Applications are invited for 11 PhD positions for the HYBRIDS Doctoral Network granted under the Horizon Europe Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (HE MSCA) and co-funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) HE funding guarantee.


11 PhD Positions in the MSCA Doctoral Network HYBRIDS

False rumours, fake news or hate speech against vulnerable minorities through social media are becoming one of the main threats against democracies. A global strategy against disinformation is crucial as open democratic societies rely on free citizens with the ability to access verifiable information so that they can build their own opinions on different political issues. The main scientific objective of HYBRIDS is to provide researchers with the knowledge necessary to design strategies and tools to respond to disinformation on the basis of a deep analysis of public discourse. There have been interesting advances in the automatic detection of disinformation by making use of natural language processing and new artificial intelligence techniques in the specific field of machine and deep learning. However, this is a very complex task that requires a high degree of natural language understanding, inference and reasoning. To improve the strategies to deal with disinformation and abusive language, HYBRIDS will integrate the structured knowledge provided by social and human sciences into natural language processing tools and deep learning algorithms, so as to develop new hybrid intelligence systems. The concept of Hybrid Intelligence consists of combining machine and human intelligence to overcome the shortcomings of existing artificial intelligence methods.

The HYBRIDS Consortium is coordinated by the University of Santiago de Compostela and involves the following partner universities, research centres, non-profit organisations, and companies: University of Caen (UCAEN, France), University of Coruña (UDC, Spain), University of Evora (UEVORA, Portugal), Radboud University (RU, the Netherlands), Queen Mary University of London (QMUL, UK), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC, Spain), Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK, Italy), Gesis Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences (GESIS, Germany), Fondazione Openpolis ETS (OPENPOLIS, Italy), Fundación Universidad Empresa Gallega (FUEGA, Spain), Factoria de software e multimedia S.L. (IMAXIN, Spain), Industrieanlagen Betriebsgesellschaft MBH (IABG, Germany), and Newtral Media Audiovisual SL (NEWTRAL, Spain).
The 11 doctoral candidates will be contracted by one of the partner institutions through which they will be enrolled in a doctoral programme. Each candidate will participate in secondments with other academic and non-academic partners and will be involved in network-wide training activities.

We look for outstanding, motivated and team-spirited candidates to carry out a PhD within the HYBRIDS project and who will get unique international and inter-sectoral training from prominent European researchers
(from both academy and industry).



The available positions within the HYBRIDS project are the following:

DC1: Towards an automatic characterization of micro-level structures in discourse from social networks

Hosted by RU, the Netherlands

DC2: Analysis and measurement of the impact of political discourse in the citizen’s opinion

Hosted by CiTIUS-USC, Spain

DC3: Identifying the stance of argumentative opinions in the political discourse

Hosted by FBK, Italy

DC4: Analysis of political propagation campaigns in social networking platforms

Hosted by UEVORA, Portugal

DC5: Analysis of the role of disinformation to automatically identify hate speech against immigrants on multilingual social environments

Hosted by FBK, Italy

DC6: Detection of toxic bots in Twitter by analysing textual content

Hosted by UNICAEN, France

DC7: Detection of hyperpartisan political news

Hosted by CiTIUS-USC, Spain

DC8: Hybrid data generation and retrieval for the detection of online harassment

Hosted by GESIS, Germany

DC9: Claim verification for fact-checking

Hosted by NEWTRAL, Spain

DC10: Detecting harassment on social media beyond isolated messages

Hosted by UDC, Spain

DC11: Cross-lingual claim detection for fact-checking

Hosted by QMUL, United Kingdom

Please note that you may apply to multiple positions (max. 3). If you do so, please indicate your preference.

Eligibility Criteria:


At the time of recruitment, the researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host institution for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the recruitment date. Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention or compulsory national service are not taken into account.

Doctoral candidate

The candidate must be at the date of recruitment a doctoral candidate (i.e. not already in possession of a doctoral degree). Researchers who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will not be considered eligible.


The candidate must be working exclusively for the action.

Application Documents:

  • Europass CV (template available in the following link), including the names and contact details of two academic references, in English, highlighting the merits that are established as evaluation criteria;
  • Scans of Bachelor’s and Master’s transcripts, with certified translation in English (if the degree qualification is not in English); If you have not yet completed your master’s, you must submit a provisional academic transcript.
  • A motivation letter in English, highlighting the consistency between the candidate profile and the chosen DC position/s for which you are applying and describing why you wishes to be a HYBRIDS DC and carry out a PhD; (max. 700 words)
  • Scanned copy of your ID card, resident’s card or passport currently in force;
  • Proof of excellent command of English (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge or equivalent). This is not required in case of native English speakers (i.e., English is your mother tongue) or in case there are circumstances such that proof of English is not required (e.g. because you hold a degree from a majority English speaking country or your degree has been taught and examined in English. Check the Call text for the specific position(s) to see the requirements and possible exceptions). 

In addition, you can add any other documents which you find relevant for the applications such as Master thesis, publications or project reports.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Academic background (up to 40 points)
  • Knowledge and specific achievements (up to 35 points)
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview in which the selection committee will assess the applicant’s communication skills, initiative, and motivation to pursue a PhD. (up to 25 points)

March 1, 2023

Call open

March 1, 2023

April 26, 2023

Call closed

April 26, 2023

May 12, 2023 (expected)

Eligibility checks

May 12, 2023 (expected)

May 26, 2023 (expected)


May 26, 2023 (expected)

June 5-9, 2023

Interviews with short-listed candidates

June 5-9, 2023

June 16, 2023

Notification of successful candidates

June 16, 2023

July 1, 2023 (or a.s.a.p. after this date)

Starting date Doctoral project

July 1, 2023 (or a.s.a.p. after this date)


Candidates are encouraged to contact the HYBRIDS Project Manager ( for assistance or for any information related to the application process. When contacting, please indicate the position reference in the subject line.