Now hiring: lead ethnographer

This call is now closed

We are Edgeryders, a social enterprise focused on bringing to bear collective intelligence for the betterment of the human condition. Most of our activities are either research or consulting. You can find more information on our corporate website.

Our research unit relies on a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods; of this combination, ethnography is a key part. We are looking to hire a lead ethnographer to participate in research projects and contribute to the company’s scientific mission: making ethnography into a collaborative discipline that works at scale. You can think of it as a human-powered alternative to AI.

This position is permanent, location-independent, flex-time and non-exclusive. It involves coordinating other ethnographers.

  • Permanent: not tied to any specific project. As lead ethnographer, you are a key part of planning future research activities.
  • Location-independent. Edgeryders is an office-less company. We are comfortable working online most of the time. If you happen to be in Brussels, Stockholm or Split we have office space you can use, but that is not a prerequisite. You will occasionally be asked to travel, and your travel expenses will be covered.
  • Flex-time. For each new project, we can agree how much time you need or want to devote to it. In 2022, we foresee a commitment of about 30%, negotiable.
  • Non-exclusive. The position is explicitly designed so that it is compatible with holding academic positions. We value a relationship with academia. As an additional perk, Edgeryders has an open access policy on all its research: you are allowed, and in fact encouraged, to publish your own papers based on our data.
  • Coordinating other ethnographers. When projects are large or require coding in languages not mastered by you, we hire more ethnographers. You are expected to coordinate them, ensuring methodological rigor and consistency.

Compensation depends on worktime, which in turn depends on your own availability and the pipeline of research projects at any given time. Most of our research projects pay 6,000 to 6,300 EUR per month full time equivalent. We are currently working on two projects, and actively applying for more. The budget allocated to the lead ethnographer for these two projects is 32,000 EUR, most of them in 2022.


  • Trained in the theory and practice of ethnography.
  • Comfortable performing online ethnography.
  • Experience with qualitative data analysis, specifically qualitative coding. The software is unimportant as we have our own, which you will be trained to use.
  • Ability to collaborate with other ethnographers.
  • Flexibility and willingness to engage in productive dialogue around coding decisions— good communication skills are a must.
  • Strong organization skills – must be available for periodical check-ins.
  • Strong commitment to research ethics and data protection.
  • Good knowledge of English. Other languages are a plus.


  • Participate in the scientific direction of the company.
  • Perform hands-on ethnographic research, including interviews, participant observations, coding, qualitative data analysis, writing reports and papers.
  • Coordinate other ethnographers.
  • Liaise with the company’s scientific partners on matters concerning ethnographic research.
  • Uphold, and if possible exceed, the company’s standards in research ethics (see) and privacy and data protection (see), as well as those of the entities funding our research.
  • Advise and help with research funding applications.

How to apply

Write to Include:

  • A short motivation letter, explaining why you want to do this and why you think you can deliver.
  • A CV.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received until openings are filled.


Edit: based on the first interviews, some questions come up a lot. Here they are, with the answers, so that we can save time in the next round of interviews.

What research projects does Edgeryders work on? What does the project portfolio look like?

Most of our research work to date has been funded by the European Union. These tend to be large projects, that last 2-3 years. For our past and current projects, look here. The POPREBEL and TREASURE projects are active at the time of writing.

About future projects, they depend on the success of the current and future proposals we take part in. These, in turn, come from two directions. One is our own interests, currently focused on the regional and local dimension of adaptation to climate change. Another is consortia we are invited to participate in. In the latter case, we are seen as bringing to the table methods to do participatory research, but the object of research depends very much on the interests of each particular consortium. At the time of writing we are involved in three proposals: one on relationship between the EU’s green transition, inequalities and democracy; one on civic participation during- and post-pandemic; one on initiatives to reduce seawater pollution in the Mediterranean basin.

The lead ethnographer is part of Edgeryders’ scientific leadership, and contributes to decide what we get involved in.

What time commitment is needed from the lead ethnographer?

This depends on two parameters:

  1. The upper bound for commitment is given by the person-months allocated to tasks that the lead ethnographer can fulfill. For 2022 we estimate this to be about 30%.
  2. The availability of time of the lead ethnographer her- or himself. If the lead ethnographer cannot commit to take on the work we propose, (s)he can negotiate it down. This might not always be possible, but in the past we have been able to find solutions. Typically, this was done by hiring some other ethnographer(s) to do time-consuming activities like field work and coding. The lead ethnographer then commits to training, supervising etc. these other colleagues. The lead ethnographer remains responsible for the methodological consistency and scientific quality of ethnographic work in Edgeryders.

What does it mean that the position is “location independent”? Is Edgeryders a natively officeless organization?

Edgeryders was HQ-less and near-officeless organization from the start. We designed it to maximize the personal freedom of the people in it. That said, projects occasionally require physical meetings; and we, as a company, try to do a physical company retreat every year or so. The position is as location independent as it gets, but working together is a bit easier if we share the same time zone or if it is easy and cheap to get together if it is needed.

What are the perspectives for the lead ethnographer in Edgeryders?

Edgeryders is an employees-owned organization. The lead ethnographer, as all senior employees, can expect to be asked to become a partner in the company, join the board of directors etc.