Three Postdoc positions at the Centre for the Experimental-Philosophical Study of Discrimination


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Centre for the Experimental-Philosophical Study of Discrimination (CEPDISC) at the Department of Political Science, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University invites applications for three postdoctoral positions.

The call is open for general applications in the research areas of the Centre, i.e., experimental-philosophical studies of discrimination, but special preference is given to applicants that can contribute to one or more of the subprojects described in this call.

The expected starting date is August 1, 2021 or as agreed upon. The duration for the positions is 3 years.  

Job description
The position as postdoctoral researcher is a fixed-term academic research position. As part of small, interdisciplinary sub-project teams within the centre, each postdoc position will cover a variety of tasks including both research design, data collection, analysis and dissemination. The selected candidates will also be expected to contribute substantially to publications, both as first and secondary authors and to take part in the research activities at the centre on a daily basis. The position includes teaching obligations.

CEPDISC invites applications for the following positions:

Postdoctoral researcher under the “Empirical studies of citizens’ conception of discrimination – wp2” project
The position under the “wp2” sub-project is led by Associate professor Lasse Laustsen (PI). The call is open for applicants interested in conducting empirical and experimental studies within the field of experimental philosophy and political psychology. Broadly speaking, the position is directly related to answering the first of CEPDISC’s main research questions, i.e., what distinguishes discrimination from other kinds of differential treatment?

The successful applicant will closely collaborate with the PI as well the other members of the team seeking to empirically uncover what sorts of actions, statements and behaviors the broader public conceives as discrimination. Moreover, this part of CEPDISC’s work also addresses the content of various discriminatory stereotypes such as the ways and reasons why different social categories and minorities (e.g. immigrants, welfare recipients, females etc.) are discriminated against, and when such discrimination is most likely to happen. We address these questions using a combination of large and representative surveys and laboratory experiments. Experiments will take advantage of state-of-the-art social science laboratory facilities at the Cognition and Behavior lab.

Applicants with a strong theoretical background in political behavior, social or political psychology or experimental-philosophy are preferred. In particular, the successful applicant is expected to be familiar with psychological theory about social stereotypes and social categorization and have concrete experience in designing, planning and executing laboratory experiments.

Postdoctoral researcher under the “Combining governmental data registers and experimental data -wp8” project
The position under the “wp8” sub-project is led by Professor Kim Mannemar Sønderskov (PI).

This sub-project explores the role of social context in discrimination and focuses on combining experimental data and official population register data to generate new knowledge on when discrimination occurs and if certain social settings and experiences are fostering/preventing discriminatory acts. Broadly speaking, the position is directly related to answering the third of CEPDISC’s main research questions, i.e., what are the psychological mechanisms behind discrimination and what can and should be done, given these mechanisms, to mitigate discrimination?

The successful applicant will closely collaborate with the PI as well as the other members of the team on field experiments as well as analyzing register data and is expected to have experience in designing, executing and/or analyzing field experiments. Applicants experienced with causal interference, data management and empirical studies of majority attitudes/behavior in relation to minorities will be preferred.

Postdoctoral researcher under the “wp9” project
The position under the “wp9 sub-project is led by Professor Michael Bang Petersen.

This subproject focuses on the use of survey and experimental methods to identify the psychological motivators underlying different positions in debates about how to deal with historical trajectories of discrimination related to, for example, gender and race, with a particular focus on the psychological motivations involved in social media debates revolving around concepts such as identity politics, “cancel culture” and free speech. Broadly speaking, the position is directly related to answering the third of CEPDISC’s main research questions, i.e., what are the psychological mechanisms behind discrimination and what can and should be done, given these mechanisms, to mitigate discrimination?

The successful candidate will closely collaborate with the PI as well as the other members of the team and is expected to be well-versed in psychological theory about group identities and group conflict as well as well-versed in survey and experimental methods. 

Interested applicants can read more on the respective projects homepages. The successful applicant will also be expected to participate in other research activities at CEPDISC. Besides annual workshops, CEPDISC also holds weekly meetings and seminars etc., which all its fellows are expected to actively take part in.

Your qualifications
We seek applicants with expertise within the areas of philosophy, experimental philosophy, political science, political and social psychology, sociology, or related fields, preferably with a track record of experimental research projects on discrimination. Applicants who apply for a postdoc in connection with one of the three WPs mentioned above are required to possess a PhD-degree in either experimental philosophy or political science or related areas.  

We expect the candidates to have excellent communication skills in spoken and written English, and an ability to produce state-of-the art experimental research and work in an interdisciplinary research environment where you interact and work together across sub-projects and research streams.

In addition to a CV and proof of PhD degree (or the near completion of a PhD degree), interested applicants should provide a 1-2 page application letter motivating why they are interested in the position and how they can contribute to specific research project(s) and CEPDISCS’s research activities in general. Applicants should also specify whether they are specifically interested in one of the positions or whether they are applying for a postdoc project on experimental-philosophical studies of discrimination that falls outside the projects listed above. In the latter case, the application letter must specify an idea for a project.

Who are we
Centre for the Experimental-Philosophical Study of Discrimination (CEPDISC) is part of the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University.

CEPDISC – is a centre of excellence devoted the experimental-philosophical study of discrimination and funded for a six-year period by the Danish National Research Foundation.

CEPDISC studies discrimination from an experimental-philosophical perspective. It asks three main research questions: 1) What is discrimination and what forms of discrimination exist? 2) What are the moral objections to discrimination? 3) What are the psychological mechanisms behind discrimination and what can and should be done, given these mechanisms, to mitigate discrimination?

Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen is the center leader of CEPDISC. CEPDISC’s core members are: Göran Duus-Otterström, Marion Godman, Lasse Laustsen, Kim Mannemar Sønderskov, Søren Flinch Midtgaard, Michael Bang Petersen, Lotte Thomsen, and Fabio Wolkenstein. Together the core members cover relevant fields in political theory/philosophy and social and political psychology.

For examples of current research and activities, please consult our website here.

Further information
Applicants are welcome to contact Centre Director Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen per email: Lippert@ps.au.dk and the respective workpackage leaders prior to submitting their application to learn more about the positions:

Wp2: Lasse Laustsen via email at ll@ps.au.dk.
Wp8: Kim Mannemar Sønderskov via email at ks@ps.au.dk.
Wp9: Michael Bang Petersen via email at michael@ps.au.dk.

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
Centre for the Experimental-Philosophical Study of Discrimination, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 7, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.
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:
http://talent.au.dk/junior-researcher-development-programme/

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.

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