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PhD Scholarship - Radioactive Ruins: Security in the Age of the Anthropocene

Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)

The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) is announcing a three-year, fully funded PhD project on the nuclear origins of the Anthropocene. The project is expected to start 1 February 2019. The PhD project is part of a larger research program on “Radioactive Ruins: Security in the Age of the Anthropocene (RADIANT)”. The aim of the program is to explore the Anthropocene as the radioactive afterlife of the Cold War by asking how nuclear testing has shaped and continues to shape everyday life in the Marshall Islands, Kazakhstan and French Polynesia. 


RADIANT is an international and interdisciplinary research program that brings together insights from the nuclear humanities, International Relations and Anthropocene Studies to study the everyday negotiations of radioactive contamination resulting from nuclear testing. The candidate is expected to contribute to this new research area by formulating an individual project around the case of nuclear testing in French Polynesia. France performed a total of 181 atmospheric and underground tests at Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls between 1966 and 1995. During this time, nuclear testing was both the main source of economic security and a principle cause of environmental destruction, societal changes and health problems. The PhD project should explore how former nuclear testing has informed everyday ideas of security and survival in French Polynesia. The PhD project is built up around 6 months of anthropological field work in French Polynesia. 


The applicant must have obtained a master’s degree in a relevant field and meet the general requirements for being accepted as a PhD student at a Danish university. We imagine that candidates with a background in anthropology, science and technology studies, International Relations, sociology or de-colonial studies would be particularly well suited for such a project, but this does not exclude candidates from other fields. The ideal candidate is fluent in both English and French, and has an independent, social and outgoing personality. Prior fieldwork experience from French Polynesia is an asset, but not a requirement. We emphasize research potential and academic qualifications as well as an ability to collaborate broadly and to communicate research findings competently in English. 

The candidate will enrol in the PhD school at the Department of Anthropology at Aarhus University, but will spend most of her/his time at DIIS. The PhD Candidate will be jointly supervised by Senior Researcher Rens van Munster (DIIS) and Professor Nils Bubandt (Aarhus University). In addition to working on the project itself, the candidate will participate in PhD courses and international conferences, actively support research at DIIS, and gain teaching experience at the university. The project also includes funding for the candidate to spend three months at a prestigious research institution abroad. 

General Information

DIIS is a leading public institute for independent research and analysis of international affairs. We conduct and communicate multidisciplinary research on globalisation, security, development and foreign policy. Within these areas, we aim to be agenda setting in research, policy and public debate. DIIS offers a dynamic and innovative international research environment with a focus on professionalism, flexibility and mutual respect amongst all colleagues. The institute is situated in a modern building in Nordhavn, the new waterfront city district in Copenhagen, which is located approximately 3 km from the city centre and offers excellent public transportation options. 

DIIS is a bilingual Danish-English workplace where we attach great importance to skills in written communication and dissemination of knowledge in both languages with equal weighting. It is possible to apply for the position without prior knowledge of Danish, but the successful candidate is expected to learn the language within the duration of the contract.

DIIS employs a relatively flat management structure with a high degree of staff participation through a free and open dialogue on the institute’s internal and external issues. It is important that all employees play a proactive and constructive role in the DIIS community. This means that we expect a high level of attendance and involvement in the workplace. At the same time, we show consideration for each other as colleagues and value different perspectives. Furthermore, we allow flexible working hours and seek to be a family friendly workplace. 

We encourage all qualified applicants to apply for this position regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or disabilities.  

Contract and renumeration

The PhD Scholarship is a temporary 3-year position, which is expected to start on 1 February 2019. 

Remuneration and other job conditions follow the general agreement between AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) and the Danish Ministry of Finance, local collective agreements at DIIS as well as the 1 July 2013 Danish state protocol on PhD Candidates. 

The application 

The application should be written in English and must be submitted to DIIS no later than 23 November 2018. The application may only be submitted electronically via the link given below. Files uploaded must be either PDF (unlocked) or Word files and be of a maximum of 10 MB each:  

The application must include the following items in order be considered:

  1. Cover letter (describing the candidate’s motivation for applying)
  2. A detailed Curriculum Vitae
  3. A brief preliminary project proposal of maximum 5 pages (excluding references), clearly indicating the following elements:
    1. Field of study;
    2. Research problem;
    3. Theoretical framework;
    4. Methodological approach
  4. Signed copies of degree certificates, including a list of all grades
  5. 2 reference letters with contact details
  6. A list of publications by the applicant (if any) 

For further information about this project, please contact Rens van Munster, For further information about the application process, employment, remuneration etc., please contact

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Copenhagen - Denmark
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 16th October 2018
Closes: 23rd November 2018
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