Postdoc Position in the field of Intervention Effects, Playful Learning and Large Scale Assessment

Updated: 11 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 03 Jun 2020

The Department of Educational Theory and Curriculum Studies at the Danish School of Education (DPU) at Aarhus University invites applications for a three-year postdoc in the field of intervention effects, playful learning and large-scale assessment.

The postdoc is a full-time (37 hours/week) position and begins on 1 August 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The position is based at either DPU Campus Emdrup (in Copenhagen) or DPU Campus Aarhus. Since the department is located in both Aarhus and Copenhagen, the successful applicant should expect some travel activity between these locations.

The Danish School of Education is committed to diversity and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of their personal background.

The position

The postdoc will share her or his time between the project Playful Learning: A Quantitative Study of the Effects of a Teaching Intervention and the IEA projects Progression in Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS). Read more about the projects here: https://playful -  and here s kning/internationaleundersoegelser/


The Playful Learning programme is a long-term partnership between the LEGO Foundation and the six university colleges in Denmark. In this programme, The LEGO Foundation and the university colleges in Denmark are working together in a comprehensive effort to support professional development among pedagogues (childcare professionals) and teachers. The Playful Learning programme is initially focusing on the development of professional knowledge that supports a playful approach to learning and development within pedagogue and teacher education. The focus is on working with PlayLabs, experiments with a playful approach to teaching, and on capacity building among employees in the university college sector. In the long-term, the programme aims to lay the groundwork for more playful approaches to development and learning in Danish childcare and school settings.

In general, playful learning research aims to create new knowledge about play in relation to pedagogy, didactics and learning in pedagogue and teacher education, and to strengthen the research area of learning through play. Playful learning research is set to investigate how learning through play can become a cornerstone in the education of future teachers and pedagogues.

In order to explore the effects of some of the interventions in the programme, we are offering a postdoc position which, under the leadership of Professor MSO Jeppe Bundsgaard, will be the driving force in designing and planning the study and in data collection, data cleaning and statistical analysis.

The interventions in playful learning research are taking place in teacher and pedagogue pre-service education and are using design-based research as a methodological approach. This approach means that many factors are varied at the same time and that researchers intervene interactively during the intervention. This will present a special challenge to the effect study, which should be addressed in the design of the study.

The IEA projects PIRLS and ICILS are ongoing large-scale assessment studies which result in high quality data on students’ competencies and the context in which they are developed. The Danish language reports from these projects present results relevant to the Danish research and teaching community, which requires tailored analyses. The data derive from a multi-level, complex sample and therefore require special tools and approaches. The IEA supplies a number of resources to ensure the quality of the analyses.

The successful applicant will be expected to develop research that results in academic publications. The successful applicant will also be expected to participate in the research community at the department in terms of collaborative research projects with internal and external partners, and to participate in applications for external research funding.

Applicants are requested to submit a proposal for the research they plan to undertake within the stated framework of the research project (max. three pages).


Applicants must have a PhD degree or must document equivalent qualifications in a relevant field and must be able to document at least at PhD level:

  • An internationally oriented research profile in education or social sciences.
  • A strong background in quantitative methods, preferably with experience in designing and carrying through effect studies or similar.

Furthermore, it will be considered an advantage if applicants can document

  • Time spent abroad working at one or more internationally recognised research institution
  • Experience of participating in national and international research networks
  • Fluency in Danish or a Scandinavian language, or preparedness to learn Danish.

Please note that applications that do not include uploaded publications (maximum five) will not be considered.
Work environment

We expect the successful applicant to contribute to the department’s academic environment. We emphasise the importance of good working relationships, both among colleagues and with our students. In order to maintain and develop the department’s research environment, the successful applicant is expected to be present at the department in Campus Aarhus or Campus Emdrup on a daily basis. The successful applicant must participate in the daily activities of the department, including both teaching and supervising. Since the department is located in both Copenhagen and Aarhus, the successful applicant should expect some travel activity between these locations.
We respect the balance between work and private life and strive to create a work environment in which that balance can be maintained. See Family and work-life balance  for further information.

International applicant?

International applicants are encouraged to see Attractive working conditions  for further information about the benefits of working at Aarhus University and in Denmark, including healthcare, paid holidays and, if relevant, maternity/paternity leave, childcare and schooling. Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including a relocation service  and career counselling for expat partners. For information about taxation, see Taxation aspects of international researchers’ employment by AU .

Department of Educational Theory and Curriculum Studies

The school is at part of the Faculty of Arts. You will find relevant information about the Department of Educational Theory and Curriculum Studies on this website.


For further information about the position, please contact Professor MSO Jeppe Bundsgaard
Qualification requirements

Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent academic qualifications.


Faculty of Arts refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities (the Appointment Order) .

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

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here:

Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts is one of four main academic areas at Aarhus University. The faculty contributes to Aarhus University's research, talent development, knowledge exchange and degree programmes.

With its 500 academic staff members, 260 PhD students, 10,500 BA and MA students, and 1,500 students following continuing/further education programmes, the faculty constitutes a strong and diverse research and teaching environment.

The Faculty of Arts consists of the School of Communication and Culture, the School of Culture and Society, the Danish School of Education, and the Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media. Each of these units has strong academic environments and forms the basis for interdisciplinary research and education.
The faculty's academic environments and degree programmes engage in international collaboration and share the common goal of contributing to the development of knowledge, welfare and culture in interaction with society.


The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Aarhus University

Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at

View or Apply

Similar Positions