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Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Communication, Creative Industries Faculty

Building Associates
Contract Full Time
14 days ago

The QUT Digital Media Research Centre
(DMRC) is currently seeking applicants for four
five-year Postdoctoral Research Associate
(PDRA) positions. The four PDRAs contribute
to an Australian Research Council Laureate
Fellowship led by Professor Axel Bruns, a
flagship five-year research project that
investigates the Dynamics of Partisanship and
Polarisation in Online Public Debate. The
successful applicants will contribute to the
Laureate’s overall research programme, and
lead specific research streams within the
Laureate Fellowship. They will be mentored by
the Laureate Fellow, Prof. Bruns.

The Laureate Fellowship is situated within the
QUT Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC),
one of eleven flagship University Research
Centres at QUT. In addition to the Laureate
team itself, the PDRAs will also have an
opportunity to work closely with the other
international research leaders, early-career
researchers, and postgraduate research
students in the DMRC. They will also co-
supervise postgraduate research students
aligned with the Laureate project.

This position reports to the Laureate Fellow
Prof. Axel Bruns for supervision, workload
management and for Performance Planning
and Review (PPR).

Research area and research streams

Rapidly increasing partisanship and
polarisation, especially online, poses an urgent
threat to societal cohesion in Australia and
other established western democracies;
polarisation is also a critical cybersecurity
concern when actively promoted by bad-faith
actors to undermine citizens’ trust in
democratic institutions. By introducing an
analytical framework that distinguishes four
key dimensions of polarisation, the Fellowship
aims to conduct the first-ever assessment of
the extent and dynamics of polarisation in the
contemporary online and social media
environments of six nations, including
Australia. The evidence is expected to enable
an urgently needed, robust defence of our
society and democracy against the challenges
of polarisation.

The project distinguishes and investigates four
dimensions of polarisation, using cutting-edge
digital methods approaches:

  • News Polarisation: in journalistic content
across the media ecology
  • Audience Polarisation: in news audience
attention and engagement
  • Discourse Polarisation: in public debates
about key issues
  • Network Polarisation: in the structures of
social media interactions

The research interests and methodological
expertise of successful PDRA applicants must
align with one or more of these four
dimensions. Applicants must demonstrate
substantial mixed-methods experience in
digital and social media analysis.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Contributing to high-quality research
activities relevant to one or more of the
Laureate project’s four research streams.
  • Preparing and publishing research
outcomes in relevant high-quality refereed
journals and/or books.
  • Presenting research outcomes at seminars,
conferences and industry meetings, and
engaging with external stakeholders.
  • Contributing to public understanding and
debate through media and/or policy
  • Supervising and mentoring research higher
degree students.
  • Developing further research funding
proposals to external funding bodies.
  • Contributing actively to the DMRC’s
research culture, including participation in
strategic planning, research collaboration
and community-building.
  • Conforming to QUT requirements with
respect to research ethics and integrity and
data management.
  • Implementing and administering University
policy within the Faculty with respect to
equitable access to education and
workplace health and safety.

To ensure job flexibility the successful
appointees may be required to:
  • perform any other duties as nominated by

the University consistent with the relevant
classification descriptors detailed in the
Enterprise Agreement. Staff undertaking
any new duties will receive training;

  • participate in job rotation or multiskilling in
consultation with their supervisor;
  • work across campuses

To be appointed as a Postdoctoral Research
Associate the successful applicants must meet
the position classification standards outlined in
the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic


Type of appointment
These appointments will be offered on a fixed-
term, full-time basis for five years (5).

Kelvin Grove campus, Brisbane, Australia.

Selection Criteria
Your application for this position must address
each of these selection criteria in a detailed but
succinct statement that outlines your suitability.

1. Completion of a PhD in a relevant

discipline area, and demonstrated
alignment of research interests and
experience with one or more of the four
dimensions of polarisation investigated by
the Laureate Fellowship.

2. Demonstrated methodological expertise in
one of more of the following research
areas: journalism studies, media and
communication studies, political science,
social media analytics, computational
social science, computational discourse
analysis, social network analysis, issue

3. Proven scholarly writing skills and
experience in preparing publications for a
variety of audiences, including scholarly
books and/or articles in high-quality
refereed journals.

4. Well-developed oral and interpersonal
skills with demonstrated ability to
communicate effectively with a wide range
of stakeholders and research collaborators,
including presentations at seminars,
conferences, and industry events.

5. Proven ability to work independently to
generate distinctive contributions to
scholarly knowledge and/or create real-
world outcomes.

6. Demonstrated ability to work effectively
and collaboratively as part of a high-
achieving and collegial research culture.

