PhD scholarship on “Political Representation in a Digital Age” in the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen

Updated: 10 days ago
Deadline: 03 May 2021

The Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen invites applications for one 3-year PhD scholarship on “Political Representation in a Digital Age”. It will be linked to the research project “Advocacy in Digital Democracy: Usage, Impact and Consequences”. The research project is funded by the European Research Council and the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen.

The successful candidate will start September 1, 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project
ADVODID will implement the first large-scale quantitative project designed to provide rich correlational and causal evidence on the effects of advocacy on citizens and policymakers, in both online and offline settings. It sets out to address – theoretically and empirically – the potentials and challenges for modern democracies that arise from digital advocacy tools. Its novelty lies in analyzing the use, impact and democratic consequences of digital advocacy strategies by assessing interactions of advocacy groups with both citizens and political representatives in a diverse set of eight political systems. ADVODID will collect data on the advocacy agenda and strategy use of carefully sampled advocates in these countries, and will assess agenda congruence with political and public agendas, and their dynamic development over time. Correlational analyses of different measures of advocacy success will be complemented by field experiments in cooperation with advocates in two countries, to supply causal evidence on how advocacy affects the positions and actions of policymakers and citizens. The project’s rich datasets will be used to assess and refine theories of democratic representation and the role of digital advocacy across different types of policy issues.

The PhD scholarship
The suggested project should speak to the broader theme of “Political Representation in a Digital Age” and be linked to the overall project. At the same time, there is room to design the project so that it makes an individual contribution. The PhD candidate is offered full membership of the project team. S/he will participate in team meetings of the ADVODID project, attend research events in Denmark and aboard and be involved in disseminating findings from the project to the wider public. S/he will write both single and co-authored publications and is also likely to contribute to the data collection of the wider project. In addition, the PhD candidate is expected to participate actively in the vibrant academic community and social life at the department of political science e.g. by attending seminars, lectures, and reading groups.

Are you the right candidate?
Preferred applicants must have a background in political science, social data science, sociology, psychology, economics, anthropology or a related field. They should have an interest in questions related to political representation, interest groups, public opinion and/or public policy. We are looking for a candidate with strong analytical skills and proven methodological qualifications in the collection, processing and analysis of large n data (possibly also social media data). We value candidates that demonstrate an ability to contribute to and enrich the core components of the existing research project as well as intellectual independence. The successful candidate must have strong English language skills but does not need to know Danish. In the assessment, emphasis will be put on academic track-record, experience with social science research and the project proposal.

We accept applications under the 5+3 and the 4+4 PhD program (see information below). Please note that students who are expecting to graduate this term and are awaiting the evaluation of their dissertation/master thesis may apply under the 5+3 program.

Further information about the PhD study programme is available on the website of Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences:

Under "Legal basis" on the website you will find information about the rules and guidelines for the PhD study programme and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities. 

Information about the PhD study programme is also available on the PhD website of the Department of Political Science:

Applicants should familiarise themselves with the research strategy and the ongoing research at the Department before submitting their application. Further information can be found here:

In order to be awarded a PhD scholarship, the applicant has to enroll as a PhD student at the Faculty of Social Sciences, cf. the rules of the Danish Ministerial order No 1039 of 27 August 2013.

The application must be submitted electronically, using the ‘Apply for position’ button below, and must include:

  • Project abstract. Please fill in the project abstract in the application form. Must not exceed 1.200 characters
  • Cover Letter detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project 
  • A shorter project description outlining ideas for research that you would be interested in pursuing during your PhD project (recommended no more than 12,000 keystrokes not including bibliography). The proposed research should examine political representation in a digital age and link to the broader project. A final PhD project plan is not necessary at this stage but can be completed during the first part of the PhD
  • CV including the names and contact details of two referees that can be contacted to write a reference for you in case you are shortlisted
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)   
  • Preliminary time schedule 
  • Preliminary budget
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications, documentation of English language qualifications (if any)

Please note that it is only possible to upload one document per attachment category. If more than one document has to be uploaded in the same category, please make sure that they are scanned and merged in one file.  

Scholarship in the 5+3 or in the 4+4 PhD study programme 
The 5+3 PhD study programme 

In order to be eligible for a scholarship in the 5+3 PhD study programme the applicant must have completed a two year MSc degree programme, or have earned 120 ECTS credits at an equivalent academic level before starting his or her employment. Applicants should check the study programmes for more detailed descriptions of the entry requirements. PhD students are paid a salary in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The PhD student has a work obligation of up to 840 hours over the 3 year period of time without additional pay. The work obligation includes teaching.

The 4+4 PhD study programme 

Students who have completed a BSc plus 60 ECTS of an MSc degree programme would enroll as PhD students simultaneously with their enrolment in the MSc degree programme. Applicants should check the study programmes for more detailed descriptions of the entry requirements. Until an MSc degree is obtained, the grant is paid partly in the form of up to 48 state education grant portions (in Danish: SU-klip). More specifically the PhD student will be paid two grant portions per month plus salary for work (teaching, presentations etc.) which totals a workload of at least 280 hours. Payment and conditions of employment are carried out in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). Upon completion of the MSc degree the student is transferred to the salary-earning part of the PhD studies. 

The Phd fellow is expected to seek funding for fieldwork as this is not included in the scholarship.

Application process
On the website of Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences you will find information about the application process, and enclosures to include with your electronic application:

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee.

The following criteria apply when we shortlist candidates for assessment:

1. Research qualifications as reflected in the project proposal

2. Quality and feasibility of the project

3. Qualifications and knowledge in relevant disciplines

4. Performance (grades obtained) in graduate and post-graduate studies

5. Department of Political Science can offer adequate supervision for the research topic in question

Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself. You can read about the recruitment process here .

An Equal Opportunity Workplace
The University of Copenhagen is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to creating an inclusive working environment and therefore encourages all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of personal background, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity etc. For more on the diverse working place environment at the University and the University’s participation in the HRS4R HR Excellence in Research, see

International applicant?
The University of Copenhagen offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including support before and during your relocation and career counselling to expat partners. Please find more information about these services as well as information on entering and working in Denmark here:

Contact information
Please contact Professor Anne Rasmussen, e-mail:  for more information about the position.

Information about the recruitment process is available from Pernille Lykke Paulsen,HR, e-mail: , please refer to ID number: 211-0712/21-2H #1

The application must be submitted electronically no later than 3 May 2021.

Applications received after the deadline will not be taken into account.

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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