CLOSED: Fairwork is hiring a Postdoctoral Researcher

Posted on 29.06.2022
We are hiring!

We are looking to appoint a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute

  • Role: Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Institution: Oxford Internet Institute
  • Location: 1 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3JS, UK
  • Salary: Grade 8 (£42,149 – £50,296 per annum)
  • Contract: Full-time, fixed-term for 12 months or to 31 August 2023
  • Application Deadline: Midday, 18 July 2022

Overview of the role

Reporting to the Principal Investigator, the post holder will act as a Postdoctoral Researcher of the Fairwork project. Fairwork is an action research project that assesses digital labour platforms against principles of fair work, and uses that research to push for positive change in the gig economy. The project currently operates in twenty-nine countries on five continents, and studies both geographically-tethered gig economy platforms and cloudwork (or ‘remote work’) platforms. The Researcher position will involve being the ‘country lead’ for Fairwork teams around the world. The specific teams that the post holder will work with will be chosen based on the post holder’s experience and the needs of local teams. Tasks will involve developing fair work standards, qualitative research with workers and platforms, organising meetings, outreach, liaising with external partners and stakeholders, publishing research in well-regarded academic journals, disseminating findings in the media, assisting with the supervision of project researchers external to the OII, and assistance keeping the project to some of our key deadlines.


  • Develop research questions about the job quality in the gig economy, conduct research, analyse detailed and complex qualitative data from a variety of sources, and generate original ideas by building on existing concepts.
  • Doing primary and secondary research, and drawing on existing data collected by the Faiwork team in order to evaluate platform companies against principles of fairwork.
  • Having operational responsibility for multiple sub-areas of work within the bigger Fairwork project, and giving input to all key decision-making project-wide.
  • Regularly liaising with project stakeholders, and supervision of some of the project research team who are external to the OII. Agree clear task objectives, organise, and delegate work to other members of the team.
  • Disseminating the ‘fair work’ rating criteria in collaboration with the PI and project team.
  • Collaborate in the preparation of research publications, chapters, summaries, and reports.
  • Extensive travel to conduct research, both alone and with partners, to investigate and analyse wider issues shaping platform work in fieldsites.
  • Small scale project management and the co-ordination of multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines.Represent the research group at external meetings/seminars, either with other members of the group or alone.
  • Prepare regular update reports to the funder and other collaborators.
  • Disseminate findings in the media.
  • Leading efforts to maintain a constant public profile (blogs, social media, short reports, etc.)
  • Managing the project’s stakeholder relationships.
  • Maintaining an awareness of key project deadlines and helping to steer the team towards them.
  • Leading in the organisation of workshops and an international conference about fair work.
  • Raise research funds through grant applications and manage delegated budgets.
  • Share responsibility for shaping the research group’s plans and the writing of groupfunding applications for new research projects.
  • Carry out collaborative projects with colleagues in partner institutions, and research groups

Plus other duties as commensurate with the role and required by the PI.


Selection criteria


  • Hold a PhD (or be close to completion) in sociology, geography, anthropology, economics, development studies, social policy, law, or a related field.
  • Strong publication record and familiarity with the existing literature and research in the field.
  • Academic or professional experience, and an established career, related to the gig economy, platform work, remote work, the digital economy, decent work, or precarious/temporary work.
  • Possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research projects and methodologies.
  • Ability to manage own academic research and associated activities.
  • Previous experience of contributing to publications/presentations.
  • Experience with survey design and analysis.
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write for publication, present research proposals and results, and represent the research group at meetings.
  • Ability to organise complex sets of information, and develop granular work schedules.
  • Experience coordinating a diverse set of stakeholders.
  • Ability to independently plan and manage a research project, including a research budget.
  • Ability to raise research funds through making grant applications.
  • Experience studying platform work in any of our countries of interest, and its relationships to inequality, race, gender, culture, and society.
  • An interest in understanding obstacles faced by platform workers.


  • Experience working in low- or middle-income countries.
  • Proficiency in multiple languages.

Equality of Opportunity

Entry into employment with the University and progression within employment will be determined only by personal merit and the application of criteria which are related to the duties of each particular post and the relevant salary structure. In all cases, ability to perform the job will be the primary consideration. No applicant or member of staff shall be discriminated against because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.

See here for more information, or here to apply.

Application Deadline: Midday, 18 July 2022