Remuneration and Benefits

The classification for this position is Academic
Level A (LEVA) which has an annual
remuneration range of $AUD 83,894 to
$AUD113,836 pa which is inclusive of an
annual salary range of $70,891 to $96,193 pa,
17% superannuation and 17.5% recreation
leave loading.

In July 2020 QUT staff voted in favour of a
variation to its Enterprise Agreements. The
variations were approved by the Fair Work

Commission in August 2020.
The variation impacts leave loading (for new
staff no loading will be paid or accrued during
the period the variation is in effect), salary
increases (the salary increase which was due
to occur in the first full pay period of December
2020 was deferred until the first full pay period
of December 2021, however it has been
brought forward by the Vice-Chancellor to be
paid in June 2021) and superannuation
(superannuation will be paid to staff as though
the salary increase which would have been
paid in December 2020 has taken effect and,
subject to the rules of the superannuation fund,
a defined benefit member will continue to make
contributions in alignment with the contributions
made by the University). A link to the variation
is here.

Beyond personal and professional fulfilment, a
career at QUT brings a broad range of tangible
benefits. With competitive remuneration
including superannuation, the University offers
real and generous benefits.

QUT is a high quality and flexible organisation
that is proud of its excellent employment
conditions which include but are not limited to:

  • Reduced working year scheme
  • Parental leave provisions
  • Study support encompassing leave and
financial assistance
  • Comprehensive professional
  • Salary Packaging

Further benefits can be found at the Life at
QUT page.

Information for applicants

In support of our strategic priority of Indigenous
Australian success, Aboriginal Australians and
Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged
to apply.

For further information about the position,
please contact Prof. Axel Bruns, ARC
Laureate Fellow, on +61 7 3138 5548; or for
further information about working at QUT
contact Human Resources on +61 7 3138

QUT welcomes applications from candidates
outside the greater Brisbane area. QUT may
meet some travel and relocation expenses
involved in the interview and employment
commencing process.



Candidates who are interested in the position
are encouraged to apply even though they
may feel they are not strong on individual
selection criteria.

In assessing merit, the panel will take into
consideration “performance or achievement
relative to opportunity”. We recognise that
many staff today have a range of personal
circumstances, and career histories that
challenge traditional ideas of an academic
staff member. This may mean, for example,
prioritising the quality of achievement rather
than the quantity, as considerations of part-
time employment, career interruptions and
significant periods of leave are taken into
account when assessing performance or

The selection panel is also committed to
conducting a process which is fair and free
from bias, including unconscious bias.

How to Apply
For further information and to apply, please
visit for reference
number 211319.
When applying for this position your application
must include the following:

  • A current CV including:
1. A list of your publications and, for

journal articles, the associated Scopus
quartile ranking;

2. Any research grants obtained
(including any commercial research
contracts and consultancies);

3. Any awards or commendations.
  • A cover letter of up to 5 pages that

addresses each of the selection criteria
(see p. 2) in a detailed but succinct
statement outlining your suitability.

  • A statement of research interests of up to
3 pages that identifies the specific
dimension of polarisation (see p. 1) you
feel best suited to address, and outlines
the conceptual and methodological
frameworks you would use to address. The
statement should be structured using the
following headings:
1. Selected dimension (news, audience,

discourse, network);
2. Conceptualisation of polarisation for

this dimension (what does polarisation
mean in this context?);

3. Methods for the empirical analysis of
this dimension (how would you assess
the dynamics of such polarisation?);

4. Research experience (how does this
approach build on your past work?).


Applications close 30 January 2022

About QUT
QUT is a major Australian university with a
global outlook and a 'real world' focus. We are
one of the nation’s fastest growing research
universities and our courses are in high

We are an ambitious and collaborative
institution that seeks to equip our students and
graduates with the skills they will need in an
increasingly disrupted and challenged world.

We are transforming the student experience
we offer our 50,000 students and we place a
premium on the international and national
accreditation of our various professional

We offer academic programs in fields spanning
business, creative industries, education,
engineering, health, law, science, and social
justice across five faculties.

We are transforming the learning experience
and embed work integrated learning in courses
and have a strong focus on developing
entrepreneurial skills. QUT provides executive
education and professional development to
both individuals and organisations through
QUTeX, and QUT Online lets students learn
when it suits, through courses delivered
entirely online. QUT College offers pathways
for all students into our undergraduate

QUT has two inner-city campuses in Brisbane
at Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove.
Well known for our strong links to industry and
government, the high impact of our research
which involves multidisciplinary teams, QUT
has been named one of the fastest rising
universities in the world for scientific research.

Further information about QUT can be
obtained from the website at

Our Vision
QUT’s Blueprint 6 is our institutional strategic


plan. The Blueprint formalises QUT’s ambitions
and declares our strong sense of purpose
which is to provide transformative education
and research relevant to our communities. It
provides a framework and strategies to enable
QUT to realise our vision to be the university
for the real world and identifies the following
  • support aspiration and inclusion
  • encourage creativity and entrepreneurship
  • embrace digital transformation and
  • embed principles of health and wellbeing
  • support Indigenous Australian
engagement, success and empowerment
  • enable professional engagement and
ethical leadership and,
  • focus on the environment and


Aligned to and supporting our vision are the
QUT Values. These Values highlight what
makes QUT distinct and successful. Providing
a compass for our decisions, actions and
behaviours and strengthening our community.

QUT Values

  • Ambition
  • Curiosity
  • Innovation
  • Integrity
  • Inclusiveness

About the Academic
Academic Division includes the University’s
faculties and research centres. It is responsible
for education (learning and teaching),
research, research services and support, and
digital business solutions. The Academic
Division is led by the Provost.

About the Faculty
In our rapidly changing world, driving
economic, social and cultural development
increasingly requires collaboration. This new
faculty acknowledges this context— and
specifically that how society learns, creates,
communicates and collaborates is at the
forefront of all innovative and impactful

The focus of the Faculty of Creative Industries,
Education and Social Justice will be to pursue
research with impact and prepare our students
for innovative roles as knowledge leaders at

the nexus of design, education,
communication, creative practice and social
With an intersection of creativity, education
and social justice combined with QUT’s
overall focus on technology the faculty has
strong ties to government and industry which
provides our courses with a real- world focus.

The faculty is comprised of the following

  • School of Communication
  • School of Creative Practice
  • School of Design
  • School of Early Childhood and Inclusive
  • School of Teacher Education and
  • School of Justice.

The Faculty of Creative Industries,
Education and Social Justice is led by the
Executive Dean and the Executive
Management Team comprising the dean,
heads of schools, and other senior faculty

As the benefits of innovative creativity are
recognised by multinational businesses,
creative talents are increasingly in demand in
a range of industries.

A world leader across communication,
design and creative practice teaching and
research, with extensive industry
partnerships and a proven track record in
growing the creative economy, our
connections to industry and the leading-edge
research we conduct strengthen our
understanding that creativity has never been
more valued by employers.

QUT is also a national leader in teacher
education and in many areas of education
research. We are a recognised leader in
research and research training as evidenced
by our ‘above world standard’ ranking overall
in every Excellence in Research Australia
assessment. We also have extensive links
with partner organisations and universities in
Australia and overseas.

Reflecting our vision for excellence in
learning, teaching and research, the
university has built a new $95 million
Education Precinct on its Kelvin Grove
campus. The precinct comprises imaginatively
designed formal and informal face-to-face and
online learning and teaching spaces, and


offers excellent facilities for social interaction
and recreation. The precinct’s futuristic
design and its location at the heart of the
Kelvin Grove campus showcases education,
gives it prominence, and demonstrates
QUT’s vision for the faculty as a leader,
innovator, and model for the university.

The School of Justice is internationally
renowned for criminology and justice
education and research, offering a range of
undergraduate, honours and graduate
certificate options for study. The staff are also
members of the QUT Centre for Justice, a
think tank for producing applied solutions for
a better world. The school has a strong
research culture including current DECRA
ARC award holders and a number of staff
leading ARC projects and other research

About the Digital Media
Research Centre
The QUT Digital Media Research Centre
(DMRC) conducts world-leading
communication, media, and law research for a
flourishing digital society. One of only eleven
University Research Centres established at
QUT, it is one of the top Australian centres for
media and communication research, areas in
which QUT has achieved the highest possible
rankings in the national research quality
assessment exercise ERA, and it is closely
linked with the School of Communication.

The Centre incorporates the QUT node of the
Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of
Excellence for Automated Decision-Making &
Society (ADM+S), and participates in the ARC
Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child.

Working across five programs, the DMRC
investigates the digital transformation of the
media industries, the challenges of digital
inclusion and governance, the growing role of
AI and automation in the information
environment, and the role of social media in
political polarisation. The DMRC has an
international reputation for both critical and
computational methods, and has access to
cutting-edge research infrastructure and
capabilities in areas such as social media
analytics and critical simulation.

We actively engage with industry and
international partners in Australia, Europe,
Asia, the US, and South America; and we are

especially proud of the dynamic and supportive
research training environment we provide to
our many local and international graduate

The DMRC is also a member of the global
Network of Centres – a group of academic
institutions with a focus on interdisciplinary
research on the development, social impact,
policy implications, and legal concerning the

Salary Details*
Salary Type Normal Wages
Base Salary $0
Superannuation 9.5%
Bonus offered No
Total Package $0
* Salary details are calculated without bonus and monthly payout as per tax bracket without tax threshold and other allowances. Its always good to confirm these details with the employer or recruiter.
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