Deadline 10 Nov
Expected start 1 Mar
Department of Political Science Bartholins Allé 7 8000 Aarhus C
Fixed term full-time position 1 Mar 2022 - 31 Aug 2024 ID: 6992
The postdoctoral position is a full-time fixed-term position for 2.5 years starting on 1 March 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter subject to mutual agreement.
When reporting about social problems, the media typically use exemplars, i.e., the narrative of a specific person who is personally affected by the issue. In different lines of research, this type of media reporting is also referred to as “human interest frames”, “case reports” and “episodic frames”. While these lines of research use different terminologies, they all emphasize that exposure to exemplars can create an extreme perspective that triggers (1) factual misperceptions in the mass public and (2) biases people’s democratic responsibility attributions of whether the government or the individual is to blame for the problem. The EXDEM project seeks to understand why some types of media exemplars are so powerful in shaping factual misperceptions and responsibility attributions in the mass public, while others are uninfluential. Second, the project seeks to advance knowledge about how the effects of powerful but unrepresentative exemplars can be corrected to combat misinformation in the mass public.
The research project
The EXDEM project is theoretically ambitious and will develop a new interdisciplinary theory integrating insights from psychology, communication, cognitive science, and political science to answer the research questions. In doing so the project advances scientific knowledge about the consequences of media exposure as well as the sources of misinformation and biased democratic responsibility attributions in the mass public and develops new best practice guidelines for how to mitigate them. Examples of relevant sources of theoretical inspiration include (but are certainly not limited to) research on cognitive biases and heuristics, emotions, interpersonal communication, and identity.
Methodologically, the project implements a unique cross-national research design combining different types of survey experiments with analyses of people’s real-world reactions to real-world media tweets. The project will develop and implement a series of parallel experiments in the United States, France, and Denmark to study the research questions. Data collection in an additional country can be added to the project depending on the applicant’s empirical interests and background knowledge. The full project description is available upon request.
The postdoctoral researcher will be employed as part of the EXDEM project team and is expected to engage in collaborative research with Associate Professor Lene Aarøe and other project team members (from Aarhus and beyond). We expect the postdoc to take a leading role in developing, designing, and coordinating studies in one or more countries within the project, to conduct high-quality research within the context of the EXDEM project, and to contribute to publications in top outlets.
Research will primarily be carried out in collaboration with other project members, but there will be some opportunities to pursue independent work within the overall focus of the project. The project offers significant funding for data collection, research assistants, travel, and workshops.
In addition to the outlined research tasks, the position implies modest teaching obligations equivalent to one course per year. If an applicant is interested, a one-year further extension in return for additional teaching might be negotiable, depending on the applicant’s prior teaching experience and the Department’s need for teaching capacity in the relevant years. The Head of Department will decide on any such extension no later than one year after employment. Interested applicants are thus encouraged to describe their potential contributions to teaching obligations in the Department’s BA or MA programs. Salary is according to the Danish pay schedule.
Applicants are expected to hold – or be close to completing – a PhD in relevant areas in political science, political/social/evolutionary psychology, communication, or cognitive science. In addition to a keen interest in conducting collaborative research in the EXDEM project, the successful candidate must demonstrate ambition and ability to produce high-quality research.
We expect applicants to have strong quantitative skills and excellent command of statistical programming languages (e.g., STATA or R), experience with or a strong interest in experimental designs and a willingness to acquire new methodological skills. Some experience with social media research or automated content analyses is an additional asset but not required. Applicants are expected to have an excellent command of spoken and written English.
Interested applicants should submit an application letter motivating why they are interested in being part of the EXDEM project and how they can contribute to the success of the project, outlining potential ideas for research relevant to the focus of the project (2-3 pages). Selected candidates will be asked to come for an interview and present research ideas.
The Department of Political Science is one of six departments at Aarhus BSS, one of five faculties at Aarhus University. The department is among the largest and strongest political science departments in Europe, with particular strengths in areas like political psychology, political communication, and political behavior.
Who we are
At the Department of Political Science, we emphasize a dynamic and flexible research and a teaching profile characterized by pluralism and openness. With more than 100 academic staff members and 50 PhD students, we offer a lively, ambitious, and highly collegial research and teaching environment with many international visitors, workshops, and a strong international orientation.
For more information about the Department of Political Science, please see: https://ps.au.dk/en.
Applicants are encouraged to contact Associate Professor Lene Aarøe prior to submitting their application to learn more about the project and specific tasks, e-mail: email@example.com
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, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Political Science, Bartholins Allé 7, DK-8000 Aarhus C
Place of work
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 employmentThe 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 procedureWhen you apply for this position it is mandatory to attach the following:
- 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 processAfter 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.
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.
The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.
Questions about the position?
Lene Aarøe Associate Professor, Department of Political Science +4587165705 email@example.com
Questions about application and proces?
Aarhus BSS Administrative Centre - Aarhus BSS HR and PhD Administration +4593521361 firstname.lastname@example.org