Health trackers use sensor and sound technology to monitor biological activity, and support the realization of particular health goods. The researcher will investigate, using ethnographic methods, how, why, and with what consequences such trackers are used in contemporary Britain. Constituting one member of a four-person team studying the intersection between surveillance and moral community, the researcher will explore how biological surveillance becomes a way that people committed to health goods relate to one another. In a global context in which public health has been propelled to the centre of debate by Covid-19, the project will identify how public and private health surveillance are interacting inside this new reality.
The researcher will be responsible to the project’s PI and contribute proportionately to the collective outputs of the project. They will publish journal articles, book chapters, and assist with the co-crafting of a policy report. They will also be involved in research dissemination activities: through conference presentations, workshops, and web content. This post carries a number of administrative duties: including scientific and ethical reporting, coordinating network activities, and organizing events at the host department.
The project is hosted by the Department of Digital Humanities at Kings College London, an interdisciplinary environment shared by scholars across the social sciences and humanities. Founded in 1992, the department is the largest of its kind anywhere in the world, and is situated at the forefront of critical inquiry into the development of digital society.
Following the good practice guidelines provided by the European Association of Social Anthropologists, the PDRA will have full or proportionate authorship of all publications arising from their research, and allocated 20% FTE for personal and professional development.
This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 36 months, starting on 1st September 2021.
This is a full-time post.
Conduct research, including twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork, on the use of health trackers in Britain.
Publish the research as a minimum of two journal articles and one book chapter, and contribute to the policy report.
Present the research at conferences and workshops
Contribute to the reporting of the project to the European Research Council
Organize events at the host department.
Contribute to the virtual dissemination of the project via its website and social media handles
The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, knowledge, and experience
A Ph.D in Social Anthropology or related discipline
Extensive experience and training in ethnographic methods
Knowledge and experience of digital methods
Expertise in one or more of the following areas: medical anthropology, digital anthropology, anthropology of sport, public health
Publications in peer-reviewed journals
Evidence of public engagement
Capacity to work independently and with others
Capacity to take responsibility for administrative tasks
Excellent command of spoken and written English
Previous experience on collaborative research projects
Publication of a research monograph
Receipt of prizes, fellowships and awards
Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.
To apply please include a cover letter, a CV with the names of two referees, and a writing sample of less than 10,000 words
Interviews will take place in-person or online in June 2021.