The Fairwork Project is hiring for the following two positions: 

  1. Postdoctoral Researcher I (Grade 8: £41,526 – £49,553 p.a; fixed term contract until 30 June 2022 in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal thereafter; deadline: 12.00 midday on 27 August 2020)
  2. Postdoctoral Researcher II (Grade 8: £41,526 – £49,553 p.a; fixed-term until 31 December 2021 in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal thereafter; deadline: 12.00 midday on 10 September 2020)

About Fairwork 

Fairwork is an action-research project based at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. We research working conditions in the gig economy, in order to develop ‘fairness ratings’ for digital labour platforms like Uber, Helpling and Deliveroo (see examples here). We use these ratings as a lever to improve pay and conditions for platform workers, through media and consumer pressure. 

Fairwork’s programme of action research intends not just to understand the world, but to change it. By bringing workers, platforms, scholars, labour researchers and policymakers to the table, we work to collaboratively develop and embed principles of fair work into the script of the gig economy. Fundamental to the project is a commitment to being participatory and non-hierarchical within our communities: we are all—workers, unions, platforms, regulators, academics—the experts, and we all have co-developed this project. Our ultimate aim is to understand, and counter, some of the forces that disempower gig workers across the world.

Over the past three years, we have mobilized a unique and growing transnational network of social justice minded scholars from over ten countries in pursuit of this planetary goal. In order to effectively advocate for gig workers everywhere, we believe it necessary for our team too to reflect a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, perspectives and more. In growing our team, we value and welcome the unique contributions that applicants can bring in terms of their education, opinions, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, ethnicity, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, age, religion, disability, and beliefs. We actively strive to build and nurture a culture of empathy, inclusiveness, and respect.

About the Postdoctoral Researchers

The ideal candidates will have: 

  • A postgraduate degree in sociology, geography, economics, law, development, or related fields; 
  • Academic or professional experience and specialist knowledge relating to the gig economy, platform work, the digital economy, decent work, or precarious/temporary work;
  • Excellent project management skills, including the ability to develop and execute granular work schedules and coordinate diverse stakeholders; and,
  • Excellent communication abilities, including the ability to write for diverse audiences, present research proposals and results, and represent the research group at meetings.

See details of essential and desirable applicant criteria in the full job descriptions (Postdoctoral Researcher I and Postdoctoral Researcher II).

The team welcomes applications that reflect diverse modes of knowledge production and traditions of scholarship. 

Structure and Primary Responsibilities

As the successful candidate for one of the positions of Postdoctoral Researcher, you will be based at Fairwork Foundation within the Oxford Internet Institute. You will be a core part of a team led by Professor Mark Graham, and will play a key role in conducting research and guiding the Fairwork partners in the research that they conduct. You will be based at the University of Oxford, and will work with partners in Brazil, Bangladesh, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and the UK. The primary aims of this position will be to: 

  • Conduct research with platform workers and platform managers about job quality on digital labour platforms; 
  • Use that research as part of action research strategies to leverage change in the gig economy; 
  • Play a coordination role with some of the project’s international partners; and,
  • Collaborate on publications and research outputs to disseminate the evaluations of platforms against principles of fair work.

Duration and Deadline

These posts are available immediately. 

The post of Postdoctoral Researcher I is fixed-term until 30 June 2022 in the first instance with the possibility of renewal thereafter. Only online applications received before 12.00 midday on 27 August 2020 will be considered for this position.

The post of Postdoctoral Researcher II is fixed-term until 31 December 2021 in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal thereafter. Only online applications received before 12.00 midday on 10 September 2020 will be considered for this position.

To be considered for both positions, please submit applications for both calls. 

Learn more about and apply for the positions of Postdoctoral Researcher I and Postdoctoral Researcher II.


If you have any questions about these roles, please email


The Fairwork project endorses the wider call from the Oxford Internet Institute community to advance anti-racist initiatives in higher education. We commit to upholding the values it espouses in our recruitment processes, to the best of our capacities.