PhD Position in Collaboration with the Sino-Danish Centre, Beijing

Updated: 15 days ago

PhD Position in Collaboration with the Sino-Danish Centre, Beijing

Department of Politics and Society in collaboration with the Sino-Danish Centre, Beijing, offers a three year fully funded PhD scholarship to start on September 1, 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job description

China is reforming its household registration system controlling access to its cities and to public welfare. While access to larger cities, such as Beijing, is getting harder and subject to increasingly sophisticated point systems, access to smaller cities is getting easier with the government encouraging migration to a number of cities within Beijing’s urban cluster (the Bohai cluster). The successful candidate will be working on how household registration reforms are unfolded in Beijing and smaller cities within the Bohai cluster and how they affect the ways in which access to welfare and other privileges usually regulated through the household registration system are distributed. The project will thereby contribute to understanding the kind of stratification created within China’s urban clusters as well as to elucidating the opportunities provided for rural-urban migrants wishing to settle down.

The PhD project will be embedded in:

1) Research Centre for Development and International Relations (AAU), which has general expertise in China studies (supervisor, Associate Professor Jesper Willaing Zeuthen )

2) Centre for Comparative Welfare Studies (AAU), which has general expertise in mobility and social rights (co-supervisor Professor Christian Albrekt Larsen )

3) Rural Development research team at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR) at the Chinese Acdemy of Sciences , which has general expertise in rural-urban mobility within China (co-supervisor, Professor Zhang Linxiu ).

At the Research Centre for Development and International Relations, the successful candidate will be working in collaboration with the Moving Data – Moving People research team working on mapping how China’s social credit system affects the governance of China’s mobile population. As part of the research project, the successful candidate will be based for at least 12 months at the Sino-Danish Centre in Beijing.

Qualification requirements

The PhD scholarship has a duration of three years. Applicants to the PhD scholarship must hold a degree equivalent to a Danish Master’s degree. Applicants enrolled at a Danish Master programme who expect to graduate before the date of appointment must forward statement from thesis supervisor, verified transcripts, a copy of thesis contract and documentation for the date of their final exam.

The completion of the scholarship will be in accordance with the Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities No 1039 of 27 August 2013 (the PhD Order), and it is a prerequisite for allocation of a scholarship that enrolment as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of Social Sciences takes place. According to the PhD Order, the PhD study comprises among other requirements: Participation in active research environments, including stays at other, mainly foreign, research institutions, private research enterprises etc.
Please find information on admission requirements for PhD positions on the website of the Doctoral School .

The successful candidate should:

  • Hold a relevant master’s degree in China studies, political science, geography, ethnography or similar at the starting date.
  • Command Chinese and English at native or near-native level
  • Be able to start in the position no later than November 1, 2021.

In addition, it will be advantage if the candidate has:

  • Training in relevant disciplines (political science, development studies, geography, ethnography or similar)
  • Experiences from living and/or conducting fieldwork in China
  • Experience with digital data collection
  • Experience with creating networks in China

We wish to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background. However, as a result of the institutional setup of the Sino-Danish Centre, Chinese citizens including citizens from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao are not eligible for the position.

Application requirements

  • letter of motivation
  • Application form
  • project proposal (approx. 5 pages) containing the research project title, an outline of the course of study and a description of the overall problem areas
  • information on which language the PhD thesis is expected to be written in
  • curriculum vitae
  • diplomas confirming academic degrees (Master degree), including academic transcripts
  • Applicants WHO are planning to complete a doctoral thesis in English and who do not have English as a first language or WHO have not completed an English language-based Master's programme (or an equivalent educational achievement in English) shall provide documentation that they have passed one of the following official tests with the respective minimum score: IELTS (band score):7 TOEFL (paper-based): 600, TOEFL (internet-based): 100. 
  • Co-author statement. If publications that have been written in cooperation with others are submitted, a declaration from each of the authors must be enclosed. The declaration must state the extent of the applicant’s contribution to the total work and be signed by the authors.
  • Application for credit transfer if relevant.

The complete application including attachments shall be sent electronically by selecting the "apply online" function on AAU’s job-portal (not other online job portals that may have reposted the position).
Please note that zipped files are not supported by the recruitment system, please upload only Word or PDF files.

The assessment of the applicants will be undertaken by an expert assessment committee.
Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications, the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not. The selected applicants will be informed of the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant will have the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that applies to the applicant in question. When the employment process has been finalized, a final rejection will be sent to the applicants who are not considered.
The Faculty draws your attention to the fact that the applicant's project description may be tested for plagiarism in the IT system iThenticate.
For more information of the PhD project, please contact Associate Professor Jesper Willaing Zeuthen .
For more information about the Department of Politics & Society, please contact Head of Department Michael Baggesen Klitgaard .

If you have questions regarding the procedure of applying for the position, please contact


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of 26 June 2019, on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the Ministry of Finance current Circular on the employment structure at Danish Universities.

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Online application - some good advice

Aalborg University uses an electronic recruitment system for receiving applications. Towards the bottom in the respective job advertisement you will find a link, which you need to use when applying for the position. Before uploading your application it is important that you have all relevant documentation ready in a Word or PDF format, as you need to upload all material at the same time. You cannot leave the application and return to it a couple of hours later without having to start over.

The system does not support ZIP or images files. Filenames can only contain numbers and letters, and each document must take up no more than 20 MB.
If you experience technical problems, we encourage you to try again. If the technical problems, contrary to expectation, cannot be solved, please contact the member of staff listed as the contact person in the job advertisement.

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