Scientific Positions

Postdoc / assistant professor position with focus on the psychology of administrative burden, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University 1001035

The Department of Political Science at Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University in Denmark invites applications for one postdoctoral position or assistant professorship in connection with the research project The Psychology of Administrative Burden (POAB).

The position is fixed-term of either two years with limited teaching obligations (postdoctoral researcher) or three years with more extensive teaching obligations (assistant professor). The final form of the position will be decided by the head of department taking the teaching demand of the department and the qualifications of the candidate into account. The position is financed by a starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

The position is located at the Department of Political Science, Aarhus University. The successful candidate is expected to start by January 1 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The research project - POAB
POAB brings together an international research group with competences in public administration, sociology, political psychology, and the behavioral sciences more broadly. The project centers on how, why, and by which welfare benefit recipients administrative rules and procedures are experienced as burdensome. It is a key aim of the project to develop and test a new theoretical model of how government institutions transform into individual-level experiences of burden and in turn affect take-up of welfare benefits and civic participation among citizens eligible for welfare benefits. The project uses a range of different methods including lab and survey experiments, qualitative interviews, and quasi experiments using public register data but is open to other designs and ideas as well.

The project is financed by an ERC Starting Grant and runs from 2019 to 2023 (both years included). It is led by Associate Professor Martin Bækgaard.

Job description
The focus of the advertised position is (1) to identify key psychological individual differences (e.g., cognitive function; subjective resource scarcity, and self-efficacy) that predict the extent to which welfare benefit recipients experience burdens when facing administrative rules and procedures; (2) to develop survey items to measure experiences of administrative burden; and (3) to manage cross-country surveys aimed at explaining how, why, and by which welfare benefits administrative rules and procedures are experienced as burdensome.

Research will primarily be carried out in collaboration with Associate Professor Martin Bækgaard. The project includes funding for research assistants, data collection, traveling, and workshops. In addition, to the outlined research tasks, the assistant professor position position entails teaching equivalent to seven courses, while the post doc position entatils teaching equivalent to two course.

Your qualifications
Applicants are expected to hold (or be close to completing) a PhD in political science or related social science disciplines. In addition to interest in conducting independent and collaborative research within the focus area of the POAB project, applicants must demonstrate the ability to conduct state-of-the-art research, possess strong methodological skills within the domain of survey and/or laboratory experiments, excellent command of spoken and written English, and preferably experience with publishing in international, peer-reviewed journals.

In addition to a CV, a letter motivating the application (addressing the match between the candidate’s profile and the core research task of POAB), proof of PhD degree (or the near completion of a PhD degree), interested scholars should preferably provide a short research statement (max. 3 pages), which describes the research agenda the candidate proposes to pursue as part of POAB. See the other demands to the application below.

Who we are
The Department of Political Science is one of the six departments at Aarhus BSS, one of the four faculties at Aarhus University. Aarhus BSS unites the business and social science-related research fields and brings them closer together to reflect the close relationship between society and the business community. As part of a Top 100
university, Aarhus BSS – and specifically the Department of Political Science – has achieved the distinguished AASCB, AMBA and EQUIS accreditations.

At the Department of Political Science, we emphasise a dynamic and flexible research and teaching profile characterised by pluralism and openness. With around 90 academic staff members and 40 PhD students, we offer a lively and ambitious research and teaching environment.

The research carried out at the department not only covers a variety of political science disciplines, but also represents a variety of methodological approaches. This not only enables us to focus on new problem areas as they appear on the national and international political arenas, but also allows us to contribute actively to the development of the discipline. We also emphasise communicating our research results to the political-administrative system and to the public in general.

For more information about the Department of Political Science, please visit:

Further information
Applicants are welcome to contact Associate Professor Martin Bækgaard ( prior to submitting their application to learn more about the tasks.

If applicants need help uploading the application or have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR supporter Mette Fisker Præstegaard, tel.: +45 87152497, email:

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 about entering and working in Denmark here and here.

Place of work
Department of Political Science, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 7, 8000 Aarhus C

Terms of employment
The appointment is 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.

The job content and qualification requirements are described in further detail in Circular on Terms of Employment for Academic Staff at Universities.

Application procedure
It is obligatory to attach the following when you apply for this position:
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 may be submitted. 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. This form can be used for the purpose
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.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply regardless of personal background.


All applications must be made online and received by:

Please apply online here

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