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Post-doctoral fellow in Chinese Area Studies

At the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Politics and Society, a full-time post-doc position in Chinese Area Studies is open for appointment from November 1st, 2021, or soon thereafter. The position is for 30 months. The position is one of two positions available on the Moving Data, Moving People research project funded by the Danish Independent Research Fund (2020 – 2025). Postdoc one will be hired at the IT University of Copenhagen, Postdoc two by the Department of Politics and Society at Aalborg University. For details of the qualification requirements for the AAU position, please see below. For details on the ITU postdoc position, please see the project website. If you wish to be considered for both positions, you will need to apply separately for each position.

Job description

The Moving Data Moving People project
The project follows the narratives about and implementation of the Social Credit System in China during the project period. We are interested in the lived experiences accompanying the SCS, particularly for China’s mobile population. We will use a range of approaches including ethnographic fieldwork, digital ethnography as well as document analysis. The project is coordinated from ITU by Rachel Douglas-Jones and from Aalborg University by Jesper Willaing Zeuthen and Ane Bislev. For more information, please see the project website: https://blogit.itu.dk/movingdatamovingpeople/

The postdocs will be key contributors to our program of research into the Social Credit System in China, carrying out independent research and working closely with the project team. This research is expected to advance anthropological studies of state digitalization projects worldwide, develop a culturally specific understanding of the notion of digitalized trust, and renew the literature on internal migration in China. The postdoctoral research projects will constitute a significant component of the overall project, and while the overall emphases of the research are determined by the project, the postdocs will have considerable freedom through the subprojects in shaping how the research objectives are realized. In addition to conducting fieldwork, the postdocs are expected to contribute to the shared project, publish independently, as well as together with other project team members, present research papers at international workshops and conferences, contribute to popular dissemination of the research results, and contribute to project organization and administration through workshop and conference coordination.

At AAU, the postdoc will join the interdisciplinary research cluster Global Politics and Diversity at the Department of Politics and Society. The post doc will be responsible for designing an ethnographic study focusing on how China’s mobile population (migrants, tourists, students etc.) are affected by and themselves affect the creation and implementation of the SCS. The successful candidate will have an interest in or experience with working with issues such as mobility and migration, digital governance or trust and diversity in a Chinese context.

Qualification requirements


  • A PhD in a relevant field (e.g., social anthropology, China Studies, geography, science and technology studies). Candidates who have submitted their doctoral dissertations for evaluation before the application deadline are also eligible to apply
  • Fieldwork experience from China
  • Native or near native skills in both Chinese and English
  • Demonstrable capacity for independent research design and implementation
  • Willingness to relocate to Denmark (when conditions allow)
  • Willingness to spend extended periods of time in the field. The position includes 6 – 9 months fieldwork in China in total


  • Experience of collaborative projects and team work, including joint writing
  • Excellent organizational skills and experience in organising workshops and events.
  • Previous engagement with some of the relevant themes from the project (e.g., migration, SCS, digitalization, see project website for more relevant themes)
  • Previous engagement with relevant theory and methods.
  • Relevant networks in China for facilitating fieldwork
  • Relevant teaching experience

The application must contain the following

  • Motivated cover letter (max 2 pages)
  • Current CV, including contact details of two references and a list of relevant teaching experience
  • Complete list of publications.
  • A maximum of 3 writing samples may be submitted for assessment, e.g. articles, article manuscripts or book or dissertation chapters.
  • A research proposal in English of approximately 2-3 pages. The proposal should demonstrate how you would formulate an independent research study within the framework of the MDMP project, and discuss how you will contribute to bringing the project forward empirically.
  • Relevant diplomas and certificates, including the PhD assessment if available
  • Co-author statements for the publications submitted for assessment in relation to publications written with other authors must be enclosed with a declaration from each of the authors, stating the extent of the applicant's contribution to the total work. The declaration must be signed by the co-authors. Template co-author declaration: https://www.handbook.aau.dk/document?contentId=449544

The complete application with enclosures is to be submitted online by using the "apply online" button below.

AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.

An expert assessment committee will assess all candidates.

Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed about whether they are shortlisted for assessment or not. The shortlisted applicants will be informed of the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant will have the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that applies to the applicant in question. When the employment process has been terminated, a final rejection will be sent to the applicants who are not considered for the position.

Contact information
For further information about the academic content and requirements of the position, please contact Associate professor Jesper Willaing Zeuthen, email: zeuthen@dps.aau.dk.

Information about the Department can be found on the following website: https://www.politics-society.aau.dk/.

Any enquiries relating to the application procedure should be addressed to Human Resources by email hs-hr@adm.aau.dk.



Appointment is in accordance with the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities (the Appointment Order) and the Ministry of Higher Education and Science's Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities. Salary is in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) on Academics in the State.

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