PhD Fellowship as part of the research project ‘English and Globalisation in Denmark: A Changing Sociolinguistic Landscape’, funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 24 Sep 2021

Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use (CIP) at the University of Copenhagen is offering a fully-funded 3-year PhD scholarship commencing 1 January 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

We are looking for a candidate who is highly motivated to undertake doctoral research as part of a four-year collaborative project funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark and headed by Associate Professor Dorte Lønsmann.

Presentation of the host project
‘English and Globalisation in Denmark: A Changing Sociolinguistic Landscape’ is a sociolinguistic research project that investigates the current role of English in Denmark. In recent decades, the linguistic landscape in Denmark has changed. Danish remains the dominant national language, but new forms of linguistic diversity have emerged as a result of migration, and English has become widespread as a lingua franca – in the educational sector, in the workplace, in popular culture, in social media and in many other aspects of everyday life in Denmark. These developments have generated increasingly complex and sometimes conflicting attitudes related to English and the sociocultural changes the language is associated with.

Combining a large-scale survey, focus group interviews and a linguistic ethnographic case study, ‘English and Globalisation in Denmark: A Changing Sociolinguistic Landscape’ will analyse 1) the presence of English in the everyday lives of people in Denmark, 2) language attitudes and ideologies in relation to English, and 3) the use and symbolic meaning of English among young Danes. Thanks to the availability of data from a previous study (Danskerne og det engelske sprog, Preisler 1999), the project also includes a longitudinal comparative perspective.

Theoretically, the project aims to develop the notion of sociolinguistic change (see e.g. ‘Sociolinguistic Change, Vernacularization And Broadcast British Media’, Coupland 2014) by theorising the interconnections between social change, changing language practices and changing language attitudes and ideologies. We hypothesise that Denmark has seen a polarizing language ideological development over the last decades in relation to English. For some, English has increasingly come to be associated with opportunities for the individual and for Danish society in general; for others, English represents a barrier for participation in society and a possible threat to the national language and culture.

Job description
The work to be undertaken by the successful PhD candidate is an independent PhD research project designed to fit the overall research agenda of ‘English and Globalisation in Denmark’. More specifically, the PhD candidate will be expected to design and conduct a linguistic ethnography of a community of practice in Denmark, or a comparative study of multiple such communities. The exact community/communities will be chosen in collaboration with the PhD supervisor, based on the specific case(s) proposed in the successful candidate’s PhD project description. The only fixed criterion is that the community/communities in question should be composed by (or at least include as prominent members) young people in Denmark, allowing the PhD candidate to explore in detail how and with what symbolic value English is used by young Danes as part of their everyday interaction online and offline, e.g. how English is deployed as part of constructing specific styles, personas, social relationships and communicative genres, in combination with other semiotic ressources, including Danish.

PhD candidates are expected to outline a research design for the case study as part of their application. The project should fall within the general framework of linguistic ethnography. We welcome projects that include participant observation, recordings of social interaction in offline and online environments, as well as ethnographic interviews and feedback sessions with participants, but the exact approach will be determined on the basis of the successful candidate’s proposal. Theoretically, the PhD project should contribute to the host project’s overall understanding of sociolinguistic change and ‘English and Globalisation in Denmark’ in the nexus between changing language practices, changing language attitudes and ideologies and ongoing societal change.

The PhD student will be supervised by associate professor Janus Mortensen and co-supervised by associate professor and project PI, Dorte Lønsmann. The thesis can take the form of a monograph, or it can be article based, depending on the nature of the proposed project and the successful candidate’s preferences.

Key criteria for the assement of applicants

  • Applicants must have a relevant master’s degree (120 ECTS), possibly with a specialization (speciale) within the areas of linguistic antropology, sociolinguistics or applied linguistics. Applicants with a non-Danish Master’s degree will have their degree assessed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science in order to establish that their Master’s degree is equivalent to a Danish Master’s degree. Please read more at the Ministry of Higher Education and Sciences website:
  • The successful applicant will have advanced analytical skills and be a strong communicator in English. We expect the PhD thesis to be written in English.
  • Since the case study will involve data in Danish as well as English, applicants must also have advanced knowledge of Danish.
  • Due to the collaborative nature of the host project, it is essential that the candidate has excellent collaborative skills and a strong interest in being part of a close-knit research team.

