Postdoc at The Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Privacy Studies
University of Copenhagen, Centre for Privacy Studies (PRIVACY)

Postdoc at The Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Privacy Studies


Postdoc at The Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Privacy Studies (2 years with the possi­bility of a one-year extension)  


Centre for Privacy Studies (PRIVACY) advertises three fully funded Postdoc positions within the fields of Church History, Architectural History, Legal History and History. PRIVACY is established with a grant of 50 mio DKK (ca. 6.7 mio Euro) from the Danish National Research Foundation and based at the University of Copenhagen. 


PRIVACY was launched in the autumn of 2017 under the direction of Professor Mette Birkedal Bruun and runs for six years with the possibility of a four-year extension. It is hosted by the Department of Church His­tory at the Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen, in association with the Faculty of Law, Uni­versity of Copenhagen and the School of Architecture, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Ar­chitecture, Design and Conservations (KADK), Copenhagen. 


The PRIVACY research team currently consists of six postdocs and three PhD-students as well as affiliated and visiting scholars. 


Centre for Privacy Studies 

PRIVACY is dedicated to interdisciplinary and collaborative research into notions of privacy in Early Mod­ern Europe. It focuses on eleven cases from Denmark, England, France, Germany and the Netherlands in the period 1500–1800. The collaborative programme is driven by an interdisciplinary vision of an inte­grated approach in which a team of schol­ars collaborate, challenge and inspire each other in a joint pursuit of the legislative, religious, social, cultural and architectural aspects of a common set of cases. Shared re­sponsibil­ity across aca­demic hierarchies is a token of PRIVACY’s vision for in­teractive research education. 


The aim of PRIVACY is to develop 1) systematized historical knowledge of dynamics that shape, induce or curb privacy in society; 2) an interdisciplinary method equipped to grasp such dy­namics; and 3) a strong and vibrant international research environment dedicated to high-profile historical research and equipped to incite a much broader investigation of privacy. 


PRIVACY’s scholarly potency stems from its site-based interdisci­plinary analysis. Across eleven cases the research team will trawl Early Modern material: let­ters, laws, political manuals, newspa­pers, sermons, vis­ual representations, architectural drawings, buildings, diaries, contracts, commu­nity records etc. for no­tions of privacy, analysing the deployment of words with the root ‘priv-ʼ: in privato, privy, Privat-(per­son/andacht etc.), privauté etc. as well as bounda­ries drawn in relation to, e.g., confidentiality, security, family, body, self. The research programme is based on a joint interdisciplinary focus on, e.g., legislative thresholds between home and com­munity; de­crees regarding individ­uals’ bodies, e.g., during epidemics, or the idea of the household’s (oeco­no­mia) impact on civic well-being (politia); ecclesiastical and politi­cal power over ‘hereti­cal’ mind­sets; and architectural demarcation of the household in the community and the individuals’ place in a household.


Scholars funded by PRIVACY are required to join two or more case-teams. The postdocs recruited in this round will be required to work on the German cases, just as we invite applications focusing on the cases of La Rochelle, Chatsworth, Glasgow and Arc-et-Senans. 

For further description of the project and the eleven cases, please visit the project homepage:   


Research areas 

PRIVACY launches a systematic, scholarly fusion of the areas of architecture, theology, law and history. The research team brings to­gether four sets of field-inherent skills and ap­proaches to privacy:  


Architecture: Urban plans, buildings and rooms frame privacy, creating secrecy and shelter; chapels and cabinets stage prayer, study and intimacy, and are amplified by interiors and furnishing; alcove beds and privies (toilets) wall off bodily needs; rural retreat offset urban life.  

Qualifications required: Knowledge of design processes, architectural history and theories, patronage, pat­terns of use, materiality and tectonics.  

NB.: The position in Architecture is an assistant professorship. This requires teaching experiences on bachelors and masters level from a school of architecture.  

Please find the full assistant professorship description using this link. 


Re­ligious cul­ture: Early Modern believers favour privacy­ (material and/or mental retreat) as a site for pious fo­cus, and privacy is often presented as place particularly fit for prayer and insight. But privacy also evades control and prompts suspicion of heresy or sin, leading to efforts to regulate the private sphere by means of church discipline.  

Qualifications required: Knowledge of religious doctrines, prac­tices and institutions across confessions, ability to work with different genres, media and forms of archival material.  


Law: Early Modern law defines conditions for property, sexual conduct, mar­riage, inheritance and rulers’ claims to their subjects’ work, property and lives (conscrip­tion, mo­nopoly of vio­lence within penal law).  

Qualifications required: Knowledge of legal procedure, laws, charters, their usage and changes.  


History: Historians may focus on Early Modern notions of privacy within a scholarly span ranging from political theory to social practice. In Early Modern society, privacy is seen both as a threat and as a positive value. A new ideology of marriage and family favours intimacy and domesticity, but also enforces state and community control. In politics, privacy often equals secrecy: it is a latent threat to civic stability and vital for the ruler. In society more generally, a broad array of social and societal conditions delineate access to and notions of privacy.  

Qualifications required: Knowledge of political/legal structures, education, and social and cultural dynam­ics. 



Applicants must have a PhD degree within the fields of Architecture, Church History, History, Legal History or related disciplines. Relevant research experiences related to interdisciplinary schol­arship and academic collaboration will be considered a qualification. The research language is English. The research team work on sources in French, German, Danish, Dutch, Latin, Portuguese and Classical Greek. Specialist knowledge of Early Modern culture is important; just as vital is, however, readiness to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration on a broad array of different sources and the ability to work in a team to­wards an inte­grated methodology for interdisciplinary privacy studies.  


The Postdocs employed are expected to teach courses related to their respective disciplines. Ability to teach broadly and in different formats will be considered a qualification. 


Recruitment seminar 

A recruitment seminar will take place in Copenhagen 5-6 March 2019. It will involve an introduction to PRIVACY and its research programme as well as a presentation of expectations regarding applications.  


The number of participants is restricted. A limited number of bursaries covering trips and accommodation for one night are available. For more information and registration, please see the homepage:


Job Description 

Postdocs at PRIVACY are required to be present at the centre for the duration of their employment. All members of the PRIVACY research team will have office space at the centre. They will participate in weekly meetings, field trips and workshops and be required to contribute to joint publications and publish research on selected cases in international peer-reviewed journals where appropriate.  


All Postdocs will be employed at one of the following institutions:  

  • Department of Church History at Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen,  

  • The Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen and  

  • the School of Architecture, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservations (KADK), Copenhagen. NB.: The position in Architecture is an assistant professorship (adjunkt). This requires teaching experiences on bachelors and masters level from a school of architecture.  

Please find the full assistant professorship description using this link. 

Teaching will generally be carried out at the institution where the Postdoc is employed. 



The Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen. The Faculty is non-confessional. Its research covers Biblical Studies, Church History and Systematic Theology as well as Quranic Studies, Jewish Studies and African Studies. The Faculty is home to a number of high-profile international interdisci­plinary research projects. PRIVACY is associated with the Department of Church History which has a strong Early Modern research focus. 


The Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen. The Faculty of Law works towards cre­ating greater knowledge of national and international law. Through a research-based education the Fac­ulty ensures that its legal graduates have the skills needed to analyse and contribute to interdisciplinary and problem-oriented tasks in private and public sectors at home and abroad. The Faculty offers a strong inter­national environment.   


School of Architecture, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Con­servations (KADK), Copenhagen. KDAK was founded in 1754 and hosts three leading schools in architec­ture, design and conservation. The School of Architecture has educated internation­ally renowned architects for centuries. The Masters programme Spatial Design at Institute of Architecture and Design has ca. 60 architecture and design students and a focus on spatial design from among others, a historic, anthropo­logic and tectonic/material-based point of view.  


Terms of employment 

The Postdoc position is a full time temporary appointment for the duration of two years with the possibil­ity of a one-year extension. The candidate will be employed in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (Akademikernes Cen­tralor­ganisation, AC). In additional to the basic salary, you will receive an annual increment of DK 52.996,08 (as of 1 Oct 2018) and a total contribution to your pension fund, equal to 17,1 % of your salary and annual incre­ment.  


Application procedure  

Submit the applications online. Click on the link provided below to be taken to the online application form. 


The application should be in English and must include the following enclosures:  


  • a motivation letter, including a plan for your employment at Centre for Privacy Studies (1 page), please specify which institution you are applying for 

  • CV with documentation of degrees, highlighting experience with interdisciplinary and collaborative re­search, teaching and language skills 

  • a complete list of publications, with a commented highlighting of publications that you  consider rele­vant in relation to the research programme of the centre 

  • a presentation of your plans for your contribution to the PRIVACY research programme, including a pre­liminary description of potential source material and proposed methodology as well as a list of the five PRIVACY cases you are most interested in working on (max 3 pages in all) 

  • teaching portfolio, portfolio with design works 

  • three samples of writing (articles or book chapters) 

  • co-author declarations. If citing work where the applicant has been a co-author, a co-author declara­tion, which addresses the applicant's share of these works, must be submitted. Material that has not yet been published can be submitted. However, please indicate the precise status of each publication.   

We advise you to have the documents ready before you begin your online application. 


Application deadline and start date 

Submit the application no later than 15 April 2019. Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. 


The ideal starting date would be 1 September 2019, but this is negotiable. 


Recruitment process 

After the application deadline, the Director of Centre for Privacy Studies selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointment Committee. This selection is based on the applicants’ educational quali­fications, the quality of the submitted research proposal and its relevance to the research agenda of the centre as well as other relevant qualifications. All applicants are immediately notified whether their appli­cation has been accepted for assessment. 


The applications accepted for assessment will be assessed by an interdisciplinary committee, comprising expertise in the relevant fields. Selected applicants will be notified of the composition of the assessment committee. When the committee has completed its assessment, each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the assessment. A number of qualified candidates will be selected for a job interview in Co­penhagen. We aim to interview short-listed candidates in the second half of May 2019. 


Additional Information 

For information about PRIVACY, please consult: 

For questions regarding research, please contact Centre Director, Professor Mette Birkedal Bruun (; for practical questions, please contact Centre Administrator Maj Riis Poulsen, e-mail: 


Further information about the application procedure is available from HR, Pernille Lykke Paulsen, e-mail:, please refer to ID number 13822. 


Potential applicants from outside Denmark will find information about life in Denmark (taxation, healthcare etc) at 


Founded in 1479, the University of Copenhagen is the oldest university in Denmark. With 37,000 students and 9,000 employees, it is among the largest universities in Scandinavia and one of the highest ranking in Europe. The University consists of six faculties, which cover Health and Medical Sciences, Humanities, Law, Science, Social Sciences and Theology. 


Deadline: 15 April 2019 


The University of Copenhagen welcomes applications from suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, religion or ethnic background. 


Publisher: Centre for Privacy Studies, Faculty of Theology / Faculty of Law / School of Architecture, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservations

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career. 

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