Postdoctoral researcher – Critical Thinking in Communities of Inquiry
Posted : 27 November 2023
Closes : 11 December 2023
Location : Galway

Postdoctoral researcher – Critical Thinking in Communities of Inquiry
Insight Centre for Data Analytics
Data Science Institute, College of Science and Engineering
Ref. No. University of Galway 315-23

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time fixed term position as a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Data Science Institute at the University of Galway, Ireland.

This position is funded by the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and is available from January 2024 to contract end date of June 2025.

Job Description:
The successful candidate will be working on an 18 month research project that investigates data scientists’ and AI professionals’ perceptions of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS)/STE(A)M activities in their field. The candidate will develop and implement a pilot programme of facilitating communities of inquiry with researchers at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics in Galway. The candidate will work under the supervision of Dr Heike Felzmann and Dr Lucy Elvis and be trained in the facilitation method and supported by experienced facilitators. The candidate will be responsible for the development and implementation of the pilot, data collection and analysis and the creation of research outputs and descriptors of the programme.

The successful candidates will be based in the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics at the University of Galway. The candidates will be supported in their professional development, be able to avail of a range of career level focussed training opportunities, have the potential to publish research findings in leading journals and international events.

• Conduct mixed methods research on data science and AI researchers’ perceptions of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS)/STE(A)M activities in their field
• Develop, implement and evaluate a pilot of communities of inquiry with researchers in data science and AI
• Develop descriptors to facilitate dissemination of the communities of inquiry programme
• Bring fresh ideas and creative approaches to solving complex research challenges
• Produce top-quality journal and conference publications in collaboration with the team
• Participate in Centre activities as required
• Any other duties assigned commensurate to this level of post

Qualifications/Skills required:

Essential Requirements:
● PhD degree in humanities, social sciences, education or a STEM subject
● Proven interest in humanities or social science perspectives on STEM-related concerns, preferably with regard to the digital sphere OR substantial practical experience with reflective group facilitation
● A proven track record of research performance, including publication and dissemination of research
● Evidence of ability to conduct qualitative research and data analysis
● Substantial experience with teaching or public engagement activities
● Excellent communication skills, including the ability to deliver engaging public communications

Desirable Requirements:
● Practical experience with Community of Inquiry approaches (such as P4/wC) or Science Communication
● Competence in ethics, public philosophy or philosophy of education
● Experience with project evaluation
● Leadership experience
● Substantial teamwork experience

Salary: Postdoctoral Researcher salary scale €42,782 – €54,965 per annum, (subject to the project’s funding limitations), and pro rata for shorter and/or part-time contracts.

The default position for all new public sector appointments is the 1st point of the salary scale. This may be reviewed, and consideration afforded to appointment at a higher point on the payscale (subject to the project’s funding limitations), where evidence of prior years’ equivalent experience is accepted in determining placement on the scale above point 1, subject to the maximum of the scale.

Research Salary Scales – University of Galway).

Start date: Position is available immediately.

Continuing Professional Development/Training:
Researchers at University of Galway are encouraged to avail of a range of training and development opportunities designed to support their personal career development plans. University of Galway provides continuing professional development supports for all researchers seeking to build their own career pathways either within or beyond academia. Researchers are encouraged to engage with our Researcher Development Centre (RDC) upon commencing employment – see HERE for further information.

Further information on research and working at University of Galway is available on Research at University of Galway

For information on moving to Ireland please see

Insight is the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre for Data Analytics. It is one of the largest data analytics centres in Europe. It seeks to derive value from Big Data and provides innovative technology solutions for industry and society by enabling better decision-making. It supports 450 researchers across the country in areas such as the Fundamentals of Data Science, Sensing and Actuation, Scaling Algorithms, Model Building, Multi Modal Analysis, Data Engineering and Governance, Decision Making and Trustworthy AI. More information on the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics is available at

Informal enquiries concerning the post may be made to
Heike Felzmann or
Christiane Leahy-Coen,

NB: Gárda vetting is not a requirement for this post, but may be required for optional ancillary activities (as appropriate to Child Protection Policy)

To Apply:
Applications to include a covering letter, CV, and the contact details of three referees should be sent, via e-mail (in word or PDF only) to Heike Felzmann

Please put reference number University of Galway 315-23 in subject line of e-mail application.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm (Irish Time) 11th December 2023

We reserve the right to re-advertise or extend the closing date for this post.

University of Galway is an equal opportunities employer.

All positions are recruited in line with Open, Transparent, Merit (OTM) and Competency based recruitment