Academic Position in the Field of Social Data Science
Catholic University of Leuven, Centre for Sociological Research




At the Faculty of Social Sciences, a full-time position is vacant for a Professor in the field of Social Data Science. The selected candidate will be part of the Centre for Sociological Research (CeSO).




Social change requires that social scientists rethink their methodological approaches. The candidate contributes to the innovation of the quantitative research of the CeSO from the perspective of Social Data Science. Social Data Science comprises a combination of three factors, namely substantive knowledge, expertise in collecting and unlock various relevant data sources, and knowledge of innovative statistical analysis. 

The candidate will carry out substantively-oriented quantitative sociological research that connects with one or more of the research lines present within CeSO (for an overview, see The candidate is expected to investigate how developments in the field of social data science (with respect to data collection as well as data analysis) can contribute to answering sociological questions. Examples of such 'new forms' of quantitative research are (but are not limited to): 

• Online and mobile data collection
• Linking of divesre data sources (including register data)
• Social media and network data
• Collecting and analyzing sensor data or other automatically generated data
• Applications of machine learning in social science research
• Dynamic simulation studies

The candidate will develop a research programme that integrates one or more innovative methodologies in substantive research and explores the complementarity between the more traditional (such as survey or experimental research) and innovative research designs. The candidate is also expected to pay attention to questions concerning the scientific and social impact of the availability of new forms of data. She/he strives for complementarity and cooperation with currently present research lines and actively raises funds for her/his own and collective research. The aim is to link up with international research networks and initiatives, interuniversity collaborations, etc. For the candidate, his or her own research also forms the framework for the active coaching of research staff and PhD students.



The candidate will develop and teach courses in the domain of quantitative researchmethodology (e.g. the introductory course on Social Statistics and more advanced master courses). She/he is also actively committed to the quality of the sociology programme as a whole. The candidate independently supervises master's theses within his/her own research field and related themes. In principle, education and student guidance are provided in Dutch. KU Leuven expects non-Dutch-speaking candidates to have an adequate command of Dutch within a period of three years after their appointment.



You provide scientific, social and internal services. This is reflected, among other things, in a constructive contribution to education and research, as part of a team's collective projects (eg through participation in meetings, teacher days, information sessions, recruitment activities, exchange programs).


The candidate holds a degree of Doctor of Social Sciences and has at least three years of post-doctoral experience at the time of entry into service. She/he has a proven expertise that matches the quantitative profile. She/he is familiar with traditional quantitative research designs (such as survey and experimental research) and analysis techniques and has knowledge of one or more 'new forms' of quantitative research.

The candidate carries out high quality scientific research (supported by recent publications in international and national journals and books) and is active in international networks. Successful recruitment of research funding is seen as an advantage. The candidate can provide excellent education and has the necessary didactic skills. Positive teaching evaluations, experience with teaching for large groups or a relevant didactic certificate are considered an asset. The candidate has the necessary communication and organisational skills and can work in a team.

Depending on the candidate's qualifications, the appointment is made in one of the degrees of the independent academic staff.

The official language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in meetings.
Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch respectively English to the required standard.


We offer a full-time employment in an intellectually challenging and international environment. You will work in Leuven, a historic and
lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 minutes from Brussels, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.
Depending on your experience and qualification, the position will be filled at one of the levels of the Senior Academic Staff (Tenure Track
Professor, Associate Professor, Full Professor). Junior researchers are appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a period
of five years; after this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed (or tenured) as an associate professor. The
anticipated starting date for this position is October 1, 2020.
To facilitate scientific onboarding and accelerate research in the first phase a starting grant of 100.000 euro is offered to new professors
without substantial other funding (e.g., ERC).
KU Leuven welcomes international scholars and their family and provides practical support with regard to immigration and administration,
housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching,…

KU Leuven places great importance on research integrity and ethical conduct and will therefore ask you to sign an integrity statement upon appointment.



For more information please contact Prof. dr. Bart Meuleman, tel.: +32 486 23 46 97, mail: problems with online applying, please contact

You can apply for this job no later than February 20, 2020 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Socioloxy


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