[Air-L] two generously funded PhD positions on Mediating (Semi-)Authoritarianism at Free University Berlin

Leurs, K.H.A. (Koen) K.H.A.Leurs at uu.nl
Mon Dec 1 05:08:53 PST 2014

CfA: Two generously funded PhD positions at Free University Berlin

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is only an unofficial, informal, translated call
for applications. The legally binding, official German job announcement
is available at:

The Emmy Noether research group on Mediating (Semi-)Authoritarianism –
The Power of the Internet in the Post-Soviet World invites applications
for two fully funded PhD positions (of up to four years), starting in
early or mid-2015.  The research group will be based at the Institute
for Media and Communications Studies at the Free University Berlin. It
is being funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) from October
2014 to September 2019.

The five-year project investigates the interrelations of
internet-mediated communication and politics in the post-Soviet region,
with a strong comparative focus on three countries: Russia, Ukraine, and
Belarus. It draws primarily on qualitative methods of communication
research, but also employs quantitative approaches. Comparisons are
structured around a series of key theoretical concepts, including the
decoding of news items, counterpublics, critical news literacy, and
political representation. Additional information about the project can
be found at www.mediating-authoritarianism.net<http://www.mediating-authoritarianism.net>.
Job Description / Duties and Responsibilities

·         Pursuing independent research: Applicants will be expected to
develop, design, and accomplish independent research that will qualify
them for the award of a PhD degree. The topic of the candidate’s
independent doctoral research should be closely related to the central
topic of the research group. Thus, ideally, their independent research
will strongly benefit from synergies with research carried out in the
framework of the research group.

·         Contributing to the success of the research group: PhD
students will play an important role as members of the Emmy Noether
group. They will make strong, creative, and independent contributions to
the project by helping to refine the overall research design, as well as
by collecting, analysing, and interpreting data. They will contribute as
(co-)authors to publications of the research group. One of the two PhD
positions announced here will focus on data collection and analysis with
regard to Belarus, the other with regard to Ukraine.

·         Administration, outreach & teaching: The project group will
organize a small number of public events (approximately one event per
year), seek to host visiting scholars from across the globe, and
maintain a website that includes a blog. It will also be involved in
teaching at the Institute of Media and Communications Studies at Free
University Berlin (one course in each semester). Although routine tasks
in these areas will be carried out by a student assistant, PhD
candidates will be expected to take on management responsibilities and
other leading roles in this work.
Person Specification / Selection Criteria

·         A Masters degree or equivalent in Media and Communications or
a related discipline such as Sociology, Political Science, or Psychology
(essential). Highly- motivated candidates with or without prior work
experience are strongly encouraged to apply.

·         Experience in qualitative and/or quantitative social science
research methods.

·         Evidence of in-depth knowledge and understanding of the
candidate’s own field of study, which will ideally be related to
political communication (essential).

·         Fluency in English (essential), either Ukrainian or Belarusian
(essential), and Russian (desirable). Willingness to acquire practical
knowledge of German in the course of the project (essential).

·         Evidence of ability and willingness to work as part of a team

·         Evidence of strong self-management skills, as required to
successfully complete a four-year PhD project (essential).

·         Evidence of flexibility, autonomy, and creativity (essential).

·         Evidence of strong communication skills (desirable).

·         Evidence of strong analytical and critical skills and clear
academic writing (desirable).

Salary and Working Conditions

·         The two PhD positions in the Emmy Noether research group come
with an internationally highly competitive salary, which will be
stipulated in accordance with the German collective agreement for the
public sector (TV-L E 13 at a 0.65 full time equivalent). Depending on
the candidate’s work experience, the initial annual salary will thus be
at least 26,814 Euros (increase pending). From this gross salary,
contributions to the German pension scheme, health assurance, and other
social insurances will be automatically deducted. Depending on the
family situation, the PhD candidate’s initial net salary will thus
amount to at least 1,600 Euros a month (approximately 2,150 USD).

·         The Emmy Noether group will offer PhD candidates a vibrant and
international academic environment with flat hierarchies. In the course
of the project, they will receive hands-on training in pursuing
internationally competitive communication research. At the same time,
they will be intensely supervised and supported by the leader of the
research group, members of academic staff at the Free University Berlin,
and international scholars affiliated with the project in pursuing their
independent PhD research. PhD candidates will be encouraged to pursue
their own ideas, make strong individual contributions to the success of
the research project, and develop an emerging track record of
independent academic publications that will qualify them to pursue a
subsequent academic career.

·         The two PhD positions will have access to generous subsidies
for conference travel, fieldwork, and external academic training.
How to Apply

Additional information about the project can be found at
www.mediating-authoritarianism.net<http://www.mediating-authoritarianism.net>. To apply, we recommend providing the
following documents:

·         CV.

·         Letter of motivation (maximum two pages) stating why you would
like to pursue a PhD within the research group, potential topic of your
PhD, type of research you could imagine pursuing, and how you think you
could contribute to the success of the project. Please also provide
evidence with regard to selection criteria listed above.

·         One to three samples of academic writing (course work, your BA
or MA thesis, etc.)

·         Relevant school certificates and university diplomas
(certificate of qualification for university matriculation, BA and MA
diplomas, or equivalents).

·         Contact details and phone numbers of two or three referees (at
least one academic).

Please send your applications to the group leader Dr Florian Toepfl at
f.toepfl at fu-berlin.de. The application deadline is 15.12.2014. Ideally,
the two PhD candidates will be employed in early or mid-2015. We very
much look forward to receiving your applications!

Koen Leurs, PhD
| Marie Curie Postdoctoral Researcher,
  London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) |
| Affiliated researcher Graduate Gender Studies
Institute for Cultural Enquiry (ICON)
Utrecht University  |

www.koenleurs.net <https://mail.lse.ac.uk/ecp/Customize/www.koenleurs.net>


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