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Early Stage Researcher – Citizenship education and beyond: the role of education in fostering solidarity in diversity

Departement: Opleidings- en Onderwijswetenschappen
Regime Voltijds

The SOLiDi consortium, the Urban Studies Institute of the University of Antwerp and Maynooth University are looking for a talented and motivated researcher to join the International Training Network and write a PhD on solidarity in diversity.

Early Stage Researcher

Citizenship education and beyond: the role of education in fostering solidarity in diversity


A European Training Network on promoting solidarities across ethnic-cultural boundaries

The rise of national populism and far-right parties in Europe poses a big threat to all forms of solidarity, especially solidarity between members of various ethnic-cultural groups. European democracies should therefore identify the conditions that can encourage and promote solidarity in diversity, taking into account the social inequalities and unequal positions of power between various groups. The EU-funded SOLiDi project has developed a training and research program to train 15 PhD researchers in relevant theories, research methods and ethics in the fields of sociology, human geography and educational sciences. The training and research program will also focus on paradigms of social change, studying how scientific insights on solidarity in diversity can be applied in different policy contexts and organisations. Ultimately, the project will provide professionals and institutions with insights and instruments for building cohesive European societies. SOLiDi is a consortium consisting of 10 universities and 23 non-academic organisations.

Description of the research project

Scientific objectives

The emergence of majority-minority cities has prompted two rather contradictory responses from policy makers: centripetal tendencies (focusing on cultural homogenization by stressing national identity, culture and values) and centrifugal tendencies (focusing on cultural heterogenization by stressing a global mindset, cultural empathy and interculturality). These tensions are also found in schools in superdiverse urban contexts. The focus of this project is therefore to study through a mainly qualitative and interpretative methodology how the intersection of educational discourses on solidarity and diversity and the school’s role in providing a ‘national curriculum’ and sometimes reproducing educational inequalities, plays out in the everyday school and class context.

Tasks and Responsibilities

  • You perform independently scientific research within a collaborative international research consortium
  • You deliver written reports of your research on a regular basis
  • You prepare a doctoral thesis on the topic of solidarity in diversity
  • You publish scientific articles related to the research project
  • You support the valorization of research results into tangible deliverables
  • You participate in, and contribute to, scientific meetings and conferences, presenting your research to the scientific community
  • You actively participate in outreach activities aimed at promoting your research to a wider audience
  • You collaborate with the other members of the consortium to advance your research and training
  • You participate in the tailor-made training programme
  • The selected candidate will take part in the following planned secondment: academic secondment to the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy at Maynooth University (Ireland) and non-academic secondment in Onderwijsbeleid Stad Antwerpen and SIRIUS (Belgium).

About the University of Antwerp

The PhD project will be primarily hosted at the research group EduBROn (part of the Department of Training and Education Sciences and member of the Urban Studies Institute) of the University of Antwerp (Belgium). The aim of EduBROn is to provide educational research with impact, both at the national and the international level and its driving principle is to generate high-quality, innovative research, with both an academic and a societal relevance. In this way the EduBROn team hopes to become a point of reference for fellow academics, policy-makers and educational practitioners.

During the PhD project there will be a strong collaboration with Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy at Maynooth University, Ireland. For more information: https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/research-groups/urban-studies-institute.

The Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy is situated with the Faculty of Social Sciences and is closely allied to the Department of Education at Maynooth University. It seeks to promote a sustained and informed public conversation around the present condition and future possibilities of education at all levels, from pre-school to higher education, and across a wide range of different settings, including adult education and non-formal education. For more information: https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/centre-public-education-and-pedagogy

Profile and requirements

  • You hold a master degree in the fields of Social Sciences, Educational Sciences and/or Pedagogy.
  • You obtained outstanding academic results.
  • You are interested in interdisciplinary, theory-oriented empirical research and have strong analytical skills.
  • You are a team player and are sensitive to diversity.
  • You have strong communication skills.
  • Language proficiency: English (C1 level minimum) is expected and Dutch (C1 level minimum) is expected.
  • Your academic qualities comply with the requirements stipulated in the university’s policy
  • You have experience with qualitative and/or ethnographic research
  • Experience with qualitative data analysis software, such as NVIVO, is an asset.
  • More information on the specific PhD admission and enrolment requirements can be found here
  • Applicants can be of any nationality, but have to comply with the “Mobility Rule”:
  • H2020 MSCA Mobility Rule: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.
  • H2020 MSCA ESR eligibility criteria: Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) must be, at the date of recruitment by the host organisation, in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged).
  • Candidates may apply for up to three ESR positions in the SOLiDi project, but should mention explicitly the other ESR positions for which they apply in their personal statement.


  • The selected candidate will be employed by the host organisation. The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months (i.e. EC funding). The host institution, in line with the national and university regulation about regular PhD duration, will provide additional funding for a maximum of 12 months on order to complete a doctoral degree.
  • A competitive salary, plus mobility and family allowances. Moreover, funding is available for technical and personal skills training and participation in international research events.
  • The selected candidate will benefit from the designed training programme offered by the host organisation and the SOLiDi consortium.
  • The selected candidate will participate in international secondments to other organisations within the SOLiDi network and in outreach activities targeted at a wide audience.
  • Please, find additional information in the Information note for Marie Sk?odowska-Curie ITN fellows


How to apply:

  • The closing date for applications is March 24th,2021.
  • Please apply through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform. Complete the online application form by clicking on ‘apply’ and be sure to include the following attachments:
    • a CV (Europass format), including their skills and educational and career trajectory and their place of residence and place of main activities (work, studies, etc.) in 3 preceding years (max. 3 pages, font 11 or higher),
    • a personal statement, explaining their motivation (up to 2 pages, font 11 or higher),
    • building on the project description (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/projects/solidi/research/) write a one page outline of the research questions, approach and research design of your PhD project
    • the name and contact details of two referees who can comment on your skills, experience, and suitability for postgraduate research (referees will only be contacted for candidates invited to interview)
  • After the deadline for applications, the project supervisor and co-supervisor will draft a shortlist of 5 to 8 candidates. This shortlist will be discussed by representatives of all SOLiDi academic partner institutions. The shortlisted candidates will then be invited for interview. The ranked candidates will be discussed by representatives of all SOLiDi academic partner institutions, who will assess the gender and geographical balance of the selected candidates and the balance in disciplinary backgrounds across the network. Successful candidates will be notified by the end of May 2021.
  • The recruitment process of ESRs within SOLiDi is in line with the principles set out in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.