Postdoctoral researchers for the study of Civil society elites

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and 7 600 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

The Faculty of Social Sciences at Lund University is one of the leading education and research institutions in Sweden and operates in both Lund and Helsingborg. The program engages researchers from the Department of Political Science, Department of Sociology and School of Social Work.

Research program civil society elites

The positions are associated with the research program Civil Society Elites? Comparing elite composition, reproduction, integration and contestation in European civil societies. Professor Håkan Johansson acts as the PI of the program and it brings together scholars from political sciences, sociology and social work with a common interest in civil society and elite studies. The program aims to bridge elite and civil society studies in order to develop the first systematic and cross-country comparative analysis of civil society elites. It is a six-year program funded by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (, starting in 2018, and will last until end of 2023.

The program is divided into four thematic studies: 1) Composition of civil society elites (what are the qualities, values and networks associated with civil society elites); 2) Reproduction of civil society elites (how and to what extent are civil society elites reproduced); 3) Integration of civil society elites (to what extent and how do elite groups in civil society interact, or even integrate, with other elite groups) and 4) Contestation of civil society elites (by whom and on what grounds are civil society elites challenged and power contested).

Each involves comparison of four European countries (Sweden, Italy, Poland and the UK) as well as the EU level. The program draws on elite theories, capital and field theories, social movement theories and social network theories and combines quantitative and qualitative methods to examine what mechanisms and processes that lead to elite consolidation or contestation. For further information on design, visit our webpage,

Research tasks

Each post-doctoral researcher is expected to carry out research that is related to the programs four thematic studies and to contribute to the fulfillment of the research questions addressed.

You will have the opportunity to develop your individual research project, but expected to participate in joint data collection and collaborate with researchers within the program.

Teaching, supervision and other teaching-related tasks are required within the scope of the position, but up to no more than 20 per cent of working hours.

Your daily activities will predominantly be at the workplace in Lund.

Formal requirements

Eligibility for employment as a postdoctoral researcher is restricted to applicants with a PhD degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. sociology, anthropology, political science or social work, or others with relevance for the program).

Applicants must have completed their PhD within three years prior to the application deadline. The three years limit can be extended in cases of parental leave, sickness leave or similar circumstance occurring after the PhD defense. Evidence of such circumstances must be submitted with the application. Applicants who have yet to complete their PhDs are welcome to apply but should demonstrate that they in short will receive their degree.

The most important qualification for the positions is the capacity to contribute to the research program’s overall goals. Research skills and academic potential will therefore be the main selection criteria, i.e. a) ability to develop and conduct research of high quality, b) proven analytical skills, c) record of international publishing, and d) research experience related to the themes of the program.

The program includes a wide range of methods, but we particularly invite scholars with skills into ethnographic studies, social network and social media analyses.

Proficiency in spoken and written English is a requirement. Considering that studies will be conducted in Italy and Poland, language skills in any of these two will be a requirement for at least one of the positions.

Appointment Procedure

In order to assess the applicant’s qualifications, the applicant is to write a research plan (4-6 pages) for the research they intend to carry out within the position. The research plan should include a description of the post doc project’s purpose and aim, expected theory and use of methods, as well as how the planned project links to the program’s thematic studies and research questions.

Your application should include the following: a) CV, including full list of publications, b) personal letter (where you explain why you would like to work with the topics related to the program), c) research plan (see above), d) two letters of recommendation, and e) writing samples (two article-length writing samples). Include web-link to PhD thesis in your list of publications.

Applications that do not contain full information or missing documents will not be included in the review process.

The Lund University job application portal should be used when applying.

The posts are for two-years and starts January 2020, or after agreement.

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