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Student Assistant / Volunteer for Data Analytics and Research (f/m)

Position Title:  Student Assistant / Volunteer for Data Analytics and Research (f/m)

Form of Employment: student assistant / volunteer

Starting Date: As soon as possible



Democracy Reporting International (DRI) is a non-partisan, independent, not-for-profit organisation based in Berlin, Germany. Our mission is to safeguard and promote the political participation of citizens, effective oversight of state bodies and the development of democratic institutions worldwide by helping find local ways of realizing the universal right of citizens to participate in the political life of their countries.

With the increasing role of social media for public discourse and political communication, we have started to monitor and analyse the role of social media for democracy in general, and elections in particular. While social media has clear mobilising and empowering effects on democratic participation, it has become clear that it can also be used to manipulate, distort and disempower genuine democratic discourse and civic engagement.

Our “Social Media & Democracy Programme” therefore seeks to generate more evidence and insights into social media’s role in democratic elections to be used by civil society to raise awareness and build the digital literacy of citizens as well as by regulatory agencies and social media companies when debating effective (self-)regulation. This programme is broad in scope, but currently has a particular geographical focus on those countries where we run larger on-the-ground programmes, such as Myanmar, Pakistan, Lebanon and Ukraine. It is likely to be expanded to cover significantly more countries, including EU member states, based on successful grant applications, which are currently under review.

To assist us in this exploration of the social media landscape around elections, we are looking for young data analysts or scientists and social researchers with expertise in the area of digital social research interested in applying their skills to promote and defend democracy in the digital sphere.

Specifically, we are looking for volunteers (based anywhere around the world) and/or student assistants (based in Berlin and enrolled in a German university) with the following profile:


  • Proven experience in digital social research and social media analytics;
  • Experience in applying sentiment analysis, social network analysis, and other relevant research methods;
  • Working knowledge of R, Python, or Excel;
  • Keen interest in political affairs and democratic processes around the world;
  • Good command of the English language.


Your Tasks could include:

  • Exploring social media data related to political parties, candidates, or other social actors in countries where DRI works;
  • Analysing trends in social media data and answering questions about audience;
  • Mapping and exploring media networks and groups in social media;
  • Contributing to proposal development and project conceptualisation;
  • Creating data visualizations for research papers or reports.


We can offer:

  • A chance to put your commitment to democracy and civic engagement into practice;
  • An opportunity to learn about how social research can contribute to the public good in many countries around the world;
  • A dynamic work environment with an international team of young motivated professionals, located in the heart of Berlin (for student assistants on-site).

According to German Labour Law we offer two forms of employment:

  • If you are not enrolled in a German university, we can offer you this experience on a voluntary basis.
  • If you are enrolled in a German university and based in Berlin we are able to offer you this position as a student assistant, with fair remuneration.

Closing date for applications: 15 July 2018. The position may be filled before the end of the deadline so early applications are encouraged.

If you are interested, please send your application (cover letter and CV) to [email protected] and include “Student Assistant Data Analytics” or “Volunteer Data Analytics” in the subject line.

Please note that we are only able to contact shortlisted candidates for an interview.


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