of Michigan information call 734-764-1817.