Job Vacancy: “Junior Researcher – ActEU Project”, Deadline January 16 (Sciences Po CEE, France)

Sciences Po CEE are seeking to appoint a junior researcher to work with Prof. Laura Morales (the PI) in the Horizon Europe project “ActEU: Towards a new era of representative democracy – Activating European Citizens’ Trust in Times of Crises and Polarization”. Sciences Po is a partner in this project led by the Universities of Duisburg-Essen and of Saarland (Germany), and the Sciences Po team is led by Prof. Morales at CEE, who is joined in the project by researchers at both CEE and CEVIPOF.

The ActEU project studies political trust and legitimacy in Europe using a new conceptual framework – the ActEU conceptual triangle. The project focuses on the interactions between citizens’ political attitudes, their political participation and the representation of their policy preferences with the aim of mapping and investigating the sources of the decline of political trust and legitimacy in Europe.

In addition to the overall conceptual triangle, ActEU considers the specific challenges posed by new controversies that are polarizing European societies as well as by the multi-level structure of the EU multi-level system of governance. Therefore, we place specific emphasis on the different levels of the polity that are pertinent in the EU multi-level system as well as on major policy fields – migration, the environment, gender inequalities – around which European societies are highly polarized.

Their research methods range from descriptive large-N analyses of publicly available data sets (all EU member states + additional countries wherever necessary), qualitative focus group discussions, to quantitative survey experiments and web-scraping techniques for selected countries:

  • They provide deep insights for the following ten EU countries: Austria, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain (i.e., quantitative survey experiments and web scraped data).
  • For the focus groups, they opt for a smaller country selection (Czechia, France, Germany and Greece)

Based on the empirical findings, one of the major aims of ActEU is to develop a toolbox of remedial actions including two toolkits for (1) European, national, regional and local policymakers, and (2) civil society and the educational sector to (re-)activate citizens and to enhance trust in and legitimacy of representative democracy.

The project starts in March 2023 and will run for 36 months until February 2026. The junior researcher will join a team at Sciences Po formed by 7 senior researchers and a research engineer, and an international team formed by senior and junior researchers in 11 other universities and research organizations.

Contract Details

Type of contract: Fixed-duration contract (CDD d’usage) for 24 months. Gross salary: Salary of between €2,500 and €2,900 per month (depending on qualifications and experience) for a full-time position (bruts mensuels). Other contributions: partial contribution for transportation card within Paris (Passe Navigo) and restaurant tickets. The appointment is for a start date of 15th March 2023 (or 1 st April 2023 at the latest) and the contract duration is for 24 months (any extensions will be subject to funding availability).

Application Procedure

Please send (1) a cover letter outlining your experience and qualifications for the role, and how you feel you meet the requirements for the position, (2) a CV and (3) a sample of single-authored written piece of work in English that includes quantitative empirical analysis to linda.amrani[at]sciencespo.fr by 5 pm on Monday 16th January. Interviews are planned for the weeks of 23rd and/or 30 th January through Zoom.

Tasks
  • Coordinating all deliverables and data collection/analysis for the project;
  • Contributing to the identification of relevant political actors, groups and websites for the web-scraping data harvesting for France;
  • Contributing intellectual input to the design and documentation of the experimental survey;
  • Analyzing cross-national survey data on the dynamics and patterns of political trust and political action, as well as on the role of ethnic diversity and the politicization of immigration on such dynamics and patterns, and contributing as necessary to the reports and deliverables relating to such analyses;
  • Contributing to the leadership of WP2 on citizens’ attitudes;
  • Contributing to the design of toolkits and policy briefs for policymakers and other stakeholders on the results of the project produced by the Sciences Po team;
  • Contributing to the preparation and delivery of all dissemination, communication and exploitation activities of the project;
  • Being responsible for the maintenance and version control of the data collected, including the preparation of Data Management Plans and any other formal Personal Data Protection requirements established by Sciences Po, the ActEU coordinators or the European Commission. This will also include inputting of data and its safe storage using the agreed protocols, as defined by the research team and Sciences Po’s research data protection policy;
  • Prepare and undertake data analysis and tests using quantitative and qualitative techniques and approaches agreed with the Principal Investigator and the rest of the team;
  • Attending all meetings of the international consortium;
  • Actively contributing to (and where necessary, leading) academic publications stemming from the project, also including the preparation of any replication data submission for journals, as required;
  • Supporting the PI in all administrative and project management tasks as required;
  • Identifying and understanding work requirements prioritising tasks and responsibilities within an agreed timeframe agreed with the PI;
  • The post holder will be required to effectively manage their time to deliver on the priorities of the project. The post holder will need to plan ahead to ensure the research is delivered in accordance with the overall research objectives and deadlines. This may include defining tasks and schedules, organising meetings, preparing intermediate reports on data and findings, and contributing to the preparation of the project final report.
Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills and Experience

Essential:

  • A PhD in Politics or Political Sociology with a substantive or methodological focus relevant to the project, completed or close to completion (e.g., in final stages of the writing-up period);
  • Demonstrable training and experience using quantitative research methods and techniques;
  • An expertise, backed up by research experience, in the subfields of political behaviour and political attitudes in France and Europe, and in one or several of the following fields:, political representation, political institutions or political parties;
  • Research experience in subjects or projects relevant to the research project;
  • Proficiency in English (oral and for academic writing) and French;
  • Proven ability of social science data input, management and analysis with Stata or R;
  • Advanced-level quantitative analysis skills (e.g., including pooled cross-sectional time series analysis, multilevel regression analysis, etc.);
  • Proven ability to write up research findings;
  • Ability to take initiative, self-manage and contribute intellectually to the overall project;
  • Expertise with relevant office packages;
  • Ability to work as part of a team;
  • Good oral and written communication skills;
  • Attention to detail.

Desirable, but not essential:

  • Experience in primary survey data collection;
  • Reading proficiency in at least one more of the following languages would be an advantage: German, Italian or Spanish;
  • Some experience with Bayesian statistics, the analysis of social media data and/or the design of experiments in surveys would be an advantage;
  • Prior research experience in externally funded projects;
  • A track record of international collaboration in social science research or consultancy experience;
  • Experience in writing reports for funders.

Learn more here.