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+32 (0)2 229 38 69

Middaglijnstraat 10, 1210 Brussels


EDGE call for post-doctoral researchers

EDGE recruits post-doctoral researchers for a 2-year term (2021-2022) to strengthen its current research team and support collective research efforts.  

EDGE is a strategic research programme of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. It explores the contemporary challenges to democratic governance in Europe through three main research streams:

  • Time & Sustainability

The challenge of sustainability across time raises important questions in relation to how the democratic quality and legitimacy of decision-making can be fostered in addressing long-term problems, such as sustainable development and climate change. EDGE studies how this challenge intersects with other challenges to democratic governance in Europe and beyond.

  • Gender & Diversity

EDGE’s central question in relation to gender and diversity concerns the challenge to democracy that comes from an increasing and persisting inequality in our societies. The focus is on how the intersection of categories such as gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, religion but also categories based on age, class, sexual orientation and physical ability play out in politics and policy.

  • Contestation

Populism, radicalism on the left and on the right, Euroscepticism, or anti-establishment discourses are generally seen as indicators of discontent with democratic governance. There is, however, a need for a more suitable understanding of the many demands, attitudes, beliefs, evaluations, emotions and identities that are being voiced. EDGE searches ways to unpack democracy and its components.

We welcome applications from political and social scientists interested in investigating these current challenges to Europe’s democracies. Selection for the position will be based on three main criteria:  1) your qualifications and experience, 2) the innovative quality of your research proposal, and 3) your plans for scientific output and submitting research proposals to external funding bodies over the 2-year mandate.  

  • Research Proposal

Your research proposal is embedded in the core research themes of EDGE and preferably deals with a political topic that cuts across these. We are especially interested in research proposals that investigate affect and emotions in relation to contemporary challenges to democracy and its sustainability. Your 5-page proposal sketches your central research puzzle and question(s), its relation to (and potential synergies with) the EDGE core themes (and, maybe also, members), the key theoretical debates the project speaks to, and its research design and methods.

  • Scientific output

List the scientific outputs you envision during your mandate (2021-2022). These include academic publications, conference (organisation/participation) and maybe newer (virtual) academic communication and outreach. Here also, we would be highly interested in your ideas for collaboration and synergies with other EDGE members and activities.

  • Future research proposals

What are your research plans for the future? How can EDGE support you in this, and how would your future plans support EDGE’s future? List the funding schemes, calls and agencies you are planning to submit research proposals to, including timing and research theme (5-line abstract suffices). And here again, we are very much interested in your ideas for collaboration and synergies with other EDGE members and activities.

We indeed ask a lot, but we also offer a lot! 

  • A 2-year research mandate 100%, with max. 20% coordination work; we can discuss starting date and percentage (ranging between 50% and 100%). Should you opt for a part-time contract, your research outcome would cover the same items but we would adjust the goals to your part-time engagement.
  • Means and support to build your future academic career;
  • A diverse and dynamic research environment in the heart of Europe;
  • A research team composed of PhDs, post-doctoral researchers and junior and senior professors affiliated to various VUB research groups and entities: the Political Science Department, the Institute for European Studies, RHEA (Research Centre Gender, Diversity, Intersectionality), BRIO (Centre for Information, Documentation and Research on Brussels), and BIRMM (Brussels Interdisciplinary Research centre on Migration and Minorities);
  • Salary at post-doctoral level, taking into account scientific seniority


If you have questions, please email our two EDGE post-doc coordinators: Serena D’Agostino and Ferran Davesa at edge@vub.be

We welcome your application by 18 October 2020 the latest, by mail to edge@vub.be.

Your application includes, assembled in one PDF file:

  • letter of motivation
  • CV, including list of publications
  • 5-page research proposal
  • Listing of future research output and research project plans (2021-2022)
  • Please also submit 1 recent publication that you are particularly proud of.