The Danish School of Education (DPU), Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, invites applications for a postdoctoral position associated with the research project “Paradoxes of Learning to Be Well: Re-examining the Curriculization of Wellbeing”. The project is funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The postdoctoral position is a full-time role (37 hours/week) for a duration of 24 months, commencing on 15 January 2024. The position will be based at DPU within the Department of Educational Psychology at either Emdrup Campus or Aarhus Campus.
The Danish School of Education is committed to promoting diversity and encourages all qualified individuals to apply, irrespective of their background. Research context
Schools are among the most influential settings for young people’s wellbeing. Nevertheless, much research reduces schools to sites for measuring or promoting wellbeing, which results in conceptualizations disconnected from the distinctive task of schools – education and formation of the self. There is a lack of theoretical groundwork attentive to the complexity of the school environment and the processes in which wellbeing is negotiated, configured and enacted. The project “Paradoxes of Learning to Be Well: Re-examining the Curriculization of Wellbeing”, led by Professor Venka Simovska, aims to problematize the taken-for-granted assumptions and generate new ways of thinking about development pathways, intricacies and consequences of the formalization of wellbeing as a mandatory educational goal in public primary and lower secondary education in Denmark. Informed by poststructuralism and postcritical theory, the key guiding research questions include: How is wellbeing framed in educational policies, guidelines and measurement frameworks, and how do these framings affect the dynamics of everyday school life and students’ experiences of schooling? In addition to contributing to scholarship by advancing the theoretical understanding of wellbeing contextualized in education, the project strives to offer new ways of thinking about wellbeing with a potentially significant social impact. The position
The successful applicant will work on an independent sub-project in close collaboration with Professor Venka Simovska and the international advisory board members. The primary task of the postdoc is to specify, plan and carry out the sub-project, focusing on the ways in which wellbeing policy is enacted in schools and on the consequences of these enactments in terms of students’ subjectivities. The sub-project aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the ways in which the formalization of wellbeing affects the school environment, teachers’ practices and students’ experiences as shaped by their socioeconomic background, gender and/or ethnicity. The research involves multisite fieldwork including observations, interviews with teachers and students, and participatory work (e.g. video, essay or photo elicitations) with students in the final years of lower secondary school (14-16 years) at four schools in Denmark.
Apart from carrying out the sub-project, the postdoc is also expected to:
- Actively participate in the project’s research team and relevant national and international research networks.
- Publish research findings independently and collaboratively in international peer-reviewed journals.
- Initiate, join and help organize activities with the research team, such as conferences, seminars, webinars and other project-related endeavours.
- Plan and execute a 3-month research stay at Cambridge University, UK.
- Contribute to the dissemination of research results to the wider public.
Applicants are encouraged to contact Principal Investigator Venka Simovska at [email protected]
for further information about the project. Qualifications
Applicants must hold a PhD degree or equivalent qualifications in psychology, educational studies, sociology or a related field within the humanities or social sciences. A demonstrated track record of planning and conducting qualitative data generation, preferably involving children or young people, is required along with analytical use of theory. Applicants should explain the relevance of their prior research experience to the position (1 page).
The application must include a project description (3-5 pages) outlining the research question, its conceptual and methodological foundation, ethical considerations and a timeline. It must be evident that the sub-project can be completed during the employment period. The application should also feature the formal statement on the PhD project and up to five publications. Proficiency in spoken and written English at an advanced academic level is essential. Proficiency in Danish is advantageous due to the nature of the project’s empirical work.
For more details about the project, prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Principal Investigator Venka Simovska at [email protected]
. Work environment
Active participation in the daily life of the department is a high priority, and we emphasise the importance of good working relationships, both among colleagues and with our students. In order to maintain and develop the department’s excellent teaching and research environment, the successful applicant is expected to be present at the department on a daily, or at least weekly, basis. We respect the balance between work and private life and strive to create a work environment in which that balance can be maintained. For further information, visithttps://international.au.dk/life/lifeindenmark/familyworklife/
.Learn more at www.international.au.dk/ Qualification requirements
Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent academic qualifications.
The Faculty of Arts refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities (the Appointment Order)
Aarhus University also offers a junior researcher development programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here: https://talent.au.dk/junior-researcher-development-programme/
If nothing else is noted, applications must be submitted in English. The application deadline is at 11.59 pm Danish time (same as Central European Time) on the deadline day.
Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.
Shortlists may be prepared with the candidates that have been selected for a detailed academic assessment. A committee set up by the head of school is responsible for selecting the most qualified candidates. See this link for further information about shortlisting at the Faculty of Arts: shortlisting
Faculty of Arts
The Faculty of Arts is one of five main academic areas at Aarhus University.
The faculty contributes to Aarhus University's research, talent development, knowledge exchange and degree programmes.
With its 550 academic staff members, 240 PhD students, 9,500 BA and MA students, and 1,500 students following continuing/further education programmes, the faculty constitutes a strong and diverse research and teaching environment.
The Faculty of Arts consists of the School of Communication and Culture, the School of Culture and Society and the Danish School of Education. Each of these units has strong academic environments and forms the basis for interdisciplinary research and education.
The faculty's academic environments and degree programmes engage in international collaboration and share the common goal of contributing to the development of knowledge, welfare and culture in interaction with
Read more at arts.au.dk/enThe 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 8,300 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 935 million. Learn more at www.international.au.dk/