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MSCA Postdoctoral Fellow 2023 – Social Sustainability and Contesting Solidarity

OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University is Norway’s third largest university, with nearly 22,000 students and 2,200 employees. Through the students we educate and the research we produce, the university has a direct impact on society, both in Norway and beyond. The university has two campuses, one in central Oslo and another a short distance from the city in the municipality of Lillestrøm. OsloMet is home to some of Norway’s largest and oldest educational programmes, including degree programmes in nursing, engineering and teacher education. The university is also a hub of research and technological innovation aimed at strengthening and sustaining the Norwegian welfare state.

Faculty of Social Sciences offers study programmes within archivistics, library and information science, journalism and media studies, social work, social policy and child welfare, public management and business. The faculty has about 4200 students and nearly 280 members of staff.

The department has approximately 1250 students and 90 employees, and offers study programmes on bachelor’s, master’s and PhD level.

Call for Expression of Interest for a joint application under the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme – Call: MSCA-PF-2023

OsloMet invites interested experienced researchers of any nationality, who have a PhD degree and maximum eight (8) years of research experience after having obtained the PhD degree, to apply for the EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Postdoctoral Fellowship (call HORIZON-MSCA-PF-2023) to conduct research at OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University for a period of two years.

The Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy conducts high-impact research on a broad range of topics within national, European and international social policy. The research in the department typically builds on stakeholder involvement, including civil society organizations, local and national authorities and market actors. 

Area of research

A critical challenge to the Eurozone is its so-called “crisis in solidarity” and the corresponding tendency of solidarity within liberal democracy being unsustainable. This challenge is prevalent both within and between the zone´s constituent liberal democracies. The root causes are many, but they all have disintegrative effects on the solidarity that liberal democracy attempt to build and maintain; from mass social exclusion and democratic disenfrenchaisment to terrorism, to modernized movements withs anti-LGBTQ, anti-globalism, neo-nationalism and anti-woman messaging, using new media as tools to destabilise, hijacking policy issues such as climate change, migration, reproductive health as identity issues. The list can go on. The crisis is fundamental, where disintegration of solidarity spills over to both the stability and quality of the social order solidarity is reflected from, but also to the binding force of trust that individuals depend on for peaceful interaction and establishing such a social order. 

Candidates are invited to address mechanisms and processes that have disintegrative effects on solidarity, and that are intentionally set in motion to distort solidarity to bring about social change detrimental to the normative order underpinning liberal democracy. Proposals may examine one or more such mechanisms of disintegration. Cross-national, multilevel and comparative research designs are particularly welcome. It is an unanswered question how and to what extent the EU and national governments must involve themselves actively to repair or rebuild solidarity to secure liberal democracy in the delivery of a Europe in solidarity.

Candidates may want to address research questions such as: How does anti-liberal norms get foothold within nation-states, and do they actively engage to destabilize solidarity? How does right-wing extremist contest the legitimacy of liberal democracies, and with a special focus on the need for active social exclusion from the social order? What character traits can be identified within norms underpinning a sustainable liberal democratic political order, and what are the traits of those norms that attempt to undermine or subvert them? What are the contesting views to a social contract underpinning sustainable solidarity of a liberal democracy that are presented through parliamentary politics across countries? What consequences has anti-liberal currents had for the legal order, and the constitutional legal order in particular? What strategies are employed to morph the backbone of modern citizenships, rights, into citizenship more aligned with politics of allegiance or nationalism? In what manner can the crisis in solidarity be mended to create a more sustainable solidarity opposing anti-liberal currents?

Successful candidates will be supervised by Head of the Academic Unit on Globalisation and Social Sustainability, Asgeir Falch-Eriksen. He has years of experience studying liberal constitutional democracy and trust and has published extensively on these topics. For more information on Falch-Eriksen, see his profile at OsloMet:

With this call for Expression of Interest, we invite researchers to submit their application accompanied by CV (including publication list) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting a maximum of two candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-PF proposals. The cooperation for the proposal development will be carried out remotely, with regular online communication via email and virtual meeting platforms (Zoom or Teams). Applicants who are successful in getting their proposals funded by the EU, must relocate to work in the Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy, at OsloMet main campus, in the center of Oslo.

Starting Date of the fellowship

The EU shall inform the results on the MSCA-PF-2023 applications in February 2023. Successful applicants are expected to be available to start the fellowship project from within the two months following the announcement of results and no later than summer 2023. 

Main duties of the position

The successful candidate will primarily work on the MSCA fellowship funded project, but will be integrated in the Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy in general, taking part in regular meetings and discussion groups. The candidate will specifically be introduced with Falch-Eriksen´s national and international network of researchers. In agreement with the candidate, he/she would be included in other ongoing projects and/or in the development of grant applications processes. 

Expected qualification of applicants 

Candidates must have a PhD in social policy, sociology, political science, history, philosophy or anthropology as the minimum requirement.  We are primarily looking for experienced researchers who wish to use this period as an opportunity to further develop their research, and to develop longer term research collaborations with OsloMet and other organisations conducting research in the field. The candidates must be eligible for a MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship: have a PhD successfully defended by the submission deadline (mid-September 2023), a maximum of eight (8) years research experience after PhD, and not having worked/studied in Norway more than 12 months in the last three years.

We are looking for applicants who have

Assessment and selection of candidates

Evaluation will be based on the qualification and project idea. Interested candidates must submit with their application the following documents:

Short-listed candidates will be invited for a virtual interview to select candidates that will be invited to develop the full MSCA-PF application with deadline by mid-September 2023 under the supervision of Asgeir Falch-Eriksen and with the support of the professional research administration staff at OsloMet. 

Under this call announcement a maximum of five candidates will be interviewed and two candidates will be invited to write applications with the endorsement of OsloMet. Candidates will be informed of the results of the internal pre-selection and invitation to apply within the two weeks following the interview. 

Original documents about your qualification must be presented if you are invited for an interview. OsloMet performs document inspections in order to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and to ensure a fair competition. Proposals will be pre-selected based on internal evaluation and the availability of suitable supervision. All documents that you hand in to OsloMet, including your proposal idea, will be handled in full confidentiality and in strict compliance with GDPR regulations.

Selected candidates must participate in the virtual masterclass on MSCA-PF, a two-day workshop organised by OsloMet on 19-20 April 2023 to provide applicants with detailed information and explanation of the application template to complete their proposal in compliance with the EU Commission requirements.

The postdoctoral position

Successful applicants who obtain a MSCA-PF grant will be offered a position at OsloMet to be hired as postdoctoral researchers to implement their proposed research projects, in conditions as explained below.

We offer:

OsloMet assists in developing competitive MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship proposals. Then, to successful applicants who are awarded the MSC-PF grant, we offer:

The position adheres to the Norwegian Government’s policy that the national labour force. It is important for OsloMet to reflect the population diversity, all qualified candidates from any nationality are welcomed to apply. OsloMet is an IA (Inclusive Workplace) organisation and operates in compliance with the Norwegian IA agreement. We make our active endeavour to further develop OsloMet as an inclusive workplace and to adapt the workplace if required. If there are periods in your career when you have not been working, under education or training, you are also eligible to apply. Questions may be directed to the contact persons (per below).

Remuneration:

The competitive fellowship opportunities are 100% funded and include living and mobility allowances. 

OsloMet has implemented the Charter & Code for researchers and been granted the HR Excellence in Research (HRS4) by the EU Commission and is part of the EU network for mobility of Researchers EURAXESS. Practical information about relocation to OsloMet can be found here and EURAXESS Norway. 

Contact 

OsloMet is a Charter & Code certified institution by the EU Commisson holding the right to use the logo HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R). OsloMet is a member of the EURAXESS network supporting a positive work environment for researchers in motion. OsloMet has signed The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). DORA recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.