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Postdoctoral Research Fellow position at the Department of Comparative Politics (3 years)

Deadline: 11.09.2019

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University of Bergen

The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad.


There are seven departments and three centres at Faculty of Social Sciences. Read more about the faculty and departments.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow position

There is a vacancy for a postdoctoral position at the Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen, linked to an international Horizon 2020 research project focusing on the right to international protection, the global governance of refugee protection, and the public recognition of refugee rights. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow is expected to contribute to the project team’s research on the legal frames and institutional architectures of asylum determination and statistical analysis of survey experiments as well as participating in research leadership and international project coordination tasks.

This is a position for a period of 3 years, with a tentative start date on either 1 February or 1 May 2020, pending on the European Commission’s approval.

About the project/work tasks:

This Postdoctoral Fellowship is accommodated by the Faculty of Social Sciences as part of a Horizon 2020 project entitled ‘PROTECT: The Right to International Protection. A Pendulum between Globalization and Nativization?’ PROTECT will study the impacts of the United Nations’ ‘Global Refugee Compact’ and ‘Global Migration Compact’ on the functioning of the international refugee protection system. This will be done from the perspectives of political philosophy, legal theory, cleavage theory, public sphere theory, multilevel global governance, and ethnography. The entities focused on are the UNHCR and IOM (the global level), the European Union and the African Union (regional level), EU countries, Canada and South Africa (state level), and Canadian, South-African and South-European border zones (the local level). Empirically, PROTECT engages in an extensive legal, institutional, attitudinal, and media content data collection. As part of its empirical work, it aims to identify the changes in the notion of refugee protection due to the introduction of the two UN Global Compacts. Conceptually, PROTECT endeavours to develop a notion of refugee protection that is sensitive to the current political realities. Theoretically, it aspires to develop a theory explaining why a notion of refugee and refugee protection governance, and not other competing notions, wins the race at the global level.

The project is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. It will be conducted by an international consortium of 11 universities in Europe, Canada and South Africa. The PROTECT Consortium is led by Professor Hakan G. Sicakkan on behalf of the University of Bergen. At the University of Bergen, the research team will consist of four professors, three postdoctoral researchers, and one research assistant. The entities of the University of Bergen involved in PROTECT are the Department of Comparative Politics and the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research.

The project tasks of the successful candidate

The successful candidate will contribute to the University of Bergen’s collaborative research and international project coordination tasks determined by the University of Bergen’s Grant Agreement with the European Commission.

Concerning research, we are looking for a candidate who can contribute to the parts of the project that focus on the impacts of regional and national legal frames and institutional architectures of asylum determination on asylum recognition rates. The fellow is expected to collect, code, and analyze longitudinal data on asylum laws and institutional arrangements in the European Union countries in order to estimate their effects on national asylum recognition rates. This in turn will be compared with data from Canada and South Africa. The data set to be created also has to contain the relevant intervening and control variables identified in previous research. In addition, the successful candidate is expected to contribute to the statistical analysis of the project’s survey experiments on individuals’ attitudes towards refugees and refugee protection. The project leadership will support conducting additional independent research related to the project themes. Participation in collaborative dissemination activities such as co-authored paper production and paper presentations in PROTECT’s three international conferences is among the successful candidate’s dissemination tasks.

Concerning international project coordination tasks, the successful candidate is expected to contribute to the Principle Investigator’s leadership tasks in the overall project as well as the coordination of the multi-national work packages that are related with the above-mentioned research themes. The project coordination tasks are limited to 25% of the position while the candidate is expected to use 75% of her/his time for research tasks.

Further details about the project, research team and duties associated with the position can be obtained by contacting the Principal Investigator at [email protected]

The successful candidate will be expected to relocate to the University of Bergen, participate in the scholarly activities of the Department of Comparative Politics, and conform to the regulations that apply to the position.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

The applicant must:

  • Hold a PhD in political science, international relations or law (or, if relevant, a closely related discipline) or must have submitted his/her doctoral thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the PhD has been awarded before 1 December 2019
  • Have a general interest in quantitative methods
  • Have proven quantitative analysis skills at an advanced level
  • Have experience in collecting, coding and analyzing legal and institutional data
  • Have a good publication record on relevant themes
  • Have the ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Be proficient in both written and oral English.

Potential candidates will be invited for an interview. Candidates will be asked to deliver a presentation during which they present their research plans and their potential contribution to the research project (see below). Applicants are advised to familiarize themselves with the teaching and research profile at the Department.

About the position of postdoctoral research fellow:

The position of postdoctoral research fellow is a fixed-term appointment with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. The fixed-term period for this position is 3 years. Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow at the same institution.

The application must include a research outline of 1-2 pages in which the candidate describes his/her potential contribution to the collaborative research agenda during the three-year position as part of the project. The outline should clearly specify the research themes/questions the applicant would like to investigate, the research design employed, the research outputs envisaged and their planned publication strategy.

The applicants are kindly asked to consult the overall research framework of PROTECT and its publication plans before formulating their research plans. This can be obtained by contacting the Principal Investigator at [email protected]

It is a requirement that the postdoc project is completed in the course of the period of employment.

We can offer:

  • A good and professionally challenging local working environment
  • Access to the top-level international research milieus around PROTECT
  • Excellent opportunities for research and professional development
  • Salary at pay grade 60 – 63 (code 1352) on the government salary scale upon appointment (equivalent to NOK 532 300 to 563 700 pr. year). Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Good welfare benefits
  • The city of Bergen - a unique mix of vibrant cultural life and extraordinary nature

Your application must include:

  • A cover letter detailing a brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A list of publications including all works of a scientific nature
  • The research outline and publication plan (maximum 2 pages).
  • The full texts of a maximum of three relevant publications to be considered in the assessment (co-authored publications must be accompanied by declarations of co-authorship)
  • Transcripts and diplomas and official confirmation that the doctoral thesis has been submitted
  • Relevant certificates

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at www.jobbnorge.no. Applications sent by e-mail will not be evaluated.

The application has to be marked with: 19/21684

The closing date is September 11, 2019

General information:

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting: Professor Hakan G. Sicakkan, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen: [email protected] Practical questions about the application process should be directed to Adviser - HR, Beathe Moldestad, e-mail: [email protected]

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

We encourage women to apply. If multiple applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the rules pertaining to moderate gender quotas shall apply.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions. Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.

Further information about our employment process can be found here.

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