Job Vacancy: “Postdoctoral Researcher for H2020 Project BRIDGES”, Deadline August 30 (Sciences Po CEE, France)

BRIDGES aims to understand the causes and consequences of migration narratives in a context of increasing politicisation and polarisation. By focusing on six current/former EU countries (FR, GE, HU, IT, SP, and UK), it has a three-fold objective.

First, at the academic level, it aims to understand the processes of narrative production and impact and their mutual interaction. This entails analysing: a) why some narratives have become dominant over others in public and political debates from a historical perspective; b) how narratives shape individual attitudes in Europe and potential migrants’ decisions in countries of origin and transit; c) how narratives impact policy decisions and outputs both at the national and EU levels; and d) how individuals and policymakers become in turn narrative producers (‘shaped shapers’) and influence each other. Second, at the policy level, it aims to foster evidence-based policies. By developing a typology of government strategies for responding to populist narratives, we will provide policymakers with recommendations on how to redress a tendency towards increasingly symbolic policies in the field of migration and integration. Third, at the societal level, our objective is to create spaces for dialogue between actors involved in narrative production. A key added value of the project is its interdisciplinarity and co-production approaches, including three interactive workshops with policy, media and civil society actors, an itinerant photojournalism exhibition and two hip hop contests to reflect on the challenges of multicultural and increasingly diverse societies.

More specifically, the Sciences Po- CEE (FNSP) team will be in charge of the empirical work in WP 3 on narrative production in the media arena and WP7 and WP8 on the impact of narratives on policymaking at the national and EU levels.

This involves

  1. Quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis of media and social media content since 2014 in France based on a common coding sheet for all six cases of the project
  2. Interviews with stakeholders in the media
  3. Qualitative and quantitative data collection on the impact of narrative on policy making at the national level
  4. Participating workshops with media and social media platforms to discuss how and why some narratives become dominant
  5.  A national report on our media data analysis of the French case to be delivered on March 2022
  6. Preliminary report on data collected about the impact of narratives and their impact on French policy making to be delivered at the end of the contract.

The aim is to investigate how narratives on migration are produced in local and national arenas, how they circulate and how they are reacted to in the media (both traditional and social) and how they impact policy making both at national and European levels. This involves collecting data in three newspapers, two TV news broadcasts and on social media on a number of events and debates related to migration (e. g. border crossings at the French-Italian border, debates on integration) and coding the narratives for analysis. Follow-up interviews with relevant media actors and stakeholders will complement the empirical work.

Regarding the impact of media narratives on policy making, the research involves collecting data on dominant narratives in different political venues (parliamentary plenary debates, select committee hearings, political campaign materials such as speeches and manifestoes) and charting co-variation between the salience of these narratives, and data on public attitudes and voting behaviour. Exploratory interviews with national and European stakeholders will also be conducted.

The appointment is full time starting from 1 October 2021 with a contract duration of 18 months.

Type of contract: Fixed-duration contract (CDD) full time for 18 months

Gross salary before taxes: between €2,400 and €2,900 per month depending on qualifications and experience.

Other contributions: partial contribution for transportation card within Paris, and restaurant tickets.

How to apply

Please send (1) a cover letter outlining precisely the qualifications and skills that match the requirements for the position, as well as the expected salary, (2) a CV and (3) writing sample in English to by 5 pm on 30 August 2021.

Interviews will be planned for the week of 6 September 2021.


The researcher will be expected to:

  • Prepare and undertake all the necessary tasks relating to work package (WP3) “Narrative production in the media arena” under the supervision of the French PIs and in liaison with the WP leader and project team.
  • Identify and understand work requirements prioritising tasks and responsibilities within the timeframe agreed with the WP leaders (Marcello Maneri, FIERI and Christina Boswell, university of Edinburgh);
  • The post holder will be required to manage his/her time to deliver on the priorities of the project notably the deliverable due in March 2022 (a report on the French cases in media analysis) and the data collection for WP7. The post holder will need to plan ahead to ensure the research is delivered in accordance with the overall research objectives and deadlines. This includes defining tasks and schedules, organising meetings, preparing intermediate reports on data and findings, and writing the national report under the supervision of the PIs;
  • Any other tasks that might be necessary for the proper undertaking of the role and the successful completion of the work packages.


Qualifications, Knowledge and Experience

  • A PhD in Social Science with a strong methodological focus relevant to the project, including qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis from large press and public databases and interview techniques
  • A mastery of the literature on media and policy analysis
  • An understanding of the issues studied in the project: migration, integration, racism, borders
  • Fluency in French (language of the field work) and English (language of communication and reporting).

Skills, Abilities and Competencies:

  • Proven ability of social science data input, management and analysis with Excel and with STATA or equivalent
  • Experience with data mining and text analysis will be considered favorably
  • 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.

Learn more here.