The University of Vienna (20 faculties and centres, 179 fields of study, approx. 10.000 members of staff, about 90.000 students) seeks to fill the position from 15.10.2021 of a

University Assistant (prae doc)
at the Research Group Visualization and Data Analysis

Reference number: 12125

The research group Visualization and Data Analysis (Univ.-Prof. Dr. Torsten Möller, Dr. Laura Koesten) at the Faculty of Computer Sciences invites applications for the position of a research assistant aiming at a PhD degree.

We seek a highly motivated PhD researcher with a background in computer science, information science, or a related field. The successful applicant has the opportunity to propose their own project idea (in the areas of data science, data visualization, data practices or research data management) or to work in collaboration with the project “Talking charts”, funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF). The applicant should be confident in engaging with different audiences and applying a number of different quantitative and qualitative scientific methods. We expect a high motivation to learn and engage with real world data, people and problems in an interdisciplinary setting. There will be the possibility to collaborate with other students.

We offer a pleasant work environment within a friendly, dynamic, international and young team in Vienna, one of the cities with the highest quality of life worldwide. The working language is English, and we are committed to diversity and inclusion. There are many opportunities to grow academically as well as personally, including the opportunity to act as a possible team lead in research projects, engage in exchanges on an international scale and develop contacts to industry. We provide a close and supportive supervision of the thesis work and a highly collaborative research environment. There may be an option to extend the contract after the PhD defense in the context of furher academic training by applying for a continuing position.

Your application: Applications including a letter of motivation (English or German), your curriculum vitae (CV), a list of publications and teaching experience (if applicable) and copies of degree certificates should be submitted via the Job Center to the University of Vienna ( We strongly encourage people from underrepresented groups to apply.

For further information please contact Torsten Möller / Laura Koesten

Duration of employment: 4 year/s

Extent of Employment: 30 hours/week
Job grading in accordance with collective bargaining agreement: §48 VwGr. B1 Grundstufe (praedoc) with relevant work experience determining the assignment to a particular salary grade.

Job Description:
This role is for a fixed duration of 48 months.
- Participation in research, teaching and administration
- Participation in research projects / research studies
- Participation in publications / academic articles / presentations
- We expect the successful candidate to sign a doctoral thesis agreement within 12-18 months.
- Participation in teaching and independent teaching of courses as defined by the collective agreement
- Supervision of students
- Involvement in the organisation of meetings, conferences, symposiums
- Involvement in the department administration as well as in teaching and research administration

Visualizations are ubiquitous tools for communicating data, both within science and the popular media. Urgent messages with immediate effects on public life, i.e. the exponential growth of COVID-19, are often communicated via charts or diagrams. It is not clear whether public interpretations of these visualizations match the messages their creators aim to convey. The same is true for data visualizations in science; it is not a given that experts will interpret them the way they are intended. How do visualization producers create, and consumers understand, the messages carried in visualizations? How do consumers come to trust or to distrust, to act on or to ignore them?
Talking charts is a three-year mixed-methods project exploring how people encode, understand and engage with the messages (and implicit assumptions) communicated by data visualizations, particularly those focusing on COVID-19 and climate change.

- Completed Masters degree preferably in computer science or a related scientific field
- Professional competence (Bachelor’s level or equivalent professional experience): Background in Computer Science; specifically Human Computer Interaction, Data Visualisation, Data Science, Information Science
- Methodological skills: First experience with qualitative research methods (e.g. interview studies)
- Didactic skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Excellent command of written and spoken English
- IT user skills
- Ability to work in a team

Application documents:
- Letter of Motivation including ideas for a prospective doctoral project proposal
- Curriculum vitae
- List of publications, evidence of teaching experience (if available)
- Degree certificate
- Transcripts of all Bachelor und Master degree grades

Desirable qualifications are
- Masters degree in one of the following areas: Human Computer Interaction, Data Visualisation, Data Science, Information Science, Science and Technology Studies, Communication Science or a related field
- Teaching experience / experience of working with e-learning
- Knowledge of university processes and structures
- Experience abroad
- Basic experience in research methods and academic writing
- Experience with data visualisation
- Good German language skills
- Good programming skills (Python / R / C++)
- Background in or experience creating data visualizations
- Experience with quantitative research methods (e.g. in data science or statistical knowledge)
- Experience with user studies
- Experience with prototyping
- First experiences of interdisciplinary collaborations
- Teaching or tutoring experience, or workshop facilitation

Research fields:
Main research field
Special research fields Importance
Computer Sciences
Human-computer interaction;Data science;Visualisation MUST

Educational institution
Educational level Special subject Importance
Mathematics, Computer Sciences - MUST

Language level Importance
Very good knowledge MUST

Type of computer skills
Specified computer skills  Importance
Programming language

Applications including a letter of motivation (German or English) should be submitted via the Job Center to the University of Vienna ( no later than 13.12.2021, mentioning reference number 

For further information please contact Koesten, Laura +43-1-4277-79020.

The University pursues a non-discriminatory employment policy and values equal opportunities, as well as diversity ( The University lays special emphasis on increasing the number of women in senior and in academic positions. Given equal qualifications, preference will be given to female applicants.

Human Resources and Gender Equality of the University of Vienna
Reference number: 12125
Privacy Policy of the University of Vienna

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