PhD position in "Algorithmic fairness and child protection decision-making"

Contribute to the protection of children. Build a career as researcher at the interface of the social and data sciences.

Your role

  • Developing an algorithmic approach to the study of case trajectories in child protection (e.g., text mining, neural network modelling)
  • Initiation and active development of your dissertation (at a university in Switzerland or abroad) based on the data collected in the project
  • Active participation in the publication of research results (scientific publications, national and international conference contributions)
  • Close collaboration with the principal investigator as part of an interdisciplinary team

The position is limited to two years. Employment beyond this period is possible if both parties agree. The goal of the project is to use a database of child and youth welfare services in the Canton of Zurich to predict case trajectories in child protection. Predictive models shall be examined with regard to their fulfillment of statistical fairness parameters. It is expected that algorithmic methods of text analysis as well as statistical modeling will be needed. In addition to the su-pervision provided at ZHAW, we offer the option to be formally supervised at the Chair of "Epidemiologie und Ver-laufsforschung im Kinderschutz" at the University of Ulm. You may pursue your degree at a different university provid-ed you can ensure supervision.


Your profile

  • Master's degree, preferably in Psychology, Data Science, Computer Science or a related discipline
  • Familiarity with approaches of algorithmic data analysis or a strong interest to obtain such familiarity
  • Solid user skills in statistical/programming software (R, Python) or a strong interest to obtain these
  • Fluent in German, very good command of English
  • Reliable and proactive personality who appreciates close collaboration in an interdisciplinary team and is looking to build a career as a researcher at the interface of social and data sciences

This is what we stand for

With over 14,000 students and around 3,400 employees, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest multidisciplinary universities of applied sciences in Switzerland.

The Department of Social Work is one of the eight departments of the ZHAW and is one of the leading Swiss educational institutions in social work. The Institute for Childhood, Youth and Family, located in Zurich, in the Campus Toni-Areal, is one of the department's four institutes. In addition to teaching, we engage in research, offer courses in continuing education and consult social work organisations in their development.

We look forward to receiving your complete application documents by 04.03.2022 via online platform.


Das dürfen Sie erwarten

Wir bieten hochschulgerechte Arbeits- und Anstellungsbedingungen und fördern aktiv die Personalentwicklung unserer Mitarbeitenden und Führungspersonen. Eine detaillierte Beschreibung der Vorteile finden Sie auf der Seite «Arbeiten an der ZHAW». Hier die wichtigsten Eckpunkte:


Prof. Dr. David Lätsch

Tanja Bucher
Recruiting Manager

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