PhD in Alternative Media and Counterpublics

The Department of Communication and Arts (DCA), Roskilde University, invites applications for a salaried PhD position studying alternative online media from 1 March 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position as PhD fellow is limited to a period of 3 years of full-time employment with DCA as the daily workplace.

Description of the PhD project

The PhD position is part of the research project Alternative Media and Ideological Counterpublics funded by the Carlsberg Foundation Denmark. The project is located at Roskilde University, and the successful applicant will be associated with the research group Journalism and Democracy, the Center for News Research and the Digital Media Lab at the Department of Communication and Arts. The successful applicant will work in close collaboration with the project leader Associate Professor Eva Mayerhöffer who will also be the main supervisor of the PhD project, a post-doc and a research assistant connected to the project.

Alternative Media and Ideological Counterpublics studies the role of hyper-partisan alternative media in the digital public sphere. The project is based on a network-analytical approach and analyzes how right- and left-wing alternative media in different countries connect to mainstream and radical partisan actors from media, politics and civil society. Main focus will be on Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Austria, but other countries may be included, depending on the successful applicant’s own research interest. A short description of the project can be found here:

In alignment with the goals of the overall project, we invite original proposals for a PhD project focusing on how alternative media form connections to mainstream and radical actors through the mutual referencing, commenting and sharing of content. The PhD student will, in collaboration with the other members of the project team, use digital methods to collect text and video material published on websites, on various social media platforms and other online fora, as well as other relevant documents.

Alternative Media and Ideological Counterpublics is conducted in close cooperation with international partners from several European countries. The PhD fellow will have the opportunity for an extended research visit to one of the partner institutions or another relevant research institution, as well as the possibility to attend international conferences and workshops. The project also provides opportunities for advanced method training.

The Doctoral School

You will be enrolled as a PhD student at The Doctoral School of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University.

The Doctoral School for Communication and Arts (ARTS-PHD) offers a doctoral programme in Communication and Arts in an active, dynamic and cross-disciplinary research environment. Read more here

Responsibilities and tasks

The PhD position is an educational position and the main tasks are in accordance with chapter 3, Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions (


Applicants are expected to have a strong educational background and a completed master’s degree (or equivalent)

from the social sciences and the humanities for instance Media and Communication Studies, Journalism Studies, Political Science, Sociology/Anthropology, Digital Humanities or related disciplines.

The ideal candidate should have documented interest in digital media analysis and be willing to acquire skills in digital methods and social network analysis within the project.

Applicants are asked to submit a PhD project description (max. 5 pages double-spaced). The project description should outline the project proposed by the applicant and specify how the project relates to the research objectives of the overall project. The project description should also specify, how the proposed PhD project can be accomplished theoretically, methodologically and empirically.

The PhD candidate is expected to:

  • Complete an article-based, PhD dissertation within the three-year project period. This will require producing international journal articles and/or book chapter publications, of which some may be written with other members of the project team, including the project supervisor.
  • Participate actively in the research group Journalism and Democracy and potentially other research groups at the DCA
  • Participate actively in PhD activities at the doctoral school.

In addition, they are expected to demonstrate:

  • Good command of English (oral and written) is necessary, and experience with writing academically in English is considered an asset.
  • Good command of one of the other project languages (Danish, Swedish, German) is a clear asset.
  • Excellent academic record (as shown by a list of master level grades and timely completion of master level education and maybe also shown in academic work experience or academic publications).
  • Ability to work independently and in collaboration with other members of the project team.
  • Interest in being part of an international research community

You are required to be enterprising and to possess good communication skills and to be a visible, involved participant in the department’s daily activities, in addition to being willing to engage in disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration across the department.


In the assessment regarding employment consideration will be given to;

  • Relevant Master’s degree or equivalent (according to Danish Qualifications Framework for Higher Education:
  • Any additional academic requirements stated in the job advertisement.

In the assessment regarding enrollment consideration will also be given to the following criteria:

  • Educational skills and any further professional qualifications.
  • Grades at Master’s programme or equivalent.
  • Quality and relevance of the original PhD project proposal, including the quality and relevance of the methodological and theoretical choices.
  • Ability to complete the PhD project.

We expect job interviews to be held in week 8, 2021 and PhD enrollment seminars to be held in week 9, 2021.


For further information about the overall project, please contact PI Eva Mayerhöffer on tel. (+45) 71720445 or E-mail: For questions about the PhD programme contact the head of the PhD school at the DCA, Ida Willig on +45 4674 3751 or E-mail:

Terms of employment

The employment is on full time, 37 hours per week and you will refer to Dean Julie Sommerlund.

The position will be filled according to the Agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) and Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities.  

Application procedure 

After the deadline for applications the Dean will shortlist applicants for assessment with assistance from the recruitment committee including the chairperson of the assessment committee.

Shortly after the application deadline all applicants will be notified whether or not their application has been selected for assessment.

The shortlisted applicants will be informed about the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant will be given the opportunity to comment on the composition of the committee and – later on – their assessment.

Once the recruitment process is completed, all applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application.


To apply for the position go to 

Only applications in English are accepted. 

Applications must include: 

1. Cover letter
2. CV
3. Documentation of education including grades from Master’s programme or equivalent
4. Your description of the PhD project
5. Your time schedule of the PhD project
6. If applicable: Documentation for any research experience, work experience or publications. 

Please submit your application no later than January 26, 2021

Material received after this date will not be taken into consideration. 

Roskilde University wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.