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Join our team: We are hiring a Cloudwork Postdoctoral Researcher to work for the Fairwork Foundation at the Oxford Internet Institute

Posted on 22.12.2021
We are hiring

The Oxford Internet Institute seeks to hire a
Cloudwork Postdoctoral Researcher for the Fairwork Foundation (f/m/x)

The University of Oxford’s Fairwork project, partnered with WZB (Berlin Social Science Center), is recruiting a Cloudwork Postdoctoral Researcher.

This is a full-time, fixed-term position, with remuneration at grade 8 (£42,149 – £50,296 per annum), starting as soon as possible until August 2023.

The closing date for applications is midday, 3 February 2022.

About Fairwork

Fairwork is an action-research project that currently operates in 26 countries. We research working conditions in the platform economy, in order to develop ‘fairness ratings’ for digital labour platforms like Uber, Helpling and Deliveroo (see examples here). We use these ratings as a lever to improve pay and conditions for platform workers, through media and consumer pressure.

The project currently operates in twenty six countries on five continents, and studies both geographically-tethered gig economy platforms and cloudwork (or ‘remote work’) platforms. The Researcher position will involve co-leading the Fairwork Cloudwork project that scores platforms from around the world, and speaks to cloudworkers on every continent.

Reporting to the Principal Investigator, the post holder will act as a researcher and the Cloudwork Lead of the Fairwork project.

Fairwork’s action research approach intends not just to understand the world, but to change it. By bringing workers, platforms, scholars, labour researchers and policymakers to the table, we work to collaboratively develop and embed principles of fair work into the script of the gig economy. Fundamental to the project is a commitment to being participatory and non-hierarchical within our communities: we are all—workers, unions, platforms, regulators, academics—the experts, and we all have co-developed this project. Our ultimate aim is to understand, and counter, some of the forces that disempower gig workers across the world.

Over the past three years, we have mobilized a unique and growing transnational network of social justice-minded scholars from over ten countries in pursuit of this planetary goal. In order to effectively advocate for gig workers everywhere, we believe it necessary for our team too to reflect a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, perspectives and more. In growing our team, we value and welcome the unique contributions that applicants can bring in terms of their education, opinions, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, ethnicity, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, age, religion, disability, and beliefs. We actively strive to build and nurture a culture of empathy, inclusiveness, and respect.

About the Cloudwork Postdoctoral Researcher

Selection Criteria:

Essential

  • Hold a relevant postgraduate degree in sociology, geography, anthropology, economics, development studies, social policy, or related fields.
  • 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.

Desirable

  • Experience of supervising staff
  • Experience of managing a research budget
  • Experience of making grant applications

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.

Responsibilities

  • Develop a survey instrument about the job quality in the gig economy, conduct research, analyse detailed and complex data from a variety of sources
  • Doing primary and secondary research, and drawing on existing data collected by the Fairwork 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 researchteam 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 field sites.
  • 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 group-
    funding applications for new research projects
  • Carry out collaborative projects with colleagues in partner institutions, and research groups
  • Other duties as may be required by the PI.

Duration and Deadline

This is a full-time, fixed-term position, with remuneration at grade Grade 8 (£42,149 – £50,296 per annum), starting as soon as possible until August 2023.

The closing date for applications is midday, 3 February 2022.

Contact

If you have any questions about this role, please contact Ms Ornella Sciuto (recruit@oii.ox.ac.uk)

The Fairwork project endorses the wider call from the Oxford Internet Institute community to advance anti-racist initiatives in higher education. We commit to upholding the values it espouses in our recruitment processes, to the best of our capacities.