PhD scholarship at the Department of Political Science

The Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen invites applications for a number of Ph.D. scholarships in Public Administration. The department welcomes qualified applications in all aspects of public administration and organization. At the present time, there is a particular interest in enhancing research in the following thematic areas: 
·       Behavioral Public Administration. 
Public policies are rarely self-executing. Across policy areas, the delivery and performance of the public services are a product of what the public employees think and do. Knowledge is needed on how psychological forces and mechanisms shape the attitudes and behaviors of citizens, public employees, and public managers. How do heuristics and cognitive biases affect discretion and decision-making in state-citizen interactions? What can we do to minimize the occurrence of illegitimate biases and disparity in public services provision? Behavioral Public Administration draws on psychological theories and experimental methods to investigate critical questions like this relating to decision-making in administrative settings and to broader societal issues concerning effectiveness, efficiency, and social equity in public administration. 
·       Health care. 
Current policy responses in health care attempt to facilitate coordination and integration of care at the local level while centralizing political and administrative power to the national level. There is a need to investigate the background for such reform ideas and to assess their political and administrative consequences in light of future challenges. The double pressure of increasing needs and technological developments has also spurred a renewed debate about prioritization within health care. Health economists have contributed extensively to this debate, but there is a need to assess the prioritization instruments and institutions from a political science perspective. 
·       Digitalization and machine learning. 
Digitalizing administrative procedures holds a potential for increasing efficiency, but also raises critical issues such as how technology influence inequity and effectiveness as well as helping behavior and innovation. Furthermore, present developments, where administrative professionals and citizens gets detached in time and space is in stark contrast to the importance given to face-to face relations in organizational research. However, particular types of digital communication have the advantage of being very accessible, and availability is crucial for helping behavior – the help needs to be within reach. Thus, there is a strong need to develop knowledge on how helping behavior can be mediated with digital communication. 
·      Governance reforms 
Governance reforms are ongoing processes these years both at the cross-cutting administrative policy level and in many specific policy fields. Organisational structures are reorganized, management and evaluations systems are restructured and new norms for good leadership are developed. Knowledge is needed on reform dynamics. How do reform ideas come about? How are reforms decided on, implemented and in some cases evaluated, and which impact do they have? How do reforms challenge established institutional arrangements in the interface between politics, professions and citizens expectations. Projects may focus on cross-cutting administrative policy reforms or on reforms in specific policy fields.   
The candidate 
Preferred candidates will have demonstrated a keen interest in behavioral or organizational aspects of political science and public administration. We are looking for candidates with strong analytical skills as well as with both qualitative and quantitative methodological skills. 
The PhD programme provides PhD students with strong research training which opens up a window of opportunity to a variety of careers within the private and public sectors. The programme includes the drafting of a PhD thesis, active participation in research networks, PhD courses, teaching, and other forms of knowledge dissemination.  
Further information about the PhD study programme is available on the website of Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences: 
Under "Legal basis" on the website you will find information about the rules and guidelines for the PhD programme and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities. 
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society, and invites all qualified applicants, regardless of personal background, to apply for the positions.  
In order to be awarded a PhD scholarship the applicant has to enrol as a PhD student at the Faculty of Social Sciences, cf. the rules of the Danish Ministerial order No 1039 of 27 August 2013.  
The application must be submitted electronically using the APPLY NOW button below, and must include:   
  • Cover Letter detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project 
  • Project description (max. 10 pp. double-spaced, not including bibliography) 
  • Time schedule 
  • CV   
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc/BA and MSc/MA)   
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications, documentation of English language qualifications (if any)  
On the website of Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences you will find information about the application process and enclosures to include with your electronic application: 
The time schedule is meant as a short outline of the PhD study programme envisioned at the time of application. Obviously, it is not possible to plan things like course participation in detail for the three years, when submitting the application. The time schedule is more meant to give an idea if it is realistic to complete the project within the designated timeframe with all the required elements included.   
The application must be submitted electronically no later than May 1 2019. 
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert assessment committee.  
The following criteria are used when shortlisting candidates for assessment: 
1. Research qualifications as reflected in the project proposal. 
2. Quality and feasibility of the project.  
3. Qualifications and knowledge in relevant political science disciplines. 
4. Performance (grades obtained) in graduate and post-graduate studies. 
Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the assessment committee, and 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 
Please note that it is only possible to upload one document per attachment category. If more than one document has to be uploaded in the same category, please make sure that they are scanned and collected into one file. Applications received after the deadline will not be taken into account. 

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.


Christian F. Rostbøll


Application deadline: 01-05-2019
Employment start: 01-09-2019
Department/Location: Institut for Statskundskab

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