Postdoctoral position in European research project on Visual Digital Mobilisation and Visual Persuasion in a Transforming Europe

The Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen invites applications for a two-year postdoc position starting on Dec 1, 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is heavily weighted in favour of research.

This is an exciting opportunity for a social scientist specializing on social movements’ visual practices of political mobilization, climate protests, and qualitative methods to join an international research team that will conduct a large-scale comparative studies of climate movements and digital media focusing on visual communication, digital strategies in different European countries.

The PostDoc will collaborate with Associate Professor Nicole Doerr on the research project “PolarVis—Visual Persuasion in a Transforming Europe.” PolarVis studies visual communication strategies and their affective and polarizing potential in online political discourse combining computer based digital media analysis and qualitative methods of visual and discursive analysis. The postdoc will play a crucial role in developing the project’s qualitative methods analysis of visual communication strategies by climate movements internationally. The postdoc will also conduct interviews with activists in different European countries and use qualitative visual, multimodal methods to study the production and affective dimension of visual content produced in digital platforms. The postdoc will cooperate in the multidisciplinary PolarVis project team that combines mixed qualitative and computational methods to study the images (pictures, memes, etc.) used by climate activists on their online platforms communicating global climate justice concerns to sparking social change.


We seek applicants with a strong documented research profile studying climate protest movements and who have experiences in qualitative social science methods using visual analysis, as well as experiences with interviewing. Familiarity with focus groups or fieldwork, digital visual media analysis, discourse or narrative analysis, or computational text analysis are a plus. We seek candidates with good communication skills in spoken and written English, and an ability to produce state-of-the art social-science research on climate movements. To be considered for the position, applicants must have research qualifications at least corresponding to what can be achieved as part of a successfully completed PhD. The ideal candidate will have a PhD in sociology, political science, media and communication, visual art, art history, cultural studies, or related fields.

The Research project PolarVis is funded by the EU’s Chanse Programme focused on the topic of Transformations: Social and cultural dynamics in the digital age, a joint initiative of 27 research funding organisations from 24 countries combining experiences of two existing networks, HERA and NORFACE, supporting research in humanities and social sciences respectively. The Chanse objective is to help understand how digital innovations give rise to social and cultural changes, and how they in turn are influenced by society and culture.

The PolarVis project runs from 2022 through 2025. PolarVis aims to understand how, why, and with what consequences visual content becomes a mechanism of integration and polarisation in digitalised societies. To this end, the project studies online political discourse in and around climate movements in Europe. It analyses the dynamic social and algorithmic negotiation around visual communication to systematically understand its role as content, its affective resonance, and the processes of connection and conflict that occur around it.

PolarVis is a collaborative project, and the candidate is expected to work both independently and in collaboration with the multidisciplinary research team. The main role of the candidate is to interview climate activists and analyze their visual communication strategies in different national contexts. The postdoc will work with qualitative multimodal visual and discursive analysis of digital data in cooperating with other team members specializing on collecting and analyzing large digital data sets using computational analysis.

Duties and Responsibilities

The postdoc position is a full-time research position and does not involve any teaching obligations. The candidate is also expected take part in the academic life of the Department of Sociology and will be part of the Copenhagen Research Centre on Political Mobilisation and Social Movements. The University of Copenhagen and its Department of Sociology are a hub for multidisciplinary visual social sciences data analysis and research on climate activism, also connected to the Copenhagen Centre for Social Data Sciences and the Copenhagen Centre of Political Mobilisation and Social Movement Studies.

For further information about the position, please contact Nicole Doerr (

Your Competencies and Opportunities

To be considered for the position, applicants must have research qualifications at least corresponding to what can be achieved as part of a successfully completed PhD. The ideal candidate will have a PhD in sociology, political science, media and communication, visual art, art history, cultural studies, or related fields.

Strategy of the Faculty of the Social Sciences

The Department of Sociology is part of the Faculty of the Social Sciences. The Faculty is a successful academic community that strives to put knowledge into action by:

  • Engaging partners in the co-creation of knowledge, learning and social change.
  • Empowering our students to become reflective and responsible citizens who have the vision, the knowledge and the competences to change society for the better.
  • Energising global, European and Danish communities of knowledge by innovating research methodologies and by research findings with impact

For more on the Faculty strategy, see:

Terms of Employment

The recruitment process

Further information on the recruitment process at University of Copenhagen can be found here:

An Equal Opportunity Workplace

The University of Copenhagen is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to creating an inclusive working environment and therefore encourages all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of personal background, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity etc. For more on the diverse working place environment at the University and the University’s participation in the HRS4R HR Excellence in Researrch, see

International applicant?

The University of Copenhagen offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including support before and during your relocation and career counselling to expat partners. Please find more information about these services as well as information on entering and working in Denmark here:

Contact information

Information about the recruitment process is available from HR officer, e-mail: please refer to ID number: 211-1184/22-2I #1

How to apply

Submit a complete application at our online portal. Click on the “Apply now” icon at the bottom of the page to apply. The documents must be in Adobe PDF or Word. 

Your application must be written in English and include the following documents:

  • Motivated application
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diploma (master and bachelor)
  • Other relevant material

The closing date for applications is 23:59 CEST Oct 2, 2022.

Applications or enclosures received thereafter will not be considered.