Job: 3-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (ERC-project DAWN)
Logo of the ERC-Project DAWN

The spread of belief systems in irrigation modelling

Fellow profile

We are looking for a highly motivated, curiosity-driven postdoctoral scholar with a strong background in Network Analysis to integrate into the ERC-funded project DAWN. DAWN merges philosophy, anthropology, hydrology and mathematical modeling to unfold, analyze and assimilate the ambiguities ingrained in the modelling of irrigation water demands. Click here and here for further information on the project.

The candidate should hold a PhD in Network Analysis, Digital Humanities, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science or a cognate discipline. No specific years of experience as a postdoc are required in order to apply, and we welcome applications from candidates from the UK or abroad. Programming skills in R will be especially valued, although any computer language is welcome.


Specific tasks

The candidate will start in October 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter, and will hold a fixed term contract for three consecutive years. S/he will be based at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham. The main job will consist in applying state-of-the-art network citation analysis to illuminate the epistemological foundations grounding irrigation modelling.

The goal is to explore the spread of belief systems through the literature on irrigation modelling. In philosophy of science, belief systems are claims on a given topic that act as pillars upon which scientific knowledge is built. These claims turn to beliefs through citations among the papers supporting the claim. By tracking the pattern of citations we can discern whether these beliefs are grounded on solid data or result from disregarding uncertainties, e.g., from excluding studies that contradicted the given claim.

With this approach, the researcher will map the history of irrigation modelling and discover how the knowledge produced (or ignored) by scientists cascaded through time, thus identifying processes of path-dependencies, lock-in effects, the establishment of (false) consensus or the transformation of uncertainties into (fragile) facts.

The candidate is also expected to pursue its own research interests within the scope of DAWN and develop an independent scientific profile. Other responsabilities will include:

  1. Develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research.
  2. Contribute to writing bids for research funding.
  3. Disseminate research findings for publication, research seminars, etc.
  4. Provide guidance to DAWN PhD students where appropriate.



Besides an exciting and caring interdisciplinary research environment, we also offer:

  1. A progressive salary at grade 7, spinal point 36. Click here for more details.
  2. Funding available to cover attendance to congresses, workshops or training courses.
  3. Integration into an interdisciplinary team with a wide international network, with extraordinary opportunities for career development.
  4. An impressive range of benefits, including generous annual leave allowance, pension scheme, shopping discounts and more. Click here for more details.


How to apply?

Please send the following documents via e-mail to Arnald Puy ( with “DAWN: Postdoctoral Fellowship (spread of belief systems in irrigation modelling)” in the e-mail subject line:

  1. Covering letter (1 page max) outlining academic interests and reasons for undertaking this project.
  2. CV (5 page max) with details on your track record and publications.
  3. Details of two academic referees. Please not that we will not contact your referees for references. You must arrange for references to be submitted by your referees.

Please apply as soon as possible as we will evaluate applications as they come through. We reserve the right to remove the advert if a suitable candidate is found before the closing date (30 June 2023). The successful candidate is expected to take up the post in October 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Click here to know more about the University and the city of Birmingham!

Published by Aline Deicke
April 24, 2023

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