Two PhD Scholarships in ERC Funded Project on Migration and Democratic Diffusion

Deadline: 24 June 2019
Open to: international candidates
Benefits: annual gross salary of 20.000 EUR


The Department of Political Science at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona is looking for two PhD candidates to be part of a team researching the impact of migration on democratic participation and processes in countries of origin. The research strategy of the MIGRADEMO project combines analysis of processes of democratic diffusion across three countries of origin and at three levels of democratic participation and processes: individual citizens, civil society and among political leaders and representatives. The tentative case studies are Turkey, Morocco and Hungary/Romania.

The project will analyse already existing aggregate data on remittances and political behavior and, importantly, generate new comprehensive datasets based on documentary research, surveys and in-depth qualitative research among non-migrants and returnees in countries of origin, civil society leaders and the political elite. The project will contribute to our theoretical understanding of the conditions under which migration can influence democratic processes as well as the broader research fields of democracy studies, migration and citizenship.

The project will be carried out until 2023 by an interdisciplinary team of the PI, 3 postdocs and 2 PhD students. Candidates interesting in applying for external PhD funding on any aspect of the MIGRADEMO project are welcome to contact the PI as soon as possible.

The PhD candidates will, in close collaboration with the PI and the rest of the team assist in the development of the project, including collection and analysis of data related to migration and democratic processes in the countries of study. Candidates will also be encouraged to pursue their own research ideas within the project research objectives. We welcome candidates interested in one of the following profiles/set of research objectives. Candidates are also welcome to, while focusing mainly on one profile, be interested in incorporating others and apply mixed methods for the thesis.
PhD#1 will mainly be focusing on the quantitative parts of the research such as the surveys and other statistical analysis related to the research objectives. Some travelling for fieldwork can be expected. PhD# 2 will mainly be focusing on more in-depth understanding of processes of democratic diffusion at the level of individuals, civil society or the political elite based on qualitative research methods.
More extensive periods of fieldwork can be expected, and fieldwork relevant language skills are necessary.

The PhD candidates are furthermore expected to:
• Develop and complete a PhD dissertation on a topic related to the project.
• Present and publish joint publications related to the research findings.
• Participate in the organization of dissemination activities such as conferences, seminars, research reports and briefings, policy briefs and assist in research related administrative tasks.


Profile of candidates

• A Masters degree in Political Science or other related and relevant field with emphasis on advanced social science research methodology. Relevant undergraduate studies.
• An excellent academic record at both undergraduate and graduate level.
• Excellent analytical and methodological skills corresponding to the chosen overall methodological focus of the thesis.
• Excellent spoken and written English and, in particular for those interested in qualitative fieldwork, also excellent knowledge of the language(s) related to the case-studies of the project.
• Ability and commitment to work as part of an international and multi-disciplinary team.

Further valuable qualifications: Experience with field research, especially in non-EU countries; training in and experience with mixed methods research and experiemental research design; experience with studies of migration and democratization; fluency in French and excellent communication skills.


The programme offers two full-time scholarships for 3 years (subject to an evaluation after 12 months). The candidates will have access to new data and work in the stimulating research environment of a new international and interdisciplinary research group. The project will provide funds for tuition fees and conference participation. The positions, benefits and payments are regulated by the contracts for PhD students at the UAB. The annual gross salary will be 20.000 EUR. The PhD candidates will be expected to be in residence in Barcelona and need to be eligible for enrollment in the PhD programme on Politics, Policies and International Relations of the Faculty of Political Science and
Sociology. This highly international programme is in English. Knowledge of Spanish or Catalan is not a requirement.

How to apply?

Interested candidates should submit their applications to eva.ostergaard(at) and Mercè Bericat Bonet (merce.bericat(at) as soon as possible and no later than 24/6 2019 with the message subject MIGRADEMO PhD #1 or MIGRADEMO PhD#2. The following documents, integrated in one PDF file, must be included:

• A brief motivation letter.
• A detailed CV including information on relevant methodological training and final average grades/rank obtained in undergraduate and graduate degrees.
• A short preliminary research statement outlining which topic(s) and research methods related to the MIGRADEMO project you are interested in pursuing in your PhD thesis (1-2 pages).
• Names of two referees who will send their references directly to eva.ostergaard(at) by the application deadline.
• 1-2 writing samples in English demonstrating the methodological and analytical skills of the applicants, e.g. the Masters thesis or any other academic publications.

Short listed candidates will be invited to a personal interview, either in person at the UAB or via Skype within 2 weeks after the application deadline and it is expected that the selection process will be done by by 12/7 2019.

For more information please read the official open call.