Additional critera for the assement of applicants

  • Exam results
  • The time taken to complete previous degrees (taking any periods of leave into account)
  • Previous publications
  • Relevant work experience

Key criteria for the assessment of the PhD project description

  • Relevance of the proposed PhD project for the host project
  • Intellectual originality
  • Theoretical contribution
  • Research design
  • Feasibility of the proposed project

Place of employment
The place of employment is Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use (CIP), Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen, and the succesful candidate will be part of the PhD programme at the Faculty of Humanities, attached to the PhD coordinator and group of PhD students at the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. 

Terms of employment
The employment as PhD fellow is full time and for 3 years. It is conditioned upon the applicant’s successful enrolment as a PhD student at the Graduate School at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The PhD study must be completed in accordance with The Ministerial Order on the PhD programme (2013) and the Faculty’s rules on achieving the degree. 

For further information and specific questions about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal investigator, Dorte Lønsmann ( ), or the PhD project supervisor, Janus Mortensen ( ).

Further information about the host project is available at this web page:

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of Humanities is available at the PhD Studies’ website:

Application procedure
Your application must be submitted electronically by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. The application must include the following documents:  

  • Project abstract (max. 1,200 characters)
  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • A detailed project description (max. 12,000 characters)
  • CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • Diploma and transcript of records  
  • Applicants must also upload the following documentation:

  • A copy of master’s degree diploma (if not available before the application deadline, a pre-approval must be submitted) 
  • A copy of master’s degree transcript of records (an official description of the grading scale must be included)  
  • A copy of bachelor’s degree diploma  
  • A copy of bachelor’s degree transcript of records (an official description of the grading scale must be included)
  • Publication list (if any) 
  • If the master diploma and/or examination records are in another language than English, German, French, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian or Swedish, please include a translation into either of these languages in your application.

    We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements. 

    Project description
    Project descriptions should outline the overall objectives, as well as design and timeline of the project and include

    • presentation of state of art
    • presentation and motivation of the theoretical framework
    • presentation and discussion of choice of methods and research design
    • a description of the project itself and how you see it fitting in with the larger research project and contributing substantially to it
    • a working plan for the project

    The project description must not exceed 6 standard pages, corresponding to approx. 12,000 characters (excluding bibliography). A substantial breach of this will result in the application being excluded from consideration. 

    Please adhere to the guidelines at this page:

    The recruitment process
    After the deadline for applications, applicants are selected for assessment on the advice of the Appointment Committee. All applicants will be notified whether they are shortlisted for assessment or not. An Assessment Committee is appointed, and the selected applicants are notified of the composition of this committee. Each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment which relates to their own application.

    Afterwards, a selection of qualified candidates will be invited for an interview. Please be advised that a positive assessment does not necessarily mean that you will be invited for an interview. 

    For further information on the recruitment process, please see University of Copenhagen’s website: .

    The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

    As an equal opportunity employer the university invites applications from all interested candidates regardless of gender, age, ethnic origin or religion.

    As a PhD scholar at The Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen, you will be supervised for approximately 180 hours distributed over 6 semesters. In addition to this, you must complete PhD courses of a total approximating 30 ECTS. On completion of the PhD programme, you must submit a PhD thesis.  

    Read more about the structure of the PhD programme and what it means to be enrolled as a PhD scholar at the Faculty of Humanities via this link:

    For more information about the PhD School read more at this page:

    Terms of employment
    PhD scholars at the Faculty of Humanities are appointed under the terms and conditions of the collective agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. 

    According to the agreement, PhD scholars are obliged – without any additional remuneration – to perform tasks assigned to them corresponding to 840 working hours over the three years. These tasks will primarily be in the form of teaching, dissemination, research or other related academic areas.

    Please note that it is normally a precondition for employment that the applicant in question does not already have a PhD degree. Applicants who have already obtained a PhD degree will, as a main rule, not be considered for the application process.   

    Salary, pension and terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary begins around DKK 26,409 DKK /approx. 3.480 EUR.

    Contact information
    For any further questions regarding the recruitment process please contact HR employee Pernille Lykke Paulsen, e-mail: , please refer to ID number 211-0819/21-2H #1

    Application deadline: 24 September 2021, 23:59 (CET)

    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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