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Post-doctoral position, religion and politics in the EU, Université Libre de Bruxelles


This is a call for applications for one full-time post-doctoral position in European studies and politology of religion, based at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. The researcher will work in the framework of a project funded by the Belgian scientific agency (FNRS), under the supervision of the principal investigator François Foret. Prospective candidates are hereby invited to submit their application as described below. The deadline for submitting applications is 15/5/2014, for a start on the 1/7/2014.

Presentation of the project “Importing God, exporting secularism? How the European Union deals with religion”

The European Union is commonly presented as an exceptionally “godless”
part of a world where religion still matters very much. However, under external pressures (from diplomatic crises to migrations), the EU would have to take religion back in by entering a post-secular era. The project aims at discussing these assumptions. The purpose is to see whether the resurgence of religion on the European agenda is internally- or externally-driven, what are its incentives and outcomes. Three working packages investigate the notion of European secularism; and how this European secularism is challenged from outside and within two EU policy sectors, foreign affairs and immigration.

Workloads linked to the post-doctoral mandate will include various contributions to the project, among others: state of the art of the debate about European secularism and « multiple modernities »; organizational analysis of political and policy structures of the EU dealing with migration and foreign affairs; interviews with civil servants, political representatives and members of civil society; management of online surveys; supervision of parliamentary debates and qualitative case studies.

The post-doc will be considered as a full member of the team and will co-sign some publications in peer-reviewed supports. He/she will have to fulfil the requirements but will also have opportunities for self-development in order to prepare subsequent steps in a scientific career. Experience in teaching will be considered. Management and communication tasks are also included.

Work environment and conditions
The research will be developed at the Centre d’étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL), the main political science research unit of the ULB, and at the Institut d’études européennes (IEE), one of the oldest Jean Monnet Centres of Excellence in Europe. It will rely on a supportive interdisciplinary environment made of political scientists, internationalists, lawyers and historians working on European integration and interactions between religion and politics. The post-doc will evolve in a dynamic international network of collaboration with other universities (Cambridge, Georgetown, Geneva.). Travels and short research stays may be included in the activities. The hired person will have an office and relevant resources at the IEE-ULB. Living in Brussels for the two years period is required. The working contract will be managed by the university according to Belgian standards, in the conditions defined by the FNRS.

Following these conditions, “postdoctoral researchers must hold, since at the most 7 years on the date of the hiring, a doctoral academic degree obtained after the defense of a thesis”. The successful candidate must be in “international mobility”, meaning that he/she should not have lived or worked in Belgium more than 24 months in the last three years.
According to the experience of the candidate, the net salary will be around 2200 euros per month plus social security.

Your Profile:
– Ph.D. in political science or a directly related field (international relations, sociology.) with a focus on religion and politics – Proved expertise in EU politics at doctoral level
– Strong record in qualitative research and fieldwork (interviews, observation, documentary analysis.). Quantitative skills are an extra asset. – Experience with working in an international environment
– Very good command of English and preferably French
– Ability to work in a team, to meet deadlines and to combine autonomy with respect of guidelines

How to apply
The candidate will be selected on the basis of the quality of his/her CV, research achievements, motivation and congruence with the project.
The following application documents are to be consolidated into a single PDF file sent per email to: Michela Arcarese (
– a one-page motivation letter explaining the candidate’s interest in collaborating to the project
– a curriculum vitae listing all academic qualifications, relevant research experience and previous publications – name, mail and phone number of three referees to be contacted if necessary
– a copy of the PhD and master diploma The position is for two years, from July 2014 to end of June 2016.

A phone or face-to-face interview may be organized if necessary Applications are welcome till 15/5/2014. Short-listed candidates will be informed in the second half of May and the final decision will be taken in early June. For further inquiries, please contact Prof. François Foret (