Post Doctoral Research Fellow in China Studies University of Oslo

Post Doctoral Research Fellow in China Studies

Job description

The Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (SKO 1352). The position is funded by the Research Council of Norway under the research project “Theorizing Brokerage through China’s Extraversion”. The principal investigator for the project is Dr. Heidi Østbø Haugen(


The aim of the project is to examine and theorize transnational brokerage. In this context, transnational brokerage refers to the way in which individuals position themselves and mediate between resources and networks in Guangdong, China, on the one hand, and globally, on the other. The proliferation of brokerage across sectors has placed the topic back on the agenda in the social sciences. Research on brokerage commonly uses the morphology of social networks as its starting point, and focuses on how actors positioned at the intersection between groups operate. “Theorizing Brokerage through China’s Extraversion” adopts an innovative approach by examining how actors strategically seek to shape network morphologies in order to bridge gaps between groups. Three ethnographic case studies will yield complementary information on the common challenge of brokering across geographic scales: (1) Connecting low-cost Chinese manufacturing with African markets; (2) Integrating Chinese academic research with global scientific communities; (3) Attracting new foreign investments to China to underpin industrial upgrading. The studies will be conducted in the Pearl River Delta, South China. The studies will generate new knowledge about the processes beneath the “rise of China” and form the foundation for theoretical developments.


More information about the project is published here ( 


The postdoctoral research project will constitute a significant component of the overall project, and the parameters of data collection and analysis are therefore largely determined by the overall project design. The postdoctoral fellow will be in charge of case study 3 (Attracting new foreign investments to China to underpin industrial upgrading). In addition to conducting fieldwork for the case, the postdoctoral fellow is expected contribute to the analysis, publish independently, and, together with other project team members, present research papers at international workshops and conferences, contribute to popular dissemination of the research results, and take on administrative tasks. Applicants should provide research statement that discusses methodological and analytical approaches. The project description for “Theorizing Brokerage through China’s Extraversion” provides background information for composing the research statement, and can be downloaded here (


The postdoc period includes nine months of fieldwork in Guangdong Province, during which the principal investigator and the postdoctoral fellow will be based at the School of Sociology and Anthropology, Sun Yat-sen University. Furthermore, the postdoctoral fellow will spend three months as a visiting scholar at the Institute for Area Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands. For the remainder of the employment period, the fellow is expected to live in Oslo and take active part in the research environment at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, UiO.


The aim of postdoctoral research fellowships at UiO is that candidates acquire additional qualifications to meet the requirements for higher academic positions.

The position is available for a period of two years, with the possibility of a one-year extension (contingent on funding availability). The postdoctoral fellow will work full-time on the project during this period.

The desired starting date is 1 June 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.


Qualification requirements

•              PhD with a relevant specialization within the social sciences or humanities (candidates who have submitted their doctoral dissertations for evaluation before the application deadline are also eligible to apply).

•              Strong Chinese oral skills (Mandarin and/or Cantonese) and the ability to use Chinese written sources.

•              Excellent English writing skills.

•              Demonstrated experience with qualitative research methods.

In assessing the applications, emphasis will be placed on:

•              Ability to carry out the designated responsibilities within the project;

•              Potential for intellectual contribution to the overall project;

•              Previous engagement with relevant theory;

•              Fieldwork experience from China;

•              Familiarity with relevant thematic fields, for example brokerage, economic ethnography, or urban and regional policy.

•              Analytical skills;

•              Experience with academic publishing.

We offer

•              Salary level 490 900- 569 000 NOK per year, depending on qualifications

•              A professional and stimulating working environment

•              Attractive welfare benefits ( and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

Applicants must submit the following attachments with the electronic application form:

•              Application letter that includes consideration of the qualifications listed above;

•              Curriculum Vitae;

•              Relevant diplomas and certificates;

•              List of publications;

•              Up to five writing samples (eg. academic articles, conference papers, chapters from the doctoral thesis), totaling a maximum of 150 pages.

•              Contact information for two academic references.

•              A research statement in English of approximately 3-5 pages. The statement should address the following questions: (1) Why does the project and case study appeal to you? (2) How will you draw upon your disciplinary and theoretical background and previous research experience when working on the project? (3) What will be the details of your methodological approach, and how will you deal with practical and ethical challenges that may arise during the fieldwork?

All documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language and uploaded in pdf format.


The project description, which provides background information for composing the research statement, can be downloaded here.


The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).


Application deadline: February 19th 2018.

Hiring process

An academic committee consisting of the principal investigator and two other scholars will evaluate the applications. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview at the University of Oslo or via Skype. See also Regulations concerning Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships (


Following the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) § 25, Chapter 2, information about the applicant may be used in the public list of applicants even if the applicant opts out from the entry in the public application list.

The University of Oslo has an Acquisition of Rights Agreement ( for the purpose of securing rights to intellectual property created by its employees, including research results.


The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.


Contact information

For questions about the position:

Dr. Heidi Østbø Haugen



For questions about the application process:

HR-officer Steffen Remvik


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