2-year postdoctoral researcher positions working on a new study: Skills INCORP – redefining incorporation of high-skilled professionals

The Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen invites applications for two, 2-year fixed-term postdoctoral researcher positions starting on 1 January 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

This is a unique opportunity to join a research team that will develop the concept of incorporation (contributing to the fields of migration, sociology of work and international talent management). We will do this by collecting new empirical data, using innovative qualitative methods (vignettes, mapping exercises, diary-keeping) as well as in-depth interviews.

The over-arching aim of the Skills INCORP study is to extend our knowledge of how to best facilitate the transnational movement of high-skilled professionals; an increasingly growing and diverse social group. We need to understand better how companies are best able to benefit from their international talent, and how countries can improve their retention of these high-skilled professionals, who are expensive to recruit, but critical to their economic growth.

The study is co-led by Professor Claire Maxwell & Associate Professor Nana Wesley Hansen.

Job Description
Skills INCORP, which is funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark, has three research objectives: (i) mapping how high-skilled professionals’ skills become incorporated into workplaces, and how this is understood to foster company growth and innovation; (ii) developing theory to illustrate how high-skilled professionals and their families become socially incorporated into local networks and spaces; (iii) examine how skills and social incorporation intersect, and what influence this has on high-skilled professionals’ current and future mobility for work.

There are two post-doctoral researcher positions available:

  1. The first position, working alongside Associate Professor Nana Wesley Hansen at FAOS (Employment Relations Research Centre, based at the Department of Sociology), will focus on how high-skilled professionals become incorporated into their workplaces – drawing on in-depth interviews and vignette responses with high-skilled professionals themselves and their managers, as well as an analysis of the broader institutional structures within the company.
  2. The second post-doctoral researcher, working alongside Professor Claire Maxwell, will focus longitudinally (over the course of one year) on studying a sub-set of the high-skilled professionals recruited above (and any accompanying family, including children).  Drawing on repeat interviews, mapping of social networks, and diary entries, this part of the study will theorise how mobile professionals become socially incorporated within Denmark and how this may be shaped by geography, gender, nationality, special interests and work-place incorporation.

Both post-doctoral researchers will need to undertake literature reviews, data collection and analysis work, and draft manuscripts for journal articles.

The post-doctoral researcher position is a full-time research position and does not involve any teaching obligations.

For further information, including more details on the Skills INCORP project, please contact Professor Claire Maxwell (cm@soc.ku.dk) or Associate Professor Nana Wesley Hansen (nha@faos.dk).

Applicants should hold a PhD degree, or be close to defending it, within a social science discipline.  Applicants must (i) possess strong qualitative methods skills and (ii) have experience in researching companies or organisations; or in studying families. Experience with research in migration and/or skills management is also of high relevance. Having undertaken vignette-based research and other innovative qualitative methods is also an advantage but not a requirement.

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 through research findings with impact .

For more on the Faculty strategy, see:https://samf.ku.dk/fakultetet/strategi/. You can read the Department’s strategy here: https://www.sociology.ku.dk/research/

Terms of Employment

The recruitment process
Further information on the recruitment process at University of Copenhagen can be found here:  https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

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 Research, see https://employment.ku.dk/working-at-ucph/eu-charter-for-researchers/

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: https://ism.ku.dk/

Contact information
Information about the recruitment process is available from HR, HR South and City Campuses, e-mail: hrsc@hrsc.ku.dk, please refer to ID number: 211-1174/22-2I

Additional information about the position can be obtained from Professor Claire Maxwell, e-mail: cm@soc.ku.dk.


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:

Appendix 1: Cover letter detailing (i) how the scientific qualifications of the applicant meet the requirements for this position and (ii) how the applicant considers contributing to the empirical study Skills INCORP (max 2 pages in total).

Appendix 2: A short suggestion for a project plan for either of the two subprojects (no more than 2 pages). The preliminary project description can be requested from (nha@faos.dk) concerning the first position and (cm@soc.ku.dk)  the second position.

Appendix 3: Curriculum vitae.

Appendix 4: A complete list of publications (including those accepted for publication).

Appendix 5: Your best publication (or chapter from your PhD dissertation) (max 30 PDF pages)

Appendix 6: A copy of the doctoral certificate or letter signed by the promotor that a doctoral certificate is expected in due time.

The closing date for applications is 26 October 2022 at 23:59 [CEST

Applications or enclosures received thereafter will not be considered.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 26-10-2022
Employment start: 01-01-2023
Department/Location: Department of Sociology
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