Postdoc in Participation and Digital Citizenship at SHAPE

The Department of Digital Design and Information Studies within the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University invites applications for a postdoctoral position in participation and digital citizenship. The postdoc will be part of the research centre SHAPE – Shaping Digital Citizenship – funded by Aarhus University.

The position is a full-time and fixed-term position beginning on 1 February 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter and ending on 31 December 2023.

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


SHAPE – Shaping Digital Citizenship is a research centre at Aarhus University with the aim to promote digitalisation that supports democracy and active citizenship. Based on an interdisciplinary research agenda, SHAPE will provide knowledge that qualifies the public and political debate by informing decision-makers, legislators, and other relevant stakeholders, and deliver concrete technologies, methods and guidelines that support digital citizenship. SHAPE builds on a strong Scandinavian tradition of research in democracy and information technology (IT) and combines critical perspectives on IT with action-oriented approached based on citizen involvement in the development of IT. SHAPE investigates how the digital citizen is defined and managed partly in the welfare state and on tech giants’ social media platforms. In addition, SHAPE’s purpose is to develop digital citizenship by focusing on activism and citizen-engaged IT development. Through interaction and cross-fertilisation between several sub-projects, SHAPE will provide a holistic understanding of the digital citizen and digital citizenship, which is highly needed in a Danish and national context.

About the postdoc position

Participation is arguably an essential part of democracy. However, increased digitalisation and datafication challenge the understanding and practices of participation. This can be seen, for example, in automated decision-making, design, political processes, aesthetic practices and on social media.

Currently, SHAPE holds four sub-projects in which participation is investigated in different ways. The projects are Digital Activism, Digital Citizenship, Digital Technologies and Collective Behavior and Digital Literacy and Machine Learning. You can read more about these sub-projects at SHAPE’s website.

We are looking for a postdoc who will work either within one of the already existing sub-projects or on an independent project contributing to SHAPE’s collective task of developing insights into digital citizenship. The successful applicant will be expected to investigate the concept and practices of participation in the relationship between data/algorithms and democracy/citizenship.

The successful applicant will be expected to conduct new original research within one of many aspects of digitalisation, democracy and citizenship; publish in relevant journals, academic books and non-academic publications; help coordinate the project activities, including possible guest seminars and researcher visits and public engagements; participate in project meetings and joint events; work collaboratively with the other team members; actively develop the research area, including identifying and maintaining contact with academic and non-academic partners; as well as develop follow-up grant applications for the project.


Applicants must have a PhD degree or must document equivalent qualifications in a relevant field related to digitalisation and citizenship. Applicants must be able to document, relevant to the position:

  • An internationally oriented research profile in relation to digitalisation and citizenship, as documented by a PhD dissertation and/or research publications
  • Experience in the self-directed management of research projects
  • Willingness and previous experience of research communication and public engagement in order to engage productively both within the research team and with external organisations and institutions, for example in the form of presentations and public communication or similar

Furthermore, it will be considered an advantage if applicants can document

  • a track record of research publications of a high international standard, as commensurate with the length of the applicant’s academic career
  • experience of participation in national and international research networks
  • Finally, applicants are asked to include a project description (approx. two pages) to be undertaken within the stated framework of the research project.

Applicants are asked to submit publications (maximum five) that they find best document their competences relevant to the project. Please note that applications that do not include uploaded publications will not be considered.

Although the Aarhus University application system includes an option to upload letters of recommendation, please do not include letters of recommendation or references with the application. Applicants who are invited to an interview may be asked to provide references.

Work environment

Your place of work is the Department of Digital Design and Information Studies. 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. Follow the link to read more about family and work-life balance in Denmark.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU.

International applicants

International applicants are encouraged to read about the attractive working conditions and other 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 wide variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including a relocation service and an AU Expat Partner Programme. You can also find information about the taxation aspects of international researchers’ employment by AU.

The department

The place of employment is the Department of Digital Design and Information Studies, Helsingforsgade 14, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.

Prospective applicants are invited to view the Department’s website.

School of Communication and Culture

The school is a part of the Faculty of Arts. You will find information about the school and its research programmes, departments and diverse activities on its website.


For further information about the position, please contact SHAPE Director, Professor Peter Lauritsen,

If you need help uploading your application or have questions about the recruitment process, please contact Arts HR support by email:

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.

  • Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations.
  • Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in theMemorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.
  • Further information on the application and supplementary materials may be found in Application Guidelines.
  • The application must outline the applicant’s motivation for applying for the position, attaching a curriculum vitae, a complete list of published works, copies of degree certificates and examples of academic production (mandatory, but no more than five examples). Please upload this material electronically along with your application.

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 withsociety.


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


12 December 2022