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Postdoctoral Position: Epistemology of Digital Humanitarianism

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  • Partnership between Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Canada Research Chair in Applied Epistemology and the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST)
  • Case study of MSF REACH (REaction Assessment Collaboration Hub) from the perspective of applied epistemology
  • Using machine learning techniques, ‘REACH combines institutional data with crowd-sourced information in order to share the most updated information in real-time, equipping MSF with virtual eyes on the ground’. The project aims at ‘improving information management and fostering more efficient decision-making’.

Research objectives

  • Identify, on the basis of empirical observations and using the resources of applied epistemology (social and naturalised) and STS (Science and Technology Studies), the epistemic strengths and weaknesses of MSF REACH;
  • Lay the groundwork for thinking about improving the epistemic value of emergency data production by making use of the contributions of various ameliorative programs in the literature.


  • $ 45,000 (CAD) for 15 months


  • Starting in September 2018
  • Be present in Montreal and Sherbrooke, and participate in the activities of the CIRST and the Canada Research Chair in Applied Epistemology
  • PhD completed in the last 5 years
  • Not being simultaneously funded by another Canadian institution (SSHRC, FRQSC, etc.)

The ideal candidate would meet the following conditions

  • Knowledge of applied epistemology (system-oriented social epistemology, socio-technical epistemology) or related STS work
  • Knowledge of social studies of information technologies and artificial intelligence
  • Experience with interview techniques in the social sciences
  • English proficiency and at least an intermediate level in French
  • Strong interest in emergency humanitarian work (work experience in this area is an asset)
  • Capacity for autonomous work
  • Ability to be accountable for one’s work

Please send your application to François Claveau. The documents should include:

  • A letter describing the relevant skills, experiences and research interests
  • A CV including the contact details of at least two persons who can act as references
  • A proof of graduation

The deadline for application is 29 June 2018. If you have questions, please contact jean-francois.dube@usherbrooke.ca

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