We are hiring: Researcher on algorithmic discrimination

AlgorithmWatch CH is looking for an experienced collaborator to carry out research and investigative work for our NGO in Zurich.
  • Rate of employment: 60 - 90% (24-36 hours/week)
  • Start date: as soon as possible
  • Application deadline: September 10, 2023, 23:59 CEST

AlgorithmWatch is a human rights organization based in Berlin and Zurich, concerned with the social impact of algorithmic systems (and what is known as "Artificial Intelligence (AI)”). We are committed to ensuring that these systems protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law, rather than enabling discrimination, surveillance and power imbalances. We contribute to this through political campaigns, advocacy work, journalistic publications, research and technical development.

On our website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Mastodon, Instagram or via our newsletter you can get a better picture of our work and learn more about our team.

Would you like to make a commitment to the common good and work on one of the most exciting issues of our time? Then join our team!

Your role

As researcher, you will primarily coordinate the FINDHR research project for us. This interdisciplinary Horizon Europe project aims to address the discriminatory effects of algorithms in recruitment processes, and to develop methods, tools and training to avoid them. As part of this project, we contribute our expertise on the impact of technologies on our society, write case studies and communicate with the public and policy-makers. We pay particular attention to the perspective of those affected by discrimination.

In addition – and depending on the workload and your background – you will be responsible for other research work on the use of algorithms in Switzerland, for example for our Atlas of Automation, our newsletter or for future research and/or investigation projects. In particular, the aim is to demonstrate the consequences for those affected, highlight abuses and draw attention to gaps in accountability.

In this role, you will work closely with the head of AlgorithmWatch CH, the AlgorithmWatch Policy team in Zurich and Berlin, and external research and investigation partners.

What this means in detail:

  • You are our main contact with the FINDHR project partners and coordinate the project for AlgorithmWatch CH.
  • You independently manage the various work packages of the FINDHR project, involving AlgorithmWatch colleagues as well as external project partners. You keep an overview of our work packages, deadlines and implementation measures.
  • You conduct research on our thematic areas and write relevant texts in English and German, and possibly also in French.
  • You plan strategically and in collaboration with your colleagues from the policy and PR teams how we spread the results of the FINDHR project or other research to the various target groups. The focus is on policy makers and the public.
  • You take part in meetings and decisions with internal and external research partners.

What you bring along

  • You identify with our values and are motivated to protect human rights and democracy through your work, and to fight injustice, discrimination and power imbalances.
  • You have experience in research or journalism, in a field relevant to the work of AlgorithmWatch CH and FINDHR. We are not looking for a particular discipline, but for people who feel comfortable at the intersection of social sciences, computer science and data science, law, philosophy, politics and journalism.
  • You are as interested in research and investigative work as you are in project coordination and management. You are as passionate about developing content as you are about managing and structuring projects.
  • You are organized and keep track of the different work packages in a fast-paced environment.
  • You have a strong sense of priorities, are able to understand things quickly, work independently, are reliable and stress-resistant.
  • You communicate in German and English with a confident style and coherent argumentation. You have a good knowledge of French and may also speak Italian.
  • You demonstrate team spirit, enthusiasm, responsibility and initiative.

What we offer you

  • You are part of a team of enthusiastic people in Zurich and Berlin, fighting to make society more just, more democratic, more inclusive and more sustainable.
  • You will be working on one of society's most relevant topics and with a great network of scientists, civil society partner organizations, media and decision-makers.
  • You will be given both responsibility and creative freedom.
  • We foster a collegial and respectful working culture, in which we celebrate successes and deal with setbacks together. Team retreats and events are just as much a part of this as skill-sharing workshops and supervision (if required).
  • We support you through individual and team trainings to develop professionally in a way that suits your strengths and interests.
  • A fair salary
  • Flexible working hours and the possibility of home office, five weeks of vacation, a 40-hour week (for full-time position), overtime compensation.
  • A position initially limited to two years, starting as soon as possible (October 15 or to be agreed). We are aiming for a continuation of the position and a long-term collaboration.
  • A workplace in the center of Zurich

In order to create a respectful working environment, we have defined values and principles in our mission statement that will shape your everyday work.

Have we aroused your curiosity? Then apply!

Equal opportunity is important to us, therefore we strive for a balanced and diverse composition of our team and management bodies. We particularly encourage applications from people with a family history of migration, black people and people of color, people who are part of the LGBTIQ* community and people who experience (or have experienced) discrimination. Don't hesitate to contact us if you think we should improve anything in this recruitment process to make it more inclusive.

Are you passionate about our goals and want to work in a team that is committed and full of humor ? Even if you don't fit all criteria of the job description, we are looking forward to your application!

Please email the following documents to jobs@algorithmwatch.ch no later than September 10, 2023 at 11:59 pm CEST, indicating a possible starting date. Please do not include photo, age and marital status information:

  • CV
  • cover letter
  • a work sample that gives us an idea of your professional experience (e.g. a scientific article, a journalistic article, a blog, a position paper or similar that you have written)

We'll get back to you with a brief confirmation. You will then hear from us as soon as possible if your profile fits us and we would like to meet you. If you have any questions about the position, you can contact Angela, Head of AlgorithmWatch CH, in advance at jobs@algorithmwatch.ch. Interviews will take place on site or by video call.

Your application will be handled in accordance with data protection principles.