Two postdoctoral positions in research project on political polarization

Department of Political Science - Aarhus BSS

Two postdoctoral positions in research project on political polarization at Aarhus University

The Department of Political Science at Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, invites applications for two 2-3 year fulltime postdoctoral positions to join a new research project on political polarization among citizens. The project is directed by Associate Professor, Troels Bøggild.

The starting date is expected to be 1 October 2024, but can be flexible subject to mutual agreement. 


The research project

The position is part of the project “PEERPOL”. In the 4.5-year project funded by the Danish Research Council (6.19 million DKR), we will explore how political polarization emerges and spreads through peer-to-peer communication between citizens. Whereas much is already known about elite-level causes of polarization, the project will explore its emergence through communication and opinion formation in social networks between citizens. In addition, the project designs and tests interventions against citizen-level causes of polarization.

The project develops a theoretical framework for understanding when and why citizens contribute to affective and ideological polarization through selection into social networks, biased information sharing, and interactions with in- and outgroup members. Methodologically, the project mainly relies on survey, social media, and field or natural experimental data to employ causally credible evidence. Empirically, the project will mainly study polarization in Western Europe and the United States in cross-national and single-country studies.


Job description

The postdoctoral researcher will be employed as part of the PEERPOL project team and is expected to engage in collaborative research with Associate Professor Troels Bøggild and other project team members (in Aarhus and internationally). 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 PEERPOL 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.

The successful applicant will be part of a cutting-edge research project and a vibrant, supportive research team with an informal atmosphere. There will be excellent opportunities for intellectual development and mentoring, as well as developing an independent research agenda within the context of the project. Focus is also placed on how the candidate can make use of the postdoctoral position to develop their own career.

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. 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.

Your qualifications

The successful candidates for the postdoctoral positions should hold (or be close to completing) a PhD in political science, psychology, communication, cognitive science, or a related field. In addition to a keen interest in conducting collaborative research in the PEERPOL project, the successful candidates must demonstrate ambition and ability to produce high-quality research.

Candidates can, but are not required to, have research experience on the topic of political polarization and must be well-versed in the general fields of political communication and opinion formation. Methodologically, candidates should hold strong quantitative skills and excellent command of statistical programming languages (e.g., Stata or R) and have experience with using research designs for causal inference. Candidates with experience in computational social science approaches for analyzing text as data are also encouraged to apply.

Applicants are expected to have an excellent command of spoken and written English.

As part of your application, you should attach a CV, proof of PhD degree (or the near completion of a PhD degree), and your best publication (could be an unpublished chapter of your dissertation, a working paper, or a published article). In addition to this, you should provide a short research proposal (2-3 pages) that outlines potential avenues for research related to the project. The proposal should be relatively concrete, specifying research design and data collection.

Who we are

The Department of Political Science is one of the six departments at Aarhus BSS, one of the five faculties at Aarhus University. The department is among the largest and strongest political science departments in Europe, with particular strengths in the areas of political behavior, political psychology and political philosophy. In 2023, the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University was ranked as the top department in political science in continental Europe, according to ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking.

At the Department of Political Science, we emphasize a dynamic and flexible research and teaching profile characterized by pluralism and openness. With more than 100 academic staff members and 40 PhD students, we offer a lively, ambitious and highly collegial research and teaching environment with many international visitors and workshops and a clear international orientation.

Further information

If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Associate Professor Troels Bøggild Tel:, +4587165732, E-mail:

If you need help uploading your application or have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR-supporter Line Møller Kristiansen Tel.: +4593522904 E-mail:

Place of work

Department of Political Science, Bartholins Allé 7, DK - 8000 Aarhus C


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. Please find more information here:

Please find more information about research opportunities at Aarhus University here:

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 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.

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.

Aarhus University

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Deadline: 2024-08-15
Location: Denmark, AARHUS
Categories: Political Science, Psychology, Cognitive Science, Communication Engineering, Postdoc,


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