Posted on: 6 February, 2019
Application deadline: February 17, 2019

Postdoc (4 years) at the Department of Comparative Politics – Strengthening Regional Democracy, University of Bergen, Norway

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Postdoctoral Research Fellow position

There is a vacancy for a postdoc position at the Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen, linked to research within the research fields of subnational government and electoral studies. The position is for a period of 4 years, starting September 1st, 2019.

About the project/work tasks

The successful applicant will conduct research within the research project “Strengthening Regional Democracy – Contributing to Good Democratic Governance” funded by the Bergen Science Foundation (BFS) and the University of Bergen (UiB). This research project sets out to facilitate good democratic regional governance by identifying the causal mechanisms underlying regional voting and by assessing how regional representation is affected by regional voting. By studying regional democracy, the project team seeks to contribute to understanding the role of regions in multilevel democracies at a time when considerable decision-making and budgetary powers are channelled towards regional government. The project foresees the establishment of the Centre on Regional Democratic Governance (CREDGOV) which will expand, consolidate, and disseminate knowledge on regional elections and governments and which aims to become the world leading institute on regional democratic governance.

We are looking for a postdoc who can contribute to these goals, as well as conduct independent research related to the overall project theme (outlined out in a short research proposal, see below). The project team will develop survey questions which enables the team to observe how citizen’s voting preferences and regional politician’s role perceptions change under different contextual situations. The successful candidate will be responsible to field these questions through the Digital Social Science Core Facility (DIGSSCORE) at the University of Bergen (UiB) which maintains a Panel of Regional and Local Voters and a Panel of Regional and Local Politicians. These panels will be annually surveyed by a Research Unit on Regional and Local Governance set up by the principal investigator (Arjan Schakel) and which connects local collaborators to the project team. The successful candidate will also take the lead in analyzing the panel data and to validate the results against survey data collected by the other postdoctoral team member and to aggregate data collected by the PhD team member.

The successful candidate will also contribute to the societal dissemination of the project’s results through, for example, writing policy reports and policy blogs, (co-)organising policy seminars, accepting invitations to act as expert or discussant, and making data (easily) available through the project’s data download portal.

The budget of the project enables the team members to enrol in summer school courses for training in advanced statistical methods. The successful candidate will also be able to visit the Centre on Constitutional Change at the University of Edinburgh and the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University.

A full outline of the project can be obtained by contacting the principal investigator, Arjan Schakel :

Qualifications and personal qualities

The successful candidate will be expected to relocate to the University of Bergen, participate in the scholarly activities of the Department, and conform to the regulations that apply to the position.

The applicant must:

  • Hold a PhD within political science (or, if relevant, a related discipline) or must have submitted his/her doctoral thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the PhD has been awarded.
  • Be proficient in both written and oral English. Knowledge of Norwegian (or one of the other Scandinavian languages) is an advantage.
  • Have advanced skills in quantitative methods and preferably has experience in experimental survey design and Bayesian statistics.
  • Be able to work independently as well as in a team.
  • Have research experience within one or more themes that relate to the project, for example, voting behaviour, political representation, and political parties.
  • Be able to disseminate research results beyond the academic community.
  • Be capable to collaborate on an international level and to contribute to building an international collaborative network.

Potential candidates will be invited for an interview between April 23. and April 26., 2019.  Candidates will be asked to deliver a presentation during which they present their research plans and their potential contribution to the research project (see below).

Applicants are advised to familiarize themselves with the teaching and research profile at the Department. The teaching language is Norwegian, one of the Scandinavian languages and English.

About the position of postdoctoral research fellow

The position of postdoctoral research fellow is a fixed-term appointment with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. The fixed-term period for this position is 4 years, 25% of which is related to teaching, supervision and administrative tasks at the Department. Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow at the same institution.

Upon appointment, applicants must submit a project proposal for the qualifying work including a work schedule. For postdoctoral research fellow positions associated with externally financed projects, the completion of the project proposal for the qualifying work will take place in consultation with the project/centre manager. It is a requirement that the project is completed in the course of the period of employment.

We can offer

  • A good and professionally challenging working environment.
  • Salary at pay grade 59 – 62 (code 1352) on the government salary scale upon appointment (equivalent to NOK 490.900 to 517.700 pr. year). Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • Good welfare benefits.
  • The city of Bergen – a unique mix of vibrant cultural life and extraordinary nature.

Your application must include

  • A cover letter detailing the applicant’s research interests and motivation for applying for the position (1-2 pages).
  • A CV.
  • A research proposal (2-4 pages).
  • A list of a maximum of five publications to be considered in the assessment (co-authored publications must be accompanied by declarations of co-authorship).
  • A reference list including all works of a scientific nature.
  • The names and contact information for two references. One of these must be the main supervisor of the PhD thesis.
  • Transcripts and diplomas and official confirmation that the doctoral thesis has been submitted.
  • Relevant certificates/letters of recommendation

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.  The application has to be marked with: 19/524.  Applications sent by e-mail will not be evaluated.

The closing date is  February 17, 2019

General information

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting: Arjan Schakel, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen:

Practical questions about the application process should be directed to Adviser – HR, Even Michal Endresen, e-mail:

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

We encourage women to apply. If multiple applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the rules pertaining to moderate gender quotas shall apply.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

Further information about our employment process can be found here.