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Scientific Director

Forum on Information & Democracy

Forum on Information & Democracy

United States · Remote
Posted on Monday, August 7, 2023

About the International Observatory on Information and Democracy (OID)

The OID is the evaluation framework of the Forum on Information and Democracy. Its mission is to aggregate and synthesize existing research and available data (meta-analysis) to provide policy-makers with a periodic global assessment of the information and communication space and its impact on democracy, in the form of biennial reports. The ultimate goal of the Observatory is to assess the means, standards and architectures of the digital information and communication space, to enhance its public understanding, and hold its stakeholders accountable.

The mission at a glance

For the launch of its first work cycle in September 2023, the Observatory is recruiting a Scientific Director to oversee and coordinate the writing process of its inaugural report to be published by the end of 2024. This is a paid part-time position, starting in September 2023 and running for a period of 12 to 16 months (to be confirmed) through a freelance/consultant agreement. Each working group will focus on different themes, all laddering up to the objective of assessing the information ecosystem’s impact on democracy. Each working group will produce a chapter of the final report to be published by the end of 2024. Rapporteurs’ work will be supported by the permanent staff of the Observatory and overseen by the Observatory’s Scientific Director and its Steering Committee.

About the Scientific Director role

The Scientific Director will be responsible for overseeing the aggregation and synthesis of research contributions by the different rapporteurs of the Observatory’s thematic working groups. As such, he/she/they will steer the drafting process of the report by providing each rapporteur with a working and reporting framework, and will coordinate and give feedback on their respective productions in order to achieve an optimal report’s draft to be shared with the Steering Committee. The Scientific Director will act as the authoritative master coordinator of the report drafting process. He/She/They will be responsible for steering and arbitrating on crucial scientific issues such as the definition of research and methodological questions, chapters and report’s titles, or the presentation of findings. They will do so in coordination and with oversight from the Observatory’s Steering Committee.

Key responsibilities:

All of the below will be done with support from the permanent staff of the Forum and in coordination with the rapporteurs and the Steering Committee. Management: ● Managing down: Oversee, coordinate and feedback on the production of working groups’ rapporteurs. And organize chapters/rapporteurs’ coordination meetings and ways of working in accordance. ● Managing up: Communicate with and report to the members of the Steering Committee to troubleshoot research and methodological questions, update them on progress made and share report’s drafts. Communicate and report to the permanent staff of the Forum, in particular his Executive Director and the Head of the Observatory, who will support them in their mission and be responsible to manage their assignment and contract. Analysis and Editorial: ● Review and analyze the work produced by the rapporteurs, stress-test it and propose additional or alternative analysis to improve its quality. ● Review the quality of contributions scoped and gathered by rapporteurs and complement them with relevant analysis if applicable. ● Be the authoritative voice responsible for framing the research questions, methodological and findings section of the final draft. ● Act as the working groups’ production manager and spokesperson to the Steering Committee, gather their feedback, and manage the rapporteurs to address it adequately. ● Review and edit the different versions of the report (first, second and final draft) and get it approved by the Steering Committee. Thought Leadership and Representation: ● Represent the Observatory during key events where its work might be featured (e.g. Summit on Information and Democracy, Paris Peace Forum…) ● Translate the Observatory’s work and findings in the media or through press release or blogposts. ● Act as the Scientific spokesperson on behalf of the Observatory during governance meetings (e.g. Stakeholders Advisory Group meetings three times a year, or meetings with the Steering Committee every two months.) ● Take part in working groups’ meetings to frame and oversee the production process from a scientific perspective. ● Arbitrate on potential critical disagreements among research contributors in coordination with the Steering Committee and the permanent staff of the Forum. Desirable profile: ● Senior academic experience with a track record of authoritative publications in a relevant field or discipline for the Observatory’s mission (e.g. democracy, social impact of digital technology, information, media freedom…). ● A keen interest in evaluating the impact of the digital information and communication space on democracy. ● A strong interest in digital regulation and a demonstrated involvement in steering the related policy agenda. ● Relevant experience representing research findings at a high policy level and translating them for the broader public. ● Strong organizational skills and proven experience in facilitating academic group work internationally. ● Part-time availability. ● A status allowing freelance work and invoicing a French organization (remote wok possible). ● Excellent writing and communication skills in English. Knowledge of other languages, including French, is an advantage. Conditions ● Projected contract timeline: September 2023 to December 2024 (to be confirmed). ● Contract type: part-time freelance/consultancy agreement. ● Wages: negotiable depending on the profile. ● Remote work possible.

Recruitment process

All applications are welcome. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. If you submit an application, please note that we will only contact you if your application is shortlisted for an interview. This vacancy will be removed from this page once all positions have been filled. To apply, please send an e-mail to observatory@informationdemocracy.org with the following reference in the subject “Application Scientific Director OID” before 20.08.23.

Forum on Information & Democracy is an equal opportunity employer.