Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Political Science

University of Gothenburg Department of Political Science


One or several Postdoctoral Research Fellow(s) in Political Science, with a focus on feminist foreign policy, anti-gender foreign policy and diplomacy

Ref PAR 2021/961


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The research program Gender and Diplomacy (GenDip) invites applications for one or several post-doctoral fellows, to conduct research within the framework of the project “Diplomacy and the International Polarization on Gender Equality,” headed by Professor Ann Towns, Department of Political Science. The position(s) will combine research with some teaching and/or GenDip research service tasks. The successful candidate(s) will be working closely with the lead GenDip researchers and will be based in Gothenburg. These are 2-year, full time, in residence fellowships, with a flexible starting date in 2022.

About GenDip

GenDip is led by Professor Ann Towns (Director) and is financed by the Swedish Research Council, Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the University of Gothenburg.

The general aim of GenDip is to examine the changing nature of gender within diplomacy. GenDip consists of a group of researchers, PhD students, Master students and interns at the Department of Political Science of the University of Gothenburg. GenDip also coordinates a global research network and convenes international workshops biannually on gender and diplomacy.

The project “Diplomacy and the International Polarization on Gender Equality” addresses the place of diplomacy in the emerging and increasing international schisms around gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights. Polarizing developments, with foreign policies devoted either to advance or combat gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights, raises crucial questions for diplomacy scholarship. For instance, how have Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MFAs) adapted institutionally in order to pursue pro/anti-gender foreign policy? How do diplomats implement such foreign policy in practice, bilaterally and/or multilaterally, around the world? What arenas (bilateral, multilateral, geographical, etc) are prioritized for pro/anti-gender foreign policy? What kinds of diplomatically relevant interests, identities, practices, norms and/or social hierarchies, etc, are promoted, reproduced or changed in the pursuit of feminist or anti-gender foreign policy, and how? The overarching aim of this research project is to examine, compare and provide theoretically innovative analyses of how diplomacy, MFAs and diplomats of pro- and anti-gender states adapt to and manage the international polarization on gender equality. We are interested in theoretical, methodological and empirical diversity in GenDip, so we welcome proposals that are macro-, meso- or microanalytical, qualitative and/or quantitative, and with theoretical approaches that align or contrast with our own. An empirical focus on non-Western diplomatic contexts is advantageous but not required.

The GenDip website is found HERE

Subject area

Political Science

Subject area description

Political science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, nation, government, and politics and policies of government on a national and international perspective.

Job assignments

The Postdoctoral research fellow will conduct their own research within the scope of the main themes of the research project, in collaboration with the research director and with other scholars in the team. More specifically, (s)he will collect data, provide analyses and publish original research within the project.

One of GenDip’s strengths is the flexibility and collaborative spirit of everyone in the research group, simultaneously focusing on the productivity of each member and on reaching the goals of the research program. The Postdoc is expected to be an active and collaborative participant in the GenDip research environment. For this position, there is a service component (up to 20% of FTE) which includes some combination of teaching and/or doing research service (e.g. gathering and coding data for use by all GenDip members, data management, managing respondent contacts, participating in the writing of research funding applications, and more). The fellow is expected to reside in Gothenburg for the duration of the fellowship.


A post doctoral fellow position is open to candidates who have received a PhD in political science or related field. Priority will be given to candidates who have completed their degree no more than three years before the application deadline. Those who graduated earlier may also be given consideration, if there are special reasons.


Candidates should have an outstanding research agenda, and a record of relevant and internationally recognized publications in the field. Applicants must have excellent written and oral proficiency in English.

Applications will be evaluated primarily on demonstrated research excellence in research on diplomacy, public administration and/or international political sociology with a particular view towards areas of relevance to the GenDip project. One or more of the following scientific skills are also meritorious;

  • A well-developed and innovative proposal of high scientific quality, for a research project that falls within the new GenDip project (briefly described above).
  • Advanced methodological skills (qualitative or quantitative).
  • Theoretical sophistication and innovativeness
  • Demonstrated research expertise in some of the following: diplomacy, foreign policy, feminist foreign policy, anti-gender politics, gender and politics, non-Western foreign policy, non-Western diplomacy.

We will make an overall assessment of the applicants’ qualifications and make a selection judged to complement the rest of the team in the best way possible for the needs of the program. Personal qualities relevant for the position are of great importance.


Fixed-term employment, two years, full time in residence, start date flexible - as early as possible - in 2022.

Location: Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. 

For further information:

- Regarding the position please contact Professor Ann Towns



Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

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We offer a competitive compensation package commensurate with experience, determined on an individual basis.

How to apply

The application should include the following:

  • Research proposal (max 3 pages) outlining a project within the general GenDip program on the place of diplomacy in the polarizing dynamic around gender equality
  • A letter of application (max 2 pages), which should include a self-evaluation of how the applicant’s background and proposed research agenda would contribute to the GenDip research program, and the ways in which the applicant meets the requirements specified above.
  • A CV (including a list of publications)
  • One writing sample
  • A list of at least three references (with contact information) from whom letters of recommendation can be solicited

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Additional information

Invitations for interviews will be made by October 1, 2021.

Starting date: flexible - as early as possible - in 2022.

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application. 

The application is to be written in English.

Closing date: September 15, 2021.

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Salary is determined on an individual basis.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.


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