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School of Communication and Culture - Media Studies - Faculty: Arts

EXTENDED: Postdoc in Journalism Studies with a focus on Civic Engagement

Deadline 19 Apr

Expected start 1 Sep

  • School of Communication and Culture - Media Studies Helsingforsgade 14 8200 Aarhus N

  • Fixed term full-time position 1 Sep 2021 - 31 Aug 2023 ID: 5075

The Department of Media and Journalism Studies within the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University invites applications for a postdoctoral position with a focus on journalism studies and civic engagement. The postdoc position is central to the research project ‘Journalism for Civic Communication in Urban Spaces’, funded by the Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF), and will be led by Christoph Raetzsch, Associate Professor of Journalism Studies and Digital Methods.

This is a full-time, fixed-term postdoc position lasting two years and starting on 1 September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

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


The two-year project addresses a gap between journalism studies and smart city research, taking the datafication of urban spaces as an opportunity for journalism to go beyond the “informed citizen” model of its audience. The aim of the project is first to map and evaluate in an internationally comparative perspective how journalists, citizens, cities, data providers and civic tech NGOs currently work together on a local level in three different national and urban contexts. The analysis will identify links to existing urban innovation approaches such as living labs or co-creation methodologies, to identify and develop professional journalistic practices and collaboration models in Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany. To this end, the project team will collaborate closely with local partners in academia and media start-ups, as well as traditional news media and civic tech NGOs. The project team will also collaborate closely with a number of research centres at Aarhus University, including DITCOM (Centre for Digital Transformation in Cities and Communities), DATALAB (Centre for Digital Social Research,) and Netlab. The working language of the project team is English. For additional details, please see the project announcement.

Postdoc profile

We are looking for applicants who are interested in participating in and developing an emerging and interdisciplinary field of research and practice at an international level. Applicants should have a good command of current debates in the designated research fields, or make a convincing argument on how to identify and develop synergies between them. Applicants should also be able to identify and develop collaborations between different stakeholders such as journalists, activists, city representatives and citizens. Since the team will consist initially of only the PI and the postdoc, good communication skills, a reliable work ethic and an international orientation are important. The working language of the project is English.

The successful applicant will be expected to
  • identify relevant actors and projects in Europe in the domains of data-driven civic innovation, data journalism and urban platforms
  • gather and evaluate existing innovation methodologies (e.g. living labs, fab labs, co-creation toolkits)
  • develop collaborations with civic tech start-ups and journalism and media organisations, including the organisation of up to two workshops during the project
  • document the research process in scholarly and other public communication formats
  • be involved with planning, managing and implementing the timely delivery of work package results
  • contribute to a collaborative grant application with international partners


Applicants must have a PhD degree or must document equivalent qualifications in the field of journalism studies, political science or urban studies with an emphasis on digital journalism studies, deliberative democracy, the civic tech sector or NGOs, data-driven urban innovation, data journalism or related areas. Applicants must be able to document:
  • an internationally oriented research profile within digital journalism studies, political science and/or urban studies with a focus on cross-sector collaborations and their challenges, data-driven innovation and/or user-centred research approaches and methodologies
  • a convincing research proposal for the advertised position, including an explanation of how the project supports the applicant’s career ambitions
  • an outstanding and innovative doctoral dissertation in an area related to and relevant for the project
  • experience in the self-directed management of research projects, including outreach and science communication through scholarly and social media outlets
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills with a view to engaging productively both with the research team and with external organisations and institutions
Furthermore, it will be considered an advantage if applicants can document:
  • a track record of research publications of a high international standard, commensurate with the length of their academic career
  • experience of participation in national and international research networks
  • time spent abroad working at one or more internationally recognised research institutions
  • experience of working with media professionals in journalism, media organisations, (hyper-)local media, civic tech start-ups or NGOs.
Finally, applicants are asked to provide a proposal for research to be undertaken within the stated framework of the research project (max. three pages).

Please note that applications that do not submit publications (maximum five) will not be considered.

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 basis.

We respect the balance between work and private life and strive to create a work environment in which that balance can be maintained. See Family and work-life balance for further information.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU.

International applicants

International applicants are encouraged to see Attractive working conditions for further information about the benefits of working at Aarhus University and in Denmark, including healthcare, paid holidays and, if relevant, childcare and schooling. Aarhus University offers a wide variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including a relocation service and career counselling for expat partners. For information about taxation, see Taxation aspects of international researchers’ employment by AU.

The Department of Media and Journalism Studies at AU

Grounded in its historical blending of research traditions within the humanities and social sciences, the department carries out research and teaching which examines media and journalistic institutions, productions, texts, use/reception and the roles of media and journalism in culture and society in current and historical perspectives. The Department of Media and Journalism Studies at Aarhus University is one of nine departments that make up the School of Communication and Culture at the Faculty of Arts. The research environment is characterised by extensive participation in cross-institutional national and international research projects, well-established national and international research networks, and international conferences. In the QS World University Ranking system, communication and media studies at Aarhus University has consistently ranked in the top 50 since 2012 and is currently ranked 42 in the world. The researchers at the department are engaged in the following AU-based research programmes and research centres:

Centre for University Studies in Journalism
DATALAB - Centre for Digital Social Research
Centre for Internet Studies
Centre for Media Industries and Production Studies
Centre for Transnational Media Research
Centre for Sound Studies
Center for Kulturevaluering (CKE)
Centre for Humanistic Computing
Cultural Transformations
Media, Communication and Society

Prospective applicants are invited to view the department’s website.
The place of employment is the Department of Media and Journalism Studies, Helsingforsgade 14, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.

School of Communication and Culture

The school is a part of the Faculty of Arts. You will find information about the school and its research programmes, departments and diverse activities on its website.


For further information about the position, please contact the project leader Christoph Raetzsch (craetzsch@cc.au.dk).

If you need help uploading your application or if you have questions about the recruitment process, please contact Arts HR support: by hsi@au.dk


Qualification requirements

Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent academic qualifications.


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.

Questions about the position?

Christoph Raetzsch

Christoph Raetzsch Associate professor, School of Communication and Culture - Media Studies craetzsch@cc.au.dk

Questions about application and proces?

Arts Administrative Centre - Arts HR +4587162298 emply.ar.hr@au.dk


Deadline: Monday 19 Apr 2021 at 23:59 CEST