Postdoctoral position: Affective investments in diversity work in STEM

Updated: 1 day ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 17 May 2021

The Danish School of Education (DPU), Faculty of Arts at Aarhus University invites applications for a postdoctoral position in the research project “Affective investments in diversity work in STEM”, financed by the Aarhus University Research Foundation.
The position is full-time (37 hours/week). It is expected to begin on 1 February 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter and to end 18 months later on 31 July 2023.
The position is based at DPU, Copenhagen Campus.
The Danish School of Education is committed to diversity and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of their personal background.

Research context

The gender gap in senior research positions at Danish universities is alarming, particularly within STEM, but is also addressed through various action plans and diversity initiatives. This project looks at what happens when diversity work happens. It particularly addresses the affective investments taking place when diversity work is enacted, e.g. when discussions of ‘diversifying the curriculum’ or ‘gendered/racialised biased methods’ result in conflicts during collegial meetings, or when (proud) celebrations of organisational diversity conceal the frustration, anger or disappointment of some employees. Conceptualising diversity work as ‘mood work’, the project aims to explore and learn from the affective practices taking place in and across local STEM micro-milieus at Danish universities: How does diversity work affect academia and academic subjectivities? How do affective investments affect the enactment and fulfilment of diversity work? The project focuses on the small experiments of everyday diversity work and the cultural archive of diversity technologies. Specifically, the project centres on the affective investments and atmospheres that channel and energise processes of diversity work, and through which Danish and international scholars’ motivation and sense of (not) belonging emerge.

The position

The postdoc will be part of the project team. The primary task of the postdoc will be to collect and analyse qualitative data together with international STEM scholars and managers on how diversity work is experienced, practiced, contested and managed in a range of contexts differing in relation to reputation, pure/applied research and profession. The postdoc is expected to collaborate with the PI and other project participants and to participate in and co-organise online and offline seminars with international collaborators.
Further information about the project can be found here:
Applicants are encouraged to write to principal investigator Professor Dorthe Staunæs at  for further information about the current status of the project.

The postdoc is expected to:

  • develop an independent research agenda related to the project topic
  • collaborate on and co-author working papers and articles with the other project members
  • initiate and organise activities with the project group (co-organise and participate in research conferences, seminars and webinars as well as related activities)
  • be part of writing funding applications

The application must include a 2-3-page proposal for a postdoctoral research project related to the overall project theme, including research questions and methodological and theoretical considerations.


Applicants must hold a PhD degree or equivalent qualifications in interdisciplinary studies (anthropology, gender studies, education science or a related discipline within the field of educational studies)
Applicants must be able to document a relevant, international, high-quality research profile, including experience of international publication and research dissemination.

The successful applicant must also document:

  • proven skills in qualitative research methods and data analysis
  • experience of interdisciplinary collaboration
  • the ability to collaborate in research teams
  • the ability to initiate relevant activities in an academic environment
  • the ability to write successful funding applications

It is an advantage if the applicant can also document: 

  • skills in conducting fieldwork and qualitative interviews in educational contexts
  • knowledge in methods such as memory work, narrative interviews and learning laboratories
  • knowledge of and experience with diversity work as well as working and researching within STEM-related educational contexts
  • knowledge about the Danish educational system
  • experience with conducting analyses using affect and intersectional gender theories

Basic Danish language skills will be advantageous, but are not required. We require that applicants will be fluent (or near fluent) in spoken and written English.
The application must be submitted in English.

Work environment

Active participation in the daily life of the department is a high priority, and we emphasise the importance of good working relationships, both among colleagues and with our students. In order to maintain and develop the department’s excellent teaching and research environment, the successful applicant is expected to be present at the department on a daily, or at least weekly, basis.
We respect the balance between work and private life and strive to create a work environment in which that balance can be maintained. For further information, visit .

International applicants

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,  see . Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including a relocation service and career counselling for expat partners. You can find further information about the taxation aspects of international researchers’ employment by Aarhus University here:

Research environment

The Danish School of Education at Aarhus University is the largest centre for research and teaching in the fields of education, didactics and learning in Denmark, with approximately 250 full-time researchers, including 80 PhD students, and approximately 5,000 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students.
The department’s activities are characterised by a high degree of interdisciplinarity and close interaction with society, including businesses, organisations, government agencies and institutions, both in Denmark and abroad.
Please contact Professor Dorthe Staunæs at  for more information about the position.
Note that the Danish School of Education is located in both Copenhagen and Aarhus. The position is based at DPU, Copenhagen Campus.
Visit the Danish School of Education’s website:  
For information about working at Aarhus University, visit
For information about relocating to Denmark, visit

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) .

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here:
If nothing else is noted, applications must be submitted in English. Application deadline is at 11.59 pm Danish time (same as Central European Time) on the deadline day.
All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal bagground.
Shortlists are prepared with the candidates that have been selected for a detailed academic assessment. A committee set up by the head of school is responsible for selecting the most qualified candidates. See this link for further information about shortlisting at the Faculty of Arts:  shortlisting

Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts is one of five main academic areas at Aarhus University.
The faculty contributes to Aarhus University's research, talent development, knowledge exchange and degree programmes.
With its 550 academic staff members, 275 PhD students, 9,500 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 and the Danish School of Education. 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

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