Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Science

University of Gothenburg

Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Science


Ref PAR 2023/1145

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract researchers and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

The Department of Political Science is an open and socially engaged institution, in the middle of Sweden’s second-largest city and in the middle of the debate. In 2022, the ShanghaiRanking’s Academy of World Universities ranked the department number 1 in Sweden, 5 in Europe and 19 in the world in political science. We are very research-active and offer a lively research environment with several thematic seminar series and internal workshops. Our research revolves around elections, democracy, corruption, forms of government, globalization, the environment, gender and politics, as well as European issues. The department hosts research programs such as the Center for Collective Action Research (CeCAR), the Quality of Government (QoG) Institute, Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem), Governance and Local Development (GLD) and the Swedish Electoral Research Program. We offer educational programmes at all levels, undergraduate advanced level and postgraduate level, as well as independent courses. Teaching is given in both Swedish and English. In total, about 1,400 people study with us. The Department of Political Science has around 160 employees.

The Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg invites applications for one or more 3-year postdoctoral positions (100% of full-time), offering applicants an opportunity to join an ambitious research project on representation and public opinion.

The research project

The position is part of the project Fem-LEAD: Female Leaders and Effects from African Droughts”, led by Associate Professor Aksel Sundström and funded by an ERC Starting Grant. General information about the project is available at and

The Fem-LEAD project seeks to understand the connections between weather-related disasters and women’s political standing in politics in African countries.

The project focuses on drought, public opinion and political representation. How and why do droughts affect citizens’ demand for female politicians? How and why do droughts affect the supply of female candidates and the presence of elected women? 

Fem-LEAD studies a combination of public opinion data: observational surveys, in-depth interviews and survey experiments. The project studies political representation, with access to unique data on women as local candidates and representatives in African countries.

The project has designed studies where high-quality data is available. There are also good opportunities to design creative studies - with different theoretical and methodological approaches - and the project has funds for ambitious data collection.

Beyond its specific aims, work within the project can be extended to study processes related to this topic, e.g., but not limited to: additional geographic regions, how other types of shocks affect attitudes and representation, how to understand the effects of disasters on broader types of political variables, or how to see effects of women's political presence on different outcomes.

A more detailed project description is available upon request.

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.


The employment as a postdoctoral fellow aims to give the employee an early opportunity to develop his/her independence as a researcher after completing his/her doctoral degree and to create the conditions for further qualifications. The person employed as a postdoctoral fellow must mainly conduct research. Teaching can be included in the work duties, but to a maximum of one-fifth of the working time.

The postdoctoral fellow will be employed at the Political Science Department as part of the Fem-LEAD research group and is expected to engage in collaborative research with Aksel Sundström and the other members of the group. The postdoctoral fellow’s efforts will be important to ensuring the success of the project. We expect the successful candidate to design data collection strategies to understand women’s political standing and to subsequently collect, analyze, and (co-)author studies resulting from this data collection effort. We thus expect the postdoc to take an independent role to conduct studies that are broadly related to the project, to conduct high-quality research within the context of Fem-LEAD, and to contribute to publications in top outlets.

There are great opportunities to expand the project's focus within the framework of the postdoctoral fellow's interests and specialization.

Successful applicants will become part of a cutting-edge research project, a vibrant and supportive research team, and the exciting broader research environment of the Quality of Government (QoG) Institute and the Gothenburg Research Group on Elections, Public Opinion and Political Behavior (GEPOP). There will be excellent opportunities for intellectual development and mentoring as well as for developing an independent research agenda within the overall context of the project. The project offers funding for conferences, additional training, data collection, and opportunities for developing a strong academic network.


Eligible to be employed as a postdoctoral fellow is someone who has a doctorate in political science or a closely related subject at the latest at the time the employment decision is made. In the first instance, those who have completed their degree no more than three years before the end of the application period should be considered. Even those who have completed their degree previously can be considered if there are special reasons.

For more information regarding eligibility please visit The appointment Procedure, GU 2022/38


You must have a doctoral degree in preferably political science or related discipline, such as economics, at the latest at the time the employment decision is made. We are looking for you with previous experience of research in connection with the research area described above.

Applicants are expected to hold (or be close to completing) a PhD in political science, or another field relevant to the project. A specialization in gender and politics, political representation, public opinion or African politics is an asset. In addition to a keen interest in conducting collaborative research in the Fem-LEAD project, applicants must demonstrate ambition and ability to produce high-quality and high-impact research, both independently and in a team. They need to have an ability to work constructively and effectively as part of an international research team.

Moreover, we expect applicants to have excellent skills in quantitative methods (using Stata or R). Skills in designing survey experiments, working with geospatial data and experience with comparative survey data are an asset. Experience of working with data related to climate or disasters is also a merit. We prefer applicants with a strong interest in developing creative research designs and that have ambition and willingness to acquire new methodological skills. Applicants are expected to have an excellent command of spoken and written English.

To be successful in this position, you must have an eye for detail, good organizational skills and be able to solve problems. You need to have very high communication and collaboration skills.

Great emphasis is placed on personal suitability for the position. We will make an overall assessment and the applicant who is considered to be best qualified to carry out and develop the tasks described above will be appointed to the position.


The employment is limited (temporary) for 3 years, 100% of full-time and is currently placed at the Department of Political Science. Starting date: 1st March 2023 or as agreed.

For more information please visit The appointment Procedure, GU 2022/38

Selection process 

Interviews are scheduled to take place in the first week of December.

Starting date: 1st March 2023 or as agreed

Contact information for the post 

If you have questions regarding the employment, or details about the projects in which this position is organized, please contact Aksel Sundström,

If you have any questions regarding the employment procedure, please contact Helena Jensen,


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: 


To apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to create an account in our recruitment system. Submit your application via the University of Gothenburg’s recruitment portal by clicking the “Apply” button. It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline. 

We kindly ask you to write your application in English as the application may be reviewed by English-speaking staff. In the selection process, it will likely be relevant with interviews, reference taking and work tests in English.

The application should include the following:

  • A letter of application, in which applicants should motivate why they are interested in being part of Fem-LEAD and how they can contribute to the success of the project (maximally 2 pages)
  • An outline of potential ideas for research relevant to the focus of the project (2-3 pages, excluding references)
  • A CV (including list of publications)
  • One writing sample of typical article length
  • A list of at least three references (with contact information) who may be contacted at the interview stage

Applications must be received by: 2023-11-28

Information for International Applicants

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:

The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

Salaries are set individually at the University.

In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden’s regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

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.