PhD position in social media analysis to characterize youth opinion in Europe.

Research / Academic

We are seeking a talented PhD student to develop computational methods to mine sentiments

and opinions from multiple forms of social media including text, images, and video. The analysis

of social media is in its infancy and new research is needed to address issues relating to bias,

error, and missing values, and how to integrate contradictory signals. The research will

specifically explore questions relating to Europe’s youth: aspirations and concerns, lifestyle,

immigration, and employment in Europe for the past, present and future.  The research will

occur in the context of the Maastricht Working on Europe project, a partnership with the City of

Maastricht, the Province of Limburg and Maastricht University, to  position Maastricht as a

meeting place for debate and dialog and as an expertise center of knowledge and vision on

Europe and European integration.

The successful candidate will be appointed at the Institute of Data Science at Maastricht

University and perform this research project to the benefit of the Maastricht Working on Europe project/Studio Europa.

Tasks include: 

  • Work with a multi-stakeholder team to catalog and characterize the opinion of youth on European issues
  • Develop computational methods to harvest, process, catalog, and analyse multimedia content for opinions and sentiments.
  • Validate developed methods using synthetic and real world data
  • Communicate the results of the research to stakeholders and target groups
  • Write scientific papers for international peer-reviewed conferences and journals
  • Present your work in international conferences
  • Finalise the work in a PhD thesis


  • MSc degree in Computer Science, Data Science, Information Science, Artificial Intelligence or equivalent;
  • Experience with text mining, sentiment analyses and data mining algorithms;
  • Have developed creative approaches to analysis and data exploration;
  • Demonstrable affinity with the topic;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as in a team;
  • Excellent oral and written English communication.

Salary Benefits:

  • 38 hours per week;
  • We offer a rewarding career at a young university in the heart of Europe, with a distinct global perspective and a strong focus on innovative research and education.
  • The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO), supplement with local UM provisions. For more information on terms of employment, please visit our website > Support > UM employees.
  • We offer a 4 year full-time appointment as PhD candidate. The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended for another 3 years.
  • Remuneration will be according to according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of €2.325,- with a yearly growth to €2.972,- gross a month, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours/week).
  • On top of this, there is an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end of the year allowance.
  • We offer an attractive package of fringe benefits such as, reduction on collective health insurance, substantial leave arrangements, optional model for designing a personalised benefits package, sport facilities which staff may use at a modest charge and application for attractive fiscal arrangements for employees from abroad;
  • We provide a stimulating, collaborative and interdisciplinary work environment with excellent opportunities for professional and personal development;
  • Maastricht University has an excellent international reputation, and Maastricht itself is a beautiful, open-minded city located in the center of Western Europe.
Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Universiteitsingel 60