Talents wanted.

Research Associate

The Interaction Design Lab at the Design Department of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam is seeking a

Research Associate
Salary group of 13 TV-L
Requisition No.: 01 / 2017

to support inter- and transdisciplinary research for a fixed term of 3 years at 40 week hours (100%) starting in April 2017 (part time can be arranged). Starting 01.04.2017, scheduled end of the research project 31.03.2020.

Project Description:

New potentials for analysing networked images

Similarity as a criterion for comparing images in image studies, computer and visualization science using the example of climate images on the web

Our research design brings together three disciplines: visual studies, computer sciences, visualization / interface design. Together we aim at investigating potentials of digital comparison methods for the field of climate images on the Internet. We take into account the mutual critique of our respective approaches, by reflecting on the surplus of quantitative and qualitative methods in studying pictures critically. The common question we developed aims at concepts of similarity as the general basis for any comparison. The concept of similarity is explicitly interesting for our scientific issue because it serves as a key method for digital image analysis and art history/visual studies alike. At the same time similarity can be approached with quantitative and qualitative methods. But until today a critical and systematic evaluation of the different epistemic values of these methods to study image similarity has still to be made. Our research programme wants to contribute to this task. We connect our common interest in similarity to the field of climate images on the Internet, because this field allows us to analyse images in a very broad and diverse typological range; at the same time all applicants can contribute their respective broad expertise in this area to the common topic.

We expect results on three levels: on the basis of a critical and qualitative evaluation and enhancement of existing algorithms to study image similarities quantitatively; on the basis of visual climate change communication by gaining new insights into what roles these images perform between science, politics and culture; and on a meta-level of an additional self-reflecting observation of our collaboration, documenting in detail how our perspectives and our disciplinary methodologies change in the process and how at the same time, our questions alter by this intense way of collaborating.

The project will consist of two research associates, as well as several student assistants. Beyond the actual research, you will be executing project related organisational tasks. We are looking for a person who is capable of working independently and take on responsibilities. While we are looking forward of developing the precise research program together with you and the rest of the team, the following components will be your responsibilities:

  • Setup and running a web crawler for collecting climate images and meta-data from the web
  • Planning and development of a visual analytics tool for climate images (a group of computer scientist will develop and implement algorithms for computing image similarity to provide input for the visual analytics tool)
  • Concepts for visualizing algorithms (e.g. machine learning and computer vision)
  • Critically discussing methods, techniques and technologies in an interdisciplinary discourse
  • Authoring academic publications in English
    • Included in the responsibilities for this position is the development of one’s own doctoral research project. The project should be closely aligned with the research project itself. If you already have a PhD project (not required) include an abstract in your application.


      • Graduate degree (Diploma/Master) in Computer Science, Interaction/Interface Design, Computer Graphics, Computational Visualistics, Information Science or related fields
      • Good skills in written and spoken English
      • Moderate to good skills in spoken German
      • Experience with web-based programming languages (Html, CSS, JavaScript)
      • Skills to acquire an understanding of image analysis algorithms, machine learning, neuronal networks (while you will not be asked to implement or develop the above mentioned, you will be discussing the techniques with your colleagues)
      • Knowledge required to setup a web scraper/crawler
      • Knowledge required for setting up and using databases
      • Knowledge in data visualization and interface design
      • Willingness to engage in an interdisciplinary research team with climate science and image science researchers

      It would also be beneficial if the applicant has experience in

      • Using Adobe Creative Cloud Products (e.g. Photoshop & Illustrator) or similar graphic editing applications
      • Node.JS, D3.js

      What we offer:
      The Interaction Design Lab is vibrant space of cutting edge visualization research. You will be working in a small group of designers, developers and researchers. We offer the technological infrastructure to explore virtual & augmented reality as well as multitouch environments for innovative visualization research. In this particular research-project the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Studies (PIK) even offers access to a computer cluster infrastructure for computing intensive tasks. While this is not a teaching position, we offer the possibilities to gain teaching experience through co-teaching with the project partners.

      The University of Applied Sciences Potsdam makes an effort to raise the ratio of women in its workforce and therefore especially invites women to apply. Applications from people with severe disabilities with equal qualifications will be treated preferentially.

      The University of Applied Sciences Potsdam sees itself as a family friendly university.

      For further information please contact Sebastian Meier at the email address

      Please submit your application as a single PDF file using above requisition number with the usual attachments until 15 February 2017 to

      Student and academic assistants

      The Interaction Design Lab is looking for students and graduates in the areas UX/UI-, Communication- and Interfacedesign, as well as Geo- and Informationvisualization for conceptual and applied design work in research projects or for the investigation of exciting research questions within the scope of their bachelor and master thesis. Programming skills are not required.

      If you are interested please send us your portfolio: