Dr Nicole Stremlau is looking for two research assistants to work on the European Research Council project, ConflictNet (The politics and practice of social media in conflict), with a focus on Africa.  The focus of this stream of the project is around online hate speech in Africa, including the use of AI for content moderation in African languages, the use of professional fact checkers, and users flagging or reporting content. The Research Assistants will contribute to a literature review, support research design and contribute to publications. They must have excellent editorial and writing abilities. There may also be opportunities to contribute to additional research streams related to this project including on internet shutdowns in Africa, and the politics of AI in Africa.

Finally, depending on the situation with Covid-19, the research assistants may have the opportunity to contribute to the development and implementation of a conference in December 2021 on a related topic.

Duration and hours

Total number of hours of work available: 500

Maximum number of hours of work per week: up to 20 hours a week depending on departmental restrictions. In the case of the Faculty of Law the limit is 8 hours a week.  We have some flexibility as to how the work is completed (eg more hours can be used during the break between terms).

Start date: as soon as possible after 13 July 2021

Date by which the work must be completed: December 2021


The Research Assistants will report to Nicole Stremlau.


  • Contribute to the gathering of literature and data for a semi-structured evidence review on online hate speech and conflict in Africa
  • Contribute to mapping exercises around AI across various sectors in Africa
  • Provide editorial assistance for other articles and books produced by the ConflictNet team
  • Manage research and administrative activities (under guidance)
  • Contribute to wider project planning, including ideas for the next stage of the larger research programme and potential funding opportunities
  • Gather, analyse, and present qualitative and/or quantitative data from a variety of sources in the form of a written report. Experience working with online data collection and quantitative data would be desirable, but is not essential.


This position is open to current graduate research students in the Law Faculty, OII, Computer Science, Politics, or Area Studies and the hours are in line with the restrictions on working hours for students. It is expected the work will be done in the UK.

Rate of Pay

Variable hours contract: This will be paid at the standard Research Assistant rate of £15.37 per hour (based on Grade 6 point 1) plus holiday pay of £2.63 per hour worked (= total of £18.00/hour).


This position is funded by the research grant ConflictNET from the ERC.

How to Apply

A short CV and cover letter (including the name of your supervisor, if any) should be sent by email to Nicole Stremlau (nicole.stremlau@csls.ox.ac.uk) by 06 July 2021. Please explain how you meet the requirements for the role, and give details of your availability, including the number of hours you are able to work (in line with departmental regulations and your availability).

Supervisors may be asked for a reference.

Informal enquiries may be emailed to Nicole Stremlau (nicole.stremlau@csls.ox.ac.uk).