PhD candidate in border studies (f/m) - Ref: 23-05
Campus Belval , 11, Porte des Sciences, L - 4366 Esch-Sur-Alzette , Luxembourg
The Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)
is recruiting a
PhD candidate in border studies (f/m)
Fixed-term working contract at LISER for 36 months (extendable up to 48 months maximum)
Full time, 40 hours/week
Registration in the PhD program at the University of Luxembourg
FNR-funded CORE project on The impact of rebordering on cross-border cooperation. A social semiotic approach to borders’ symbolic meaning (BOMIOTICS)
Start date: September 1st, 2023
Deadline for application: when the position is filled
LISER invites highly qualified and motivated applicants for the position of PhD candidate in the Urban Development and Mobility Department. The PhD candidate will work under the supervision of Dr. Christophe Sohn, who is coordinating the BOMIOTICS CORE project.
The successful candidate is expected to attend the PhD program at the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences from the University of Luxembourg. The doctoral research provisionally titled The symbolic role of national borders in cross-border urban agglomerations in Europe will contribute to the research goals of the BOMIOTICS project.
Description of the BOMIOTICS project
The overall goal of the BOMIOTICS project is to assess the extent to which the hardening of the intra-Schengen border regime is challenging the significance of supposedly open borders for cross-border cooperation (CBC) and cross-border region