CfA: Postdoc in joint FAU/ V-Dem project on academic freedom (Deadline 31.10. 2021)
With a grant from the German Volkswagen Foundation, the Institute of Political Science at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg and the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg collaborate on the continued publication of the Academic Freedom Index, which is part of the V-Dem Survey on Civic and Academic Space. The principal investigators (PIs) of the project are Prof. Dr. Staffan I. Lindberg (V-Dem) and Prof. Dr. Katrin Kinzelbach (FAU).
The Academic Freedom Index and its five constitutive indicators are a new global time-series dataset whose first edition was released in 2020. It was developed by the two principals in collaboration with other colleagues at the V-Dem Institute in Gothenburg, the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin and in close cooperation with the Scholars at Risk Network in New York.
V-Dem’s Civic and Academic Space Survey is part of one of the largest-ever social science data collection endeavours on various dimensions of democracy. The Academic Freedom Index addresses the need for a comprehensive and comparative worldwide assessment of academic freedom, with a view to significantly advance rigorous, empirical research in this domain – which will also allow us to test possible theoretical explanations – and to encourage evidence-based decision making by research institutions, research funders, as well as policy-makers and practitioners in the research and higher education sector.
FAU’s Institute of Political Science in Erlangen will hire a postdoc for 30 months (remuneration according to collective agreement TVL 13) to contribute both empirically and theoretically to a better understanding of the research sector’s role in democratization and autocratization processes. This role is genuinely under-studied empirically and also under-theorized. The postdoc will not only help to close a knowledge gap but also generate practical insights into how academic freedom may be most effectively protected and promoted. To this end, the postdoc will be involved with the annual launch of the Academic Freedom Index and related outreach on the newest index data (approximately 3 months per year). The remaining time will be reserved for individual and collaborative research with the data.
The collection of expert-coded data on civic space together with each update on academic freedom opens several avenues for research. The conjoint collection of data on polarization, political violence, mass mobilization, or citizen engagement as well as the availability of many more indicators in the V-Dem dataset facilitates much needed further studies on determinants and/or consequences of academic freedom violations. Beyond these specifications, the postdocs are free to propose a specific research question and theoretical framework in a research proposal of 1-2 pages. We hope to recruit a promising early career researcher who has the potential to push the research frontier and who will contribute exciting ideas and expertise.
The postdoc applications will be assessed jointly by FAU and the V-Dem Institute. The chosen postdoc will have access to FAU’s support structures for early career researchers, including the Emerging Talents Initiative, and benefit from interdisciplinary human rights research conducted at FAU. They will also have an opportunity to spend time with the V-Dem Institute at University of Gothenburg for research visits and thereby benefit from the internationally leading expertise of the team of scholars in Gothenburg.
Skills, knowledge, and experience
– PhD awarded in relevant discipline, or equivalent experience;
– Demonstrated research interest in academic freedom, democratization, autocratization;
– Experience with large-n research and familiarity with the V-Dem dataset;
– Knowledge of STATA and, ideally, R programming
– Willingness to work independently and in an interdisciplinary research team;
– Strong publication record or potential to develop publication record;
– Willingness to participate in international conferences and other academic events;
– Ability to communicate effectively with non-technical audiences about technical topics;
– Attention to details and deadlines;
– Excellent written and oral communication skills in English;
– German language skills are an asset.
Submission of application documents (motivation letter, CV, transcripts, research proposal, writing sample) by 31 October 2021 via email to Silvia Krönig (firstname.lastname@example.org). The postdoc is expected to start in January 2022.