Aarhus Universitet

3-year postdoc position in political science/sociology

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The Department of Political Science at Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, invites applications for a 3-year postdoctoral position offering applicants an exciting opportunity to join the project How and why immigration divides us: The role of moralization. The project is led by Associate Professor Kristina Bakkær Simonsen and funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark’s elite researcher programme Sapere Aude.

The starting date of the position is May 1, 2021 or subject to mutual agreement.

The research project
In a democracy, citizens and politicians must be able to discuss their disagreements. A topic that challenges this premise more than almost any other in many contemporary societies is immigration. People on each side of the debate are unwilling to engage in conversation and compromise with those on the other side, and the antipathy is far-reaching: Substantial segments of the population have strong aversions to making friends with, being colleagues with, or letting their kids be taught by someone with whom they disagree on immigration issues. In addition, immigration attitudes are politically potent, and have, in many places and at several elections, been decisive for citizens’ vote choice. This research project seeks to understand why – and in what ways – immigration has become such a seemingly divisive issue. The project zooms in on a certain type of political language – moralizing political rhetoric – which is expected to have contributed to making existing immigration attitudes more politically consequential and socially divisive. The project’s overall research question is: (How) does political moralization affect political and social divisions over immigration among citizens? To answer this question, the project innovatively combines computational text analysis of political rhetoric over time, place and political parties across Western democracies, original survey experiments in the US, Canada, Denmark, and Sweden, and focus group discussions in Denmark and Canada.

The project is funded by a Sapere Aude Research Leader grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark for the period 2021-2024. A short interview about the project can be found here.

Job description
How and why immigration divides us: The role of moralization consists of three work packages involving computational text analysis, original survey experiments and focus group discussions. Candidates are expected to have strong competencies in one – and preferably several – of these areas. Experience with mixed-methods projects is an advantage but not a precondition for applying. Applicants should demonstrate expertise within research on attitudes toward immigrants, polarization, political rhetoric, and/or morality/moralization.

The successful applicant will be employed as part of a research group consisting of Associate Professor Kristina Bakkær Simonsen (project leader/principal investigator), a PhD, international collaborators, and research assistants. The postdoc is expected to devote her/his research time to the project and engage in collaborative research within the focus of the project. The position also involves opportunities for the postdoc to investigate independent research ideas within the broader frame of the project. Through the research project, the postdoc will have access to significant funding for conferences, data collection, etc.

A postdoc position at the Department of Political Science implies modest teaching obligations (approximately one seminar each year). Applicants are therefore encouraged to include a short description of their prior experience with teaching and their potential contributions to the BA or MA programs of the department.

Your qualifications
Applicants are expected to hold (or be close to completing) a PhD in political science, sociology or a related social science field. In addition to interest in conducting collaborative research within the focus of the project, applicants must demonstrate the ability to conduct state-of-the-art research within the field, as evidenced through publications in international, peer-reviewed journals. In addition, applicants are expected to possess strong methodological skills, extensive experience with empirical research, and an excellent command of spoken and written English. Personal skills in regard to communication and collaboration will also be considered.

Interested applicants should submit an application letter (2-3 pages) motivating why the applicant is interested in being part of How and why immigration divides us: The role of moralization and how the applicant can contribute to the success of the project, outlining potential avenues for research relevant to the focus of the project.

Who we are
The Department of Political Science is one of the six departments at Aarhus BSS, one of the five faculties at Aarhus University. Aarhus BSS unites the business and social science-related research fields and brings them closer together to reflect the close relationship between society and the business community. As part of a Top 100 university, Aarhus BSS – and specifically the Department of Political Science – has achieved the distinguished AASCB, AMBA and EQUIS accreditations.

At the Department of Political Science, we emphasise a dynamic and flexible research and teaching profile characterised by pluralism and openness. With around 90 academic staff members and 40 PhD students, we offer a lively and ambitious research and teaching environment.

The research carried out at the department not only covers a variety of political science disciplines, but also represents a variety of methodological approaches. This not only enables us to focus on new problem areas as they appear on the national and international political arenas, but also allows us to contribute actively to the development of the discipline. We also emphasise communicating our research results to the political-administrative system and to the public in general.

For more information about the Department of Political Science, please see here.

Further information
Applicants are welcome to contact Associate Professor Kristina Bakkær Simonsen (bakkaer@ps.au.dk) for further information on the position and the research project.

Selected candidates will be invited for an interview (online or face-to-face depending on the circumstances).

If you need help uploading your application or have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR supporter Anne Arnfeldt Källberg, Tel.: +45 8715 3631, Email: aak@au.dk

Place of work
Department of Political Science, Bartholins Allé 7, DK - 8000 Aarhus C

International applicant?
Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners: http://ias.au.dk/au-relocation-service/. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here: http://international.au.dk/research/

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here:

Terms of employment
The appointment is made in accordance with the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities as well as the circular on the Collective Agreement for Academics Employed by the State (in Danish).
The job content and qualification requirements are described in further detail in the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Application procedure
When you apply for this position it is mandatory to attach the following:
  • Application
  • Curriculum Vitae. You are encouraged to declare any periods of leave without research activity, including, for example, maternity leave, since your research activities are assessed in relation to your actual research time
  • Education (diploma for master's, PhD and possibly higher doctoral degree)
  • List of publications (the enclosed publications must be clearly marked on the list of publications)
  • Publications. Up to three publications can be included in the application. In the event of several authors the publications must be accompanied by a co-author statement concerning the applicant's share of the collaborative work with the consent of the co-authors. Please use this template
  • Teaching portfolio. The specific requirements regarding the documentation can be found here

Materials which cannot be uploaded together with the application may be submitted in three copies to Aarhus BSS HR & PhD, Aarhus University, Tåsingegade 1, 2nd floor, DK-8000 Aarhus C.

Read more about how to apply for an academic post at Aarhus BSS here

The evaluation process
After the application deadline, an assessment committee is appointed. Please note that the assessment of applicants is based solely on the material received prior to the application deadline. For further information, see Guidelines for Assessment Committee, Aarhus BSS.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply regardless of personal background.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at www.international.au.dk/

Deadline: 15 February 2021


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