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Postdoctoral Position: Asserting the Nation: Comparative studies on the rise of neo-nationalism in higher education. The case of the United Kingdom and Brexit

The Danish School of Education (DPU), Faculty of Arts at Aarhus University invites applications for a postdoctoral position in the research project “Asserting the Nation: Comparative studies on the rise of neo-nationalism in higher education. The case of United Kingdom and Brexit” financed by the Independent Research Fund Denmark.

The position is full-time (37 hours/week). It is expected to begin on 1 September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter and to end 30 months later on 29 February 2024.

The position is based at DPU, Copenhagen Campus.

The Danish School of Education is committed to diversity and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of their personal background.

Research context
The postdoc project contributes to a large-scale international project exploring how neo-nationalism has affected European and national higher education policy in the UK, France, Poland and Denmark. It also examines recent actions taken by the EU to counter neo-nationalist trends in Europe. Since 1999, European higher education has undergone an extensive harmonisation process across national borders – a process through which the EU has established a “European Higher Education Area”. Meanwhile, recent years have seen a rise in new forms of nationalism, seeking to reclaim education as an ethno-territorial domain. These new forms of nationalism, opposed to both the EU and migration, have now reached higher education policy. In 2020, Brexit became a reality with major consequences for British higher education and ultimately the European Higher Education Area. The aim of this project is to conduct an in-depth study on how Brexit affects the British universities and the European Higher Education Area. Brexit represents a crucial moment in European history in which we can study the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and thus neo-nationalist influence on higher education in the making. The project studies the role of neo-nationalism in UK higher education policy, compares this to Poland, France and Denmark (researched by other members of the team) and analyses Brexit’s implications for the European Higher Education Area.

The position
The postdoc will be part of the project team comprising the postdoc position, two PhDs, the PI and partners in the UK (University of Cambridge), France (Lumière University Lyon 2), Poland (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan) and the US (Teachers College Columbia University, New York).

PI Katja Brøgger will supervise the postdoc. The primary task of the postdoc will be to collect data in the UK (document-based data and interviews at national government level and local university level) during a nine-month research stay, focusing on UK higher education policy. The postdoc and the PI will analyse and theorise neo-nationalism in higher education policy comparatively across the UK and the other case countries. Together with the PI, the postdoc will investigate the implications of Brexit for the European Higher Education Area. The postdoc is expected to spend approx. nine months in the UK collecting data. During the data collection, the postdoc will be hosted by Professor Susan Robertson at the University of Cambridge. The remaining 21 months of the project, the postdoc is expected to stay in Denmark (Copenhagen) and work together with the rest of the research team. The postdoc must expect additional shorter research stays in Poland and France together with the team and to contribute to joint publications, conference presentations and other related team activities.

The project starts on 1 September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. Further information about Asserting the Nation: Comparative studies on the rise of neo-nationalism in higher education as well as a short project description and information about its project members can be found here.

Also, further information about the larger research project may be obtained from the Independent Research Fund Denmark: Research leaders 2020.

The project will be anchored in the Policy Futures Research Programme, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Copenhagen Campus.

Applicants are encouraged to write to Principal Investigator and Research Programme Director, Katja Brøgger, at kb@edu.au.dk for more information about the project.

The postdoc is expected to:

  • Develop an independent research agenda related to the project topic
  • Collaborate closely with the PI
  • Co-author articles with the other project members, including the PI
  • Initiate and organise activities with the project team, affiliated students and the academic world at large (co-organise and participate in research conferences, seminars and webinars as well as related activities)

The application must include a 3-5-page proposal for a postdoctoral research project addressing how neo-nationalism has affected national higher education policy in the UK, including Brexit’s consequences for British higher education and ultimately the European Higher Education Area. The project must be able to be conducted within a 30-month period and to fit into the overall project.

Qualifications
Applicants must hold a PhD degree or equivalent qualifications in political science, anthropology, higher education studies, sociology or related disciplines within the social sciences or humanities.

Ministerial regulations require that applicants must have obtained their PhD degree within the last four years. Read more about the calculation of the four-year period in section 4.3.5 of Independent Research Fund Denmark’s call for proposals autumn 2020 and spring 2021.

Most importantly, applicants must be able to document a relevant, international, high-quality research profile, including experience of international publication and research dissemination.

The successful applicant must also document:
  • Proven skills in qualitative research methods and data analysis
  • Experience of interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Ability to collaborate in research teams
  • Ability to initiate relevant activities in an academic environment

It is an advantage if the successful applicant can also document:
  • Theoretical, conceptual and empirical understanding of European politics and policy-making, ideally but not necessarily including policy-making related to the European Higher Education Area
  • Theoretical, conceptual and empirical understanding of nationalism/neo-nationalism in a European and/or geo-political context
  • Theoretical, conceptual and empirical understanding of Brexit and the relation between the UK and the EU (ideally but not necessarily also in relation to the field of higher education/ universities)

Given the nature of the international research project and research team, we highly encourage applicants from all over the world to apply, and we require that applicants will be fluent (or near fluent) in spoken and written English. The work language in the research team will be English (Danish language skills are not required).
Please note that applications that do not include uploaded publications (maximum five) will not be considered.
The application must be submitted in English.

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 in the department and take actively part in the research programme on at least a weekly basis (with the exception of periods of field work in the UK).
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, see https://international.au.dk/life/lifeindenmark/familyworklife/.

International applicants
For further information about the benefits of working at Aarhus University and in Denmark, including healthcare, paid holidays and, if relevant, maternity/paternity leave, childcare and schooling, international applicants are encouraged to see https://international.au.dk/research/researcher-positions/workingconditions/. Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including a relocation service and career counselling for expat partners. For information about taxation, see the taxation aspects of international researchers’ employment by AU.

Research environment
The Danish School of Education at Aarhus University is the largest centre for research and teaching in the fields of education, didactics and learning in Denmark, with approximately 250 full-time researchers, including 80 PhD students, and approximately 5,000 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students.
The department’s activities are characterised by a high degree of interdisciplinarity and close interaction with society, including businesses, organisations, government agencies and institutions, both in Denmark and abroad.

Please contact Associate Professor Katja Brøgger at kb@edu.au.dk for more information regarding the position.
Note that the Danish School of Education is located in both Copenhagen and Aarhus. The position is based at DPU Campus Copenhagen.
Visit the Danish School of Education’s website: http://edu.au.dk/en/.
For questions about working at Aarhus University, visit http://talent.au.dk.
For questions about relocating to Denmark, visit http://ias.au.dk/.

Qualification requirements
Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent academic qualifications.Formalities
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.
Application deadline is at 11.59 pm Danish time (same as Central European Time) on the deadline day.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal bagground.
Shortlists are 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, 275 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 society.

Read more at arts.au.dk/en

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: 17 May 2021

 


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