Postdoc researcher for research in and coordination of Horizon Europe projects on the governance of crises and trust

WorkplaceAntwerpen, Flemish Region, Belgium
Postdoc researcher for research in and coordination of Horizon Europe projects on the governance of crises and trust

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Department: Department of Political Science Regime Full-time or Part-time

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The research group Politics & Public Governance, the research group Government and Law, and the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence are looking for:

A postdoc researcher (80-100%) for research in and coordination of Horizon Europe projects on the governance of crises and trust

Are you interested in studying how the EU and national, regional, and local governments reacted, coordinated, and adapted to big crises like the COVID 19 crisis; how these actors use expert and lay information to make decisions; and how the governance of crisis affects the trust of society in democracy, the rule of law and fundamental values? We are looking to hire a new postdoc researcher for three years. The successful applicant will conduct research and help coordinate research of two complementary Horizon Europe projects: ‘Robust Crisis Governance in Turbulent Times – Mindset, Evidence, Strategies’ (ROBUST) and ‘Legitimate Crisis Management and Multi-level Governance’ (LEGITIMULT).

Unexpected crises in turbulent times pose significant challenges to public governance and call for robust crisis governance. The ROBUST research consortium, led by the University of Roskilde and composed of ten partner institutions from across Europe, investigates how European societies can harness flexible adaptation and proactive innovation to deliver effective crisis responses. By studying three recent crises (the financial, refugee, and COVID-19 crises), the ROBUST project aims to set in motion a paradigm shift from 'resilience' ('bouncing back') to 'robustness' ('building back better') as the central principle of future crisis governance.

The LEGITIMULT Research Consortium, led by the University of Fribourg and the EURAC Institute for Comparative Federalism, composed of eleven partner institutions from across Europe, assesses the impact of the pandemic measures taken by various international, national, and subnational governments on multi-level institutions and intergovernmental relations. LEGITIMULT analyses the effect of these measures on democratic governance, looking for a new model of legitimate crisis management.

About us

The research group Politics & Public Governance (P&PG) is part of the Department of Political Science (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Antwerp). P&PG studies how politics and public governance respond to (a) the increasing diversity of citizens and society and (b) the multi-level and multi-actor nature of policymaking and policy implementation. By combining political science and public administration perspectives, our research wants to understand the nature of contemporary politics and public governance, its causes, effects, and, ultimately, its democratic legitimacy. To this end, P&PG studies political and public governance institutions, their evolution, and how institutional mechanisms shape actors' scope of action, positions, decisions, and behaviour. Public administration research at the University of Antwerp is ranked 20th (1st in Belgium) on the Global Shanghai Ranking for PA 2021.

The Government and Law (G&L) research group is part of the Law Faculty (University of Antwerp). G&L is focused on legitimate governance in a diverse, complex, and globalized environment. It studies, in particular, the impact of legal, political, and social developments on the legal concept of government, on the operation of and relations between state and non-state actors in governance, on fundamental principles such as democracy, the rule of law, federalism, solidarity, and multi-level governance, and on the protection of persons against arbitrary government action. The group combines legal-doctrinal analysis with various methods in collaboration with other disciplines.

P&PG and G&L are part of the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence (University of Antwerp), an interdisciplinary research consortium focusing on "Trust and Distrust in Multi-level Governance." GOVTRUST combines the high-level scientific expertise of three faculties (Law, Social Sciences, and Economics) and five disciplines (political science, communication science, law, behavioural economics, and public administration) to jointly conduct frontline interdisciplinary research on the dynamics, causes, and effects of trust and distrust in multi-level governance systems. In particular, GOVTRUST studies the trust relations between political, administrative, regulatory, and judicial actors as well as trust in and of citizens and society.


  • Researching governance responses from different levels of government and their effect on trust in democracy and the rule of law;
  • Developing and coordinating research design, data collection, and analysis;
  • Day-to-day coordination of two Ph.D. researchers involved in the ROBUST and LEGITIMULT projects and assistance in the coordination of the UAntwerp work packages of these two projects;
  • Collaboration with and support of the international partners in both projects;
  • Reporting of research findings through publishing scientific articles in international journals;
  • Participation in the international public governance research society and the presentation of findings at national and international conferences.


  • You hold a Ph.D. degree in Public Administration, Public Management, Political Science, Sociology, Law, management, and economic sciences or another relevant field. D. researchers defending their Ph.D. before the end of September 2022 can also apply.
  • Experience in (interdisciplinary) research on the topics under study (crisis governance, multi-level governance, trust, or other related topics) is highly valued.
  • You have a good track record in peer-reviewed publications in international journals.
  • A track record in societal outreach, dissemination to media, and interaction with stakeholders is an asset. Experience in acquiring research funding is also a valued asset.
  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative, efficient, and cooperative, and you are entrepreneurial to coordinate research projects with success and in time;
  • You are strongly motivated to research the public sector and have excellent capacities for analysis and synthesis in social science research.
  • You can apply autonomously (quantitative or qualitative) research methods in social sciences. Knowledge about or experience in statistical analyses, comparative methods, or case study methodology is an asset.
  • You have strong communication and presentation skills. You should be able to work independently but also as part of a team.
  • You have an excellent knowledge of English. Active knowledge of Dutch or French is an asset but not compulsory.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies .

What we offer

  • A postdoc position from 80 to 100% for three years (1 year, with the possibility of renewal for a further 2-year period after a positive evaluation). The intended start date of the position will be from October 1st, 2022 onwards but no later than March 1st, 2023.
  • Your gross monthly salary is calculated according to the pay scale for a principal research fellow in the Contract Research Staff category (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will work at UAntwerp City Campus in a dynamic, stimulating, and professional work environment in the interdisciplinary team of the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence, and as part of the research groups Politics & Public Governance and Government and Law. You will receive substantive and methodological training and the possibility of an international research stay at one of our partner universities.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here .

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp's online job application platform up to and including August 15th, 2022 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include a copy of your CV and a cover letter.
  • A pre-selection will be made from amongst the submitted applications. The remainder of the selection procedure is specific to the position and will be determined by the selection panel.
  • The selected candidates are invited for an interview. The interviews will take place in September 2022.
  • If you have questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to .
  • For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact Prof. Koen Verhoest ( ), Wouter Van Dooren ( ), Patricia Popelier ( ) or Peter Bursens ( ).

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

Excellent HR policy for researchers

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In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 2315331.