Postdoc in Stakeholder Engagement Processes across International Museums Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research University of Copenhagen
The University of Copenhagen is seeking a highly motivated and talented Postdoc fellow to commence on January 1, 2024, at the Medical Museion, part of Department of Public Health and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR).
The Postdoc fellowship is part of CBMR International PhD & Postdoc Program.
The Medical Museion is a University Medical Museum at the Department of Public Health. It combines an interdisciplinary research group that looks at health and medical sciences in their cultural, historical, and philosophical context. The Center’s scientific research invokes fundamental questions about the relationship between medical science, clinical medicine and human experience; and the Medical Museion’s starting point is that metabolic research is an integral part of culture and history. We produce exhibitions, events, collection projects, and online communication, all informed by both biomedical science and our humanities research program covering philosophy of science, history of science, medical humanities, STS, museology, and anthropology.
The postdoc position is based at the Medical Museion that houses CBMR’s Program for Metabolic Science in Culture (Director Professor Ken Arnold).
Department of Public Health
The Department of Public Health’s focus is to improve the health of the population and the connection between health and society. The Department provides the scientific foundation for efforts that aims to improve public health, both nationally and globally, and to create greater insight into the links between health, the individual and society as well as the ethical, equity and political implications. This is achieved through research, education and engagement with stakeholders and the public at large with a wide-ranging multidisciplinary research agenda covering most aspects of public health at a high international level. You can read more about the Department of Public Health here.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research’s vision is to strengthen interdisciplinary research that transforms our basic understanding of the mechanisms that underlie cardiometabolic health and disease, and to accelerate this knowledge toward new prevention and treatment strategies. We were established in 2010, and in 2017, we moved into new laboratories and offices in the Maersk Tower.
The Center has around 260 employees who work in an international, highly collaborative research environment across a range of biomedical disciplines. For more information, visit www.cbmr.ku.dk.
Practicing Participation: Stakeholder Engagement Processes in International Museums
This research area focuses on the contemporary and historical role of research-led museums like Medical Museion. How do they now position themselves between the ‘ivory tower’ of academic research and the public realm of a cultural venue? How has that role evolved; and how can such an institution today be most effective at involving and listening to interest groups and the general public, as well as disseminating scientific knowledge and its social/cultural contexts? And how is this sort of work done similarly, but differently in different international contexts.
The project fits into CBMR’s Research Program 4’s efforts to connect CBMR's fundamental scientific and innovation work to big questions about what it is like to live with cardiometabolic diseases; what impact people’s scientific knowledge and self-awareness of their health has on their wellbeing; and even more broadly how these ideas can shift understandings of the human condition.
The thrust of this investigation picks up on a significant recent trend in museum thinking that focuses on the accessibility and diversity of their outputs and outcomes. But rather than concentrating on the types of public that museums can reach, it concentrates instead on how those participatory principles can be exercised in museum workshops and displays that work with the science as well as the social/cultural contexts of cardiometabolic medicine.
It will start by exploiting a novel form of stakeholder engagement being developed at Medical Museion, where thematic workshops are used to convene a variety of implicated interest groups, using object-based learning and other creative curatorial working methods to explore familiar topics in unfamiliar ways. A leading question here is what role can experimental stakeholder engagements play for modern science museums in redefining their position between science and the public? The project will also go on to explore how some of that stakeholder-focused work can then be planted in experimental displays and events presented to the public, and further how opportunities for co-enquiry can be grounded in targeted visitation to those shows. This research project will involve event development and exhibition making (as sites for action learning) as well as more traditional humanities research practices. It will also involve collaboration with a limited number of international partners (most notably in Bengaluru and Munich) in order to learn from other innovative practices developed through similar principles, but in rather different institutional and international contexts.
This research project probes Medical Museion’s focus on the links between CBMR’s research and society-at-large. It uses two sites of enquiry: first in its experimental events, workshops, and installations that draw on what museums are good at (using their collections and other visual/material culture, their charged spaces for hosting events, as well as their curatorial expertise and experience of bringing together people and things), and second a series of ‘temporary displays’ currently being developed for a couple of Medical Museion’s modest rooms, which will have a strong focus on exploring dilemmas and encouraging broader public conversation.
Studying this form of work whilst participating in its development will generate three integrated layers of insight:
- First, a museological study of both the underlying philosophical as well as methodological principles behind this way of working, and how it can be folded into understandings of the more practical processes involved in using museums as bridges between science and society.
- Second, a more programmatic focus on outputs, outcomes and, most importantly, learnings from these initiatives. How can this work suggest other richer and more effective initiatives in the future, and how much collaborating on these projects feed back into scientific research?
- And third, an international comparison of similar practices, involving organizations like Science Gallery in Bengaluru (part of the Science Gallery International network), Biotopia in Munich, and further potential nodes in an international network of like-minded curators/researchers and institutions.
The project will move through a series of stages: (1) mapping the context, history and theory of such practices; (2) establishing a network; (3) developing and studying stakeholder engagement and temporary displays through specific project; (4) sharing insights across an international network, and finally, (5) project analysis and dissemination.
The fellowship will be aimed at early/mid-career researchers with a background in museology, cultural theory and history/philosophy of science or related fields. We are particularly interested in candidates who have had some background and experience in museum and cultural practice as well as a familiarity with concerns around public engagement with medicine and scientific research.
- PhD in a relevant humanities or social science discipline, e.g. museology, history/philosophy of science, anthropology, STS or medical humanities
- Knowledge of and ability to engage with disparate researchers and stakeholders
- Confidence in designing own research methodologies
- Enthusiasm for collaborative and practice-oriented enquiry is essential, as is an ambitious, independent and critical mindset
- Experience of working in museums/cultural sector or other forms of public communication and engagement is highly desirable
- Must have excellent English communication skills, both written and oral
The Postdoc fellowships within the CBMR International PhD & Postdoc Program are open for applicants that hold a PhD degree awarded from a university outside of Denmark. The program is also open for applicants with a Danish PhD degree who can document at least 12 months of full-time research experience from outside Denmark. The PhD degree has to be obtained before January 1, 2024. You are not eligible to apply for the program if you have been employed in a postdoctoral position for more than one year at the University of Copenhagen prior to the commencement of the fellowship.
Terms of Employment
The employment as Postdoc is a full-time position for 3 years. Starting date is January 1, 2024.
Salary, pension and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated.
Non-Danish and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark for the last 10 years.
The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2020.
For further information about the position, please contact Ken Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions regarding the CBMR International PhD & Postdoc Program must be directed to email@example.com. For questions regarding the recruitment procedure, please contact HR at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Copenhagen International Staff Mobility office offers support and assistance to all international researchers on all issues related to moving to and settling in Denmark.
Your online application must be submitted in English via the ‘Apply now’ link below. Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:
- Cover letter expressing the motivation and previous research experience of the applicant (max. one page)
- Curriculum vitae
- Copy of the PhD degree certificate and the Master’s degree certificate. In case the PhD has not yet been completed, a written statement from the supervisor is acceptable, confirming it will be obtained before January 1, 2024.
- List of publications
- References (name and contact details of at least two references)
Application Deadline: June 18, 2023, 23.59pm CET
We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.
The Further Process
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor. Once the assessment work has been completed, each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.
You can read about the recruitment process at www.employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process.
The applicant will be assessed according to Ministerial Order No. 242 of March 13, 2012, on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of their personal backgrounds.
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.