2 PostDoc positions (FAIM)

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 01 Feb 2021

Food Security and Increased Market Regulation in the Global South (FAIM)

The University of Copenhagen hereby announces two fully funded postdoc positions (2 years) to commence in April 2021.

The two positions are part of a broader overall research project aimed at contributing new insights on how the introduction of regulation aimed at creating well-functioning markets affects the poorest groups in the Global South.

The overall research project
The World Bank, IMF, USAID and the EU have actively promoted reforms in the Global South to achieve well-functioning markets through dismantling domestic barriers to trade, aligning product requirements and introducing competition laws. The success of these reforms is normally measured by increases in trade volume and GDP. However, this way of measuring the benefits of new regulation provides an incomplete picture. For example, it overlooks that some groups of society may stand outside the domestic market economy, meaning that they are minimally affected by the market economic regulation altogether. To assess how and to what extent the ‘market economic regulations’ have affected the livelihood of the poorest groups in developing countries, using Tanzania as case country, the project seeks to answer the following research question:

How does the introduction of market economic regulation in developing countries affect the food security of the poorest groups?

Following a successful application to the Danish Research Council, we have funding for 2 positions as either postdoc (two-year) or Ph.D. (three-year). Both positions imply full-time employment on conditions similar to being in full-time employment for the Danish State.

Formal setting
The research project is headed by Professors Henrik Hansen (Co-PI, Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences) and Morten Broberg (PI, Faculty of Law). Formally, the two positions will be based within the Faculty of Law, but there is no requirement that the candidates for the two positions have a background in law.

The two (postdoc/PhD) researchers will carry out fieldwork in the same locations to uncover empirically how formal and informal regulatory measures affect food security in practice.

Research position on law, economics and development (focusing on the actual impact of the market economic regulatory measures)

Regulating markets is not just a matter of adopting legal measures and implementing economic policy. Markets are the meeting place of diverse actors, objects and ideas across multiple settings. Markets are therefore also a socially and culturally defined activity, where practical conditions, e.g. economy, culture, climate, infrastructure and governance capacities, influence both how regulation is implemented and its effects.

Using a mixed methods research approach, the researcher in law, economics and development is expected to provide narrative accounts of the actual impact of the market economic regulatory measures through semi-structured interviews with key informants. Subsequently, the insights from this investigation must be combined with a socio-economic survey in the urban and rural field sites to develop statistical measures of the distribution of populations vulnerable to food insecurity, and establish factors influencing market behaviour to increase our understanding of the extent to which insights gained from the interviews are generalizable in and across regions.

Research position on law, sociology and development (focusing on the factual legal situation)

‘Market economic regulation’ may leave a deceptive impression of clarity. In reality, it is an ambiguous notion. There are numerous ways of drafting such regulation, disseminating it to authorities and the broader public, construing the provisions, and of enforcing them. We therefore need to clarify the history of the applicable market economic regulation; to map how they have been communicated to different stakeholders – including public authorities and citizens; to clarify how they are interpreted in different contexts and in this respect to compare this interpretation with the drafters’ stated intentions; and we must clarify how they are enforced. These examinations must take into account both temporal and spatial dimensions: market economic regulation may play a different role during a drought (time), and in urban and rural settings (space). For this reason, the researcher in law, sociology and development shall carry out interviews both in the centre of power (e.g. with representatives in Parliament, Competition Authority, Supreme Court), and field visits along the supply chains of the two staple crops, maize and cassava, from production to the end-users (rural and urban settings).

The researcher in law, sociology and development will be responsible for carrying out fieldwork to establish the factual legal situation and, on this basis, to determine to what extent the market economic regulation is capable of affecting food security for the poorest groups. By using ‘food security’ as measuring rod the researcher in law, sociology and development will be able to identify patterns that trade volume and GDP are not capable of measuring.

We welcome applications for the position from candidates in different fields of the social sciences – including also candidates who will be able to apply a game theoretical approach to the research questions (see for example Kaushik Basu’s work ‘The Republic of Beliefs’).

For further details about the qualification requirements for postdocs, please refer to the job structure for academic staff: https://www.retsinformation.dk/Forms/R0710.aspx?id=140435 (only in Danish)

Required qualifications
The position requires academic qualifications PhD, JSD or equivalent degree in law, economics or social science. All applicants are expected to be able to use English as the working language (written and spoken). Successful candidates will demonstrate a clear potential to deliver high quality peer-reviewed research publications.  

In the overall assessment, emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s research and teaching potential. Special emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s ambition to develop and implement new research ideas, which may have an international impact. Furthermore, the Faculty places emphasis on the applicant’s interest and preferably, prior experience, in working with other researchers to conduct collective research and teaching activities and welcomes the applicant’s proven ability to make a valuable contribution in this regard.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment is permanent and will be made in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (Akademikernes Centralorganisation, AC). In addition to the basic salary you will receive an annual supplement per month and a total contribution to your pension fund equal 17,1 % of your salary and annual supplement is paid. It is possible to negotiate further salary supplements. 

The position include 85% research and reduced teaching and administrative responsibilities.

For further information, please see ‘Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2019’ and ‘Guide to appointment of permanent academic staff at the Faculty of Law’ . Both documents are available on the Faculty’s website.

Letter of motivation, appendices and the submitted research publications (including papers, articles and books), must be written in English. The application will be rejected if not all the required documents are submitted.

It is essential that you fill out all the mandatory fields in the electronic application even though the info is already stated in your CV, application, publication or other material you may find relevant to upload. The completed fields will be screened during the shortlisting and assessment process and in order to generate your final assessment, which we will send to you after the assessment work is finalized.

The application MUST include the following nine (9) elements:

1. Letter of motivation (a one page document explaining the reasons for applying)
2. Curriculum vitae
3. Research project. Applications should include a proposal for a research project to be completed during the post-doctoral period. Proposals should be no more than four pages long. The proposal should demonstrate the capacity to develop a postdoctoral project, identifying the relevant methodological tools to achieve the outlined project.
4. Diplomas, PhD or JSD diploma or alternatively a document showing that the applicant submitted or will submit a dissertation
5. Publication list. (Complete, numbered list of publications)
6. Teaching portfolio, including documentation for teaching qualifications as well as a brief statement of the applicant's teaching visions within the research area. For more information regarding the teaching portfolio, please see the related guidelines
7. Academic references, if available (please upload under “other relevant material”)
8. A maximum of five (5) scientific publications that the applicant wishes to have included in the assessment, of which no more than one (1) may be a monograph. Applicants, who have written a PhD or JSD thesis or equivalent, must always submit the complete thesis (if the thesis is written in Danish, English, Swedish or Norwegian) and the written assessment of the thesis as a part of submitted publications.
9. If citing work where the applicant has been a co-author, a co-author declaration, which addresses the applicant's share of these works, must be submitted. Material that has not yet been published can be submitted. However, please indicate if this is the case.

In addition to the material which the applicant wishes to be included in the assessment, the Assessment Committee may require further material to assess the applicant. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide such supplementary material, should this be requested.

Application procedure
Upload letter of motivation, appendices and the research publications electronically using the link below. We advise you to have the above mentioned documents ready before you begin to fill out your online application, and it is essential that all required documents are enclosed.

Applications must be addressed to the Associate Dean of Research and uploaded electronically.

An automatically generated message is sent out acknowledging receipt of the uploaded application.

Applicants will be kept informed about the process of the application procedure on a regular basis via email.

Following the application deadline, the Associate Dean of Research selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. Applicants are selected on the basis of an overall assessment of the applicants that best match the recruitment needs of the Faculty as described in this advertisement for the post. This is compared with the applicant's research and teaching profile as set out in the application, CV incl. list of publication, teaching portfolio and any research/development plan.  All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert Assessment Committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and when the committee has completed its assessment, each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicants themselves.

University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society and therefore encourages all interested parties regardless of personal background to apply for the position.

Questions about project is available from Contact Professor Henrik Hansen (Henrik.hansen@econ.ku.dk , +45 35324405) or Professor Morten Broberg (morten.broberg@jur.ku.dk , +45 35323196..

Further information about the recruitment process is available from HR, e-mail: hrsc@hrsc.ku.dk. Please refer to ID number 211-0621/20-2I.

The application deadline is 1 February, 2021, 23:59 GMT+1.

Applications received after the deadline has expired will not be accepted.

If your application does not include all the required supporting documents your application can be rejected and not be considered by the assessment committee.

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

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