Postdoctoral position in Ethnology and Health Humanities at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen

Copenhagen University
September 01, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:fixed term of 36 mon
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Postdoctoral position available at the Copenhagen Centre for Health Research in the Humanities (CoRe). The position will be part of the Carlsberg Foundation funded Semper Ardens Accomplish project: Skin Health: New Biocultural Zones of Contact.

The Saxo Institute, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen is inviting applications for one three-year postdoctoral position in the field of Ethnology and Health Humanities, starting 1 December 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The position is fixed term, full-time and will last for 36 months in total.

Introduction The Skin Health project explores current skin health practices between everyday life, medical knowledge, industrial interests and aesthetic norms. The skin is our largest organ, a key player in health, and a vital part of our cultural, social, and political fabric. A damaged or ill skin can produce serious social stigma and personal trauma and activate mechanisms of exclusion. Engaging with these issues, the project's overall aim is to advance a more nuanced understanding of skin health focusing on the crucial relations between scientific, commercial and everyday skin practices. Skin health and skin care practices will be investigated by means of historical analysis and ethnographic fieldwork, and explore the prevailing discourses, medical, technological and everyday practices that define our cultural understanding and engagement with skin health.

The postdoctoral project is specifically expected to contribute to the Skin Health project by ethnographically and historically investigating the knowledge production of skin i.e., how scientific understandings of skin construct the way we think and practice skin. Inspired by current debates and activism on ‘decolonizing dermatology' the project sets out to investigate the medical history of dermatology, where categories such as gender, race, class and morality have shaped not only the medical but also popular understandings of skin. Furthermore, by applying a future-oriented approach the project will investigate the current intensified scientific interest in artificial skin (robotics and skin grown in laboratories) and skin microbiome habitats (the skin as a living landscape).

Applicants, who wish further information about the position and the research project, should contact Principal Investigator prof. Astrid Pernille Jespersen, [email protected], phone +45 20972205.

Duties and Responsibilities The postdoctoral position will be heavily weighted in favor of research. In addition, a certain amount of teaching may also be required. Other duties may, furthermore, be performed to a limited extent. The university determines the exact ratio between the various responsibilities. The ratio may vary over time.

The successful candidate will be based at the Copenhagen Centre for Health Research in the Humanities at the Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen and must be willing to work in the centre on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, the candidate is expected to work closely together with the research team in the Skin Health project.

Research tasks include:

  • Ethnographic fieldwork including interviews, participant observation and archive studies.
  • Qualitative analysis of ethnographic material and written source materials including transcription, coding and framing.
  • Writing and co-authoring of research articles in top-level journals.
  • Project presentations at national and international conferences and seminars.
  • Contribution to the development and progression of the Skin Health project, including establishing relevant research networks in collaboration with the other researchers in the project.
  • Administration tasks such as data management (organising and archiving of data, sharing of data with research group members), reports preparation, contribution to project website, organizing of and participation in research group activities such as seminars, workshops and meetings.
  • Public dissemination and sharing of knowledge into public domains.
  • Qualification requirements Appointment as a postdoctoral researcher presumes research qualifications on at least PhD level. Applicants must possess skills in written and spoken academic English at a high level. Applicants must document advanced competences within ethnographic fieldwork, experience within archival studies and knowledge on the field of Health Humanities.

    For more about postdoctoral positions and qualification requirements, see the Ministry of Education and Research's Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

    Application Applications must be submitted online in PDF or Word format. Click on the “Apply now” button at the bottom of this advertisement to apply.

    Applications must be written in English and must include the following attachments

  • Letter of motivation
  • CV
  • Documentation of qualifications (exam certificates and PhD diploma)
  • Complete publication list (attached publications must be marked with an asterisk). The list must be structured systematically and divided into the following categories:

  • Peer-reviewed publications :

  • Monographs and anthologies
  • Articles in journals
  • Book chapters/anthology contributions, etc.
  • Non-peer-reviewed publications:
  • Publications disseminating research findings, etc.
  • Applicants can attach a maximum of three publications. The publication dates must be clearly marked on the list. The selected publications must be uploaded as attachments and numbered 1-3.

  • Research plan
  • Documentation of teaching competencies/teaching portfolio (see the UCPH guidelines for teaching portfolios here) and other work on the dissemination of research.
  • Only documentation and material in English, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish will be assessed.

    Applicants are invited to familiarize themselves with the faculty´s strategic: Strategic landmarks – University of Copenhagen (

    Assessment criteria Applicants will primarily be assessed in relation to their research qualifications, including their publications, ability to conduct independent research and participation in research collaborations, and their experience in research management. In addition, the applicant's research plan and research potential will be assessed in relation to the overall focus areas described above.

    Teaching qualifications are not a requirement, but if the postdoctoral researcher is expected to teach, then documented teaching experience can be included in the overall assessment.

    Salary and terms of employment The appointment is for a fixed term of 36 month. Terms of appointment and salary will be made in accordance with an agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). In addition, a total pension contribution of 17,1 % will be allocated. It will be possible to negotiate further supplements on the basis of qualifications on an annual basis.

    The recruitment process Once the deadline for applications has expired, the Head of the Appointment Committee will select applicants for assessment. All applicants will be notified whether they have been shortlisted. The Head of Department will set up an expert Assessment Committee to consider the applications. The selected applicants will be informed who is serving on the committee. They will be offered the opportunity to comment on the committee's assessment of their application before the appointment is announced.

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

    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 of Copenhagen and the University's participation in the HRS4R HR Excellence in Research, see HR Excellence in Research – University of Copenhagen (

    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: For international researchers at the University of Copenhagen – University of Copenhagen (

    Contact information Information about the recruitment process is available from HR, email: [email protected]., please refer to ID number: 211-1888/24-2I #1.

    The deadline for applications is 23:59 CETS on 1 September 2024. Any applications or additional material submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

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