Post Doc in Work and Welfare in the Digital Age

University of Copenhagen


Post Doc position - Work and Welfare in the Digital Age (WorkWel) funded by the Danish Research Council (DFF)

The University of Copenhagen hereby announces one fully funded postdoc position (3 years) to start as soon as possible and preferably the 15th of August or shortly thereafter upon agreement.

The position is part of a research project aimed at rethinking the central pillars of the welfare state of work and social security and their relationship within an ongoing digital revolution. WorkWel asks the tricky questions of whether platform work disrupt the existing legal framework and, more fundamentally, whether it raises concerns in terms of social protection of its workers/providers.

The overall research project and research questions

Work provided through digital platforms using technological devices such as smartphones is a relatively new phenomenon. Yet, it is here to stay. The most famous – and controversial – example of platform work is the transport service provided through the Uber-app, which connects non-professional drivers with individuals in need of a ride. Actually, narratives of the platform economy have already become part of our everyday language with expressions such as ‘gig’ work, ‘user’ and ‘uberisation’ of society. Yet, platform work is an atypical form of work in many respects, for example, because it is usually task-based, involves several partners, is dependent on technology and uses algorithms and big data. It risks increasing situations of precariousness of the workforce and rising inequalities within society. The objective of WorkWel is to analyse how this new type of organisation of work affects the regulation of labour and social security protection, their relationship and the problems, which flow from there. The meta-research question is thus the following: How disruptive is platform work for workplace governance and social security and how does it contribute to a rethinking of the central pillars of the welfare state? The question can be further broken down into the following research questions, which will be addressed in 3 Work Packages.

RQ1: How disruptive is platform work for workplace governance and social protection from a comparative perspective and what can we learn from the comparison?

RQ 2: How does the EU address this potential challenge for social Europe and what could be its role?

RQ 3: What we can learn from this technological disruption in terms of reshaping the central pillars of the welfare state?

Conceptually, WorkWel has its theoretical standpoint in the welfare state articulated around a work-social security nexus. It also focuses on the role that the EU could play and adopts a regulatory and institutional perspective. The project has a strong comparative component and analyses the impact of platform work in 4-5 countries (Denmark, France and 2-3 other countries preferably Spain, Italy, the UK and/or a Eastern/Central European EU country). Those countries belong to different welfare models in the famous typology of Esping-Andersen. WorkWel will thus contribute to refine the theory on welfare state and welfare models in the digital age.


The candidate shall have a PhD in law and an interest and experience within the field of labour law, social law and/or EU law. Ideally, the post-doc has a strong experience in EU social law and comparative social/labour law with a firm base in the national welfare system of an EU country preferably in Spanish or Italian social/labour law. Knowledge of two national welfare systems, that of the United Kingdom and of the theory on social security will be an asset. Preferably, the post-doc has already some international publications within the fields covered by the project. It would be an advantage to have insight into the legal implications of technical issues such as the use of algorithms and big data.

For further details about the qualification requirements for postdocs, please refer to the job structure for academic staff:

Tasks of the post-doc and development of skills and competences

Using especially the legal method and that of comparative law, the postdoc is expected to write alone or together with the PI a number of articles in international peer reviewed journals on the three research strands/questions mentioned above. Thus, the successful candidate will develop and strengthen her/his research skills and curriculum.

Furthermore, the post-doc will be in charge of promoting the WorkWel project and disseminating findings and other news on several blogs and social media. Together with the PI, the post-doc will organize 2 expert seminars during the period project. Thus, the successful candidate will develop his/her oganisational and dissemination skills.

Besides the post-doc also has some teaching obligations corresponding to a reduced amount of those applicable to an assistant professorship. These teaching obligations enable the candidate to develop and strengthen her/his teaching experience and portfolio thus qualifying her/him for further positions at the Faculty or elsewhere.

Further information

Contact Professor Catherine Jacqueson,

Salary and terms of employment

The appointment will be made in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (Akademikernes Centralorganisation, AC). In addition to the basic salary you will receive an annual supplement per month and a total contribution to your pension fund equal 17,1 % of your salary and annual supplement is paid. It is possible to negotiate further salary supplements. 

The position include research, teaching and administrative responsibilities (see above).

For further information, please see ‘Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2019’ and ‘Guide to appointment of permanent academic staff at the Faculty of Law’.


Letter of motivation, appendices and the submitted research publications (including papers, articles and books), must be written in English. The application will be rejected if not all the required documents are submitted.

It is essential that you fill out all the mandatory fields in the electronic application even though the info is already stated in your CV, application, publication or other material you may find relevant to upload. The completed fields will be screened during the shortlisting and assessment process and in order to generate your final assessment, which we will send to you after the assessment work is finalized.

The application MUST include the following elements:

1. Letter of motivation (a one page document explaining the reasons for applying)

2. Curriculum vitae including teaching experience.

3. PhD diploma or alternatively a document showing that the applicant has submitted or will submit a doctoral dissertation 

4. Research reflections. Applications should include reflections on how they will address the three research questions more concretely within the given timeline and framework (no more than 3 pages long).

5. Publication list (complete, numbered list of publications)

6. Academic references, if available (please upload under “other relevant material”)

7. A maximum of three (3) scientific publications that the applicant wishes to have included in the assessment, of which no more than one (1) may be a monograph. Applicants, who have written a PhD, must always submit the complete thesis (if the thesis is written in Danish, English, Swedish or Norwegian) and the written assessment of the thesis as a part of submitted publications.

8. 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 if this is the case.

In addition to the material, which the applicant wishes to be included in the assessment, the Assessment Committee may require further material to assess the applicant. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide such supplementary material, should this be requested.

Application procedure

Letter of motivation, appendices and the research publications MUST be uploaded electronically using the link below. We advise you to have the above mentioned documents ready before you begin to fill out your online application, and it is essential that all required documents are enclosed.

Applications must be addressed to the Associate Dean of Research and uploaded electronically.

An automatically generated message is sent out acknowledging receipt of the uploaded application.

Applicants will be kept informed about the process of the application procedure on a regular basis via email.

Following the application deadline, the Associate Dean of Research selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. Applicants are selected on the basis of an overall assessment of the applicants that best match the recruitment needs as described in this advertisement for the post. This is compared with the applicant's research as set out in the application, CV incl. list of publication, and any research/development plan.  All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert Assessment Committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and when the committee has completed its assessment, each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicants themselves.

University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society and therefore encourages all interested parties regardless of personal background to apply for the position.

Information about the application procedure is available from HR officer Lotte Strandberg, HR South City, e-mail: Please refer to ID number #1 211-0714/21-2I

Application deadline

The application must be uploaded by 26 April 2021 (23.59 CEST)

Applications received after the deadline has expired will not be accepted.

If your application does not include all the required supporting documents your application can be rejected and not be considered by the assessment committee.


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.


Application deadline: 26-04-2021
Employment start: 15-08-2021
Department/Location: The Faculty of Law
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