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Three-year postdoctoral position: Ethnic and Social Inequality in Higher Education

University of Aarhus - Danish School of Education (DPU), Faculty of Arts

The Danish School of Education (DPU), Faculty of Arts at Aarhus University invites applications for a postdoctoral position in the research project “Ethnic minorities in the Danish higher education system. A study on the intersection between ethnic and social inequalities with specific attention to written language skills”, financed by the Carlsberg Foundation.

The position is full time (37 hours/week) and is expected to begin on 1 March 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter, and to end 36 months later on 28 February 2025.

The position is located at DPU, Department of Educational Sociology, Aarhus Campus.

The Danish School of Education is committed to diversity and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of their personal background.

Research context 

The project will explore ethnic inequalities in the Danish postsecondary education system, both with regard to entry into and success within higher education. It will also study the relation between ethnicity and social origins in these inequalities and assess the extent to which ethnic inequalities are actually social inequalities. One central role of the project will be to study the writing skills of higher education students, a core meta-competence needed in higher education, as a mechanism that can potentially amplify ethnic and social inequality. The database will include both Danish register data and text data that will be analysed using natural language processing. A general description of the project can be found here:

The position 

The successful applicant will collaborate with the other project members, the PI and several international advisors and collaborators on the different research topics within the project, as well as coordinating the project on a daily basis in collaboration with the PI. Besides the successful applicant, the project team will consist of another postdoctoral researcher, student assistants and the PI.

The tasks of the postdoc will involve:

  • Developing and conducting a subproject within the overall framework of the project
  • Analysing data from Danish administrative sources, register data from Statistics Denmark in particular, and analysing text samples regarding the writing skills of students using quantitative methods, also based on the postdoc’s own project ideas
  • supporting the project to collect data on students and text samples
  • Documenting the data analyses and publishing results in international academic journals in collaboration with the PI and the international project partners
  • Contributing to the dissemination of project results to the scientific community and to the general public

The postdoctoral project will contribute to the overall research agenda of the project team. It must therefore in some way address ethnic and social inequalities in the Danish higher education system. Within this framework, the postdoc is expected to develop an independent research agenda. An international research trip will be funded by the project.

Please contact the PI Felix Weiss at for more information regarding the position.


Applicants must hold a PhD degree or equivalent qualifications in sociology, economics or a related field of social science.

Applicants must be able to document a relevant international research profile, including experience of international publication and research dissemination.

Applicants must also document:

  • Experience of working with large-scale datasets using Stata or R (experience of the analysis of Danish administrative registers and/or natural language processing in R or Python will be an advantage)
  • Proven skills in quantitative research methods and data analysis
  • Knowledge of intergenerational social mobility and educational inequality in higher education.

The successful applicant will also be expected to demonstrate an interest in collaborating with a multinational project team and must be willing to communicate in English on a regular basis. Knowledge of Danish or another Scandinavian language will be an advantage.

The application must include a statement about future research plans (one-two pages) that fits the research agenda of the project.

Please note that applications that do not include uploaded publications (maximum five) will not be considered.

The application must be submitted in English.

Work environment 

Active participation in the daily life of the department is a high priority, and we emphasise the importance of good working relationships, both among colleagues and with our students. In order to maintain and develop the department’s excellent teaching and research environment, the successful applicant is expected to be present at the department on a daily basis.

We respect the balance between work and private life and strive to create a work environment in which that balance can be maintained. See Family and work-life balance for further information.

International applicants 

International applicants are encouraged to read about the Attractive working conditions for further information about the benefits of working at Aarhus University and in Denmark, including healthcare, paid holidays and, if relevant, maternity/paternity leave, childcare and schooling. Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including a relocation service and career counselling for expat partners. For information about taxation, see ‘Taxation aspects of international researchers’ employment by AU.

Research environment 

The Danish School of Education at Aarhus University is the largest centre for research and teaching in the fields of education, didactics and learning in Denmark, with approximately 250 full-time researchers, including 80 PhD students, and approximately 5,000 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students.

The department’s activities are characterised by a high degree of interdisciplinary and close interaction with society, including businesses, organisations, government agencies and institutions, both in Denmark and abroad.

Please note that the Danish School of Education is located in both Copenhagen and Aarhus.

Visit the Danish School of Education’s website: The position is based at the Aarhus campus.

For questions about working at Aarhus University, visit

For questions about relocating to Denmark, visit

Qualification requirements 

Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent academic qualifications.


Faculty of Arts refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities (the Appointment Order).

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here:

If nothing else is noted, applications must be submitted in English. Application deadline is at 11.59 pm Danish time (same as Central European Time) on the deadline day.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.

Shortlists may be prepared with the candidates that have been selected for a detailed academic assessment. A committee set up by the head of school is responsible for selecting the most qualified candidates. See this link for further information about shortlisting at the Faculty of Arts: shortlisting

Faculty of Arts 

The Faculty of Arts is one of five main academic areas at Aarhus University.

The faculty contributes to Aarhus University's research, talent development, knowledge exchange and degree programmes.
With its 550 academic staff members, 275 PhD students, 9,500 BA and MA students, and 1,500 students following continuing/further education programmes, the faculty constitutes a strong and diverse research and teaching environment.

The Faculty of Arts consists of the School of Communication and Culture, the School of Culture and Society and the Danish School of Education. Each of these units has strong academic environments and forms the basis for interdisciplinary research and education.

The faculty's academic environments and degree programmes engage in international collaboration and share the common goal of contributing to the development of knowledge, welfare and culture in interaction with society.


The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Aarhus University 

Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at

Location: Aarhus - Denmark
Salary: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 7th January 2022
Closes: 3rd February 2022
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