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The Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance is opening a doctoral position in the area of 'Urban analytics and data' within FinEst Twins project. The PhD project should focus on research that contributes to establishing smart, resilient, and sustainable cities and fostering the design and use of data technologies.

Research field: Public policy and innovation
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Ralf-Martin Soe
Prof. Dr. Anu Masso
Availability: This position is available.
Offered by: School of Business and Governance
Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance
Application deadline:Applications are accepted between November 15, 2021 00:00 and December 15, 2021 23:59 (Europe/Zurich)


There are three key inter-related themes that we are interested in:

  1. Understanding inequalities in e-micro-mobilities. Despite the rapid growth of sustainable electrically assisted micro-mobility options, there are increasing disparities in European cities and across socio-economic groups in using these vehicles. Also, the increasing use of automated delivery robots is shifting the habits of adult citizens and raising the questions of interactions, power, and mutual bullying of robots and children as citizens of smart cities is often neglected in studies. 
  2. Towards diversity-sensitive smart mobility. Datafied mobility solutions like under-skin microchips instead of train tickets, cars driven by algorithms instead of people, or volunteered cycling data provide convenient and sustainable transport planning opportunities. Data technologies are also transforming our understandings about mobility, diversity, and cities to be examined.
  3. From central data platforms to data commons. Data platforms provide enormous opportunities for creating, accessing, and using the data and turning these into valuable knowledge for city planning. But we do not know how the citizens are framed and conceptualized in the cross-border, instead of national, data platforms and the twin cities' framework. Emerging data commons versus global principles for governing diversities through data technologies will be introduced and tested.

The researcher is expected to complete their research resulting in at least three peer-reviewed articles published in internationally recognized journals. The research plan should be in line with, and contribute to, the strategic research axes of the FinEst Twins CoE and its members. In addition to conducting research, the Ragnar Nurkse department expects the successful candidate to participate in a professional development program by teaching and supervising undergraduate and master's students.

Supervisor: Prof. Anu Masso
Co-supervisor: Senior Researcher Ralf-Martin Soe

The successful candidate should have:

  • a master's degree in social sciences;
  • expertise in qualitative or quantitative, digital or computational research methods; knowledge or readiness to use experimental study design and cognitive methods (eye-tracking) is an advantage;
  • a clear interest in (and a concise vision for) independent research concerning the chosen topic;
  • excellent command of English (proficiency in the Estonian language is beneficial);
  • strong and demonstrable writing and analytical skills;
  • capacity to work both as an independent researcher and as part of an international team;
  • ability and willingness to assist in organizational tasks relevant to the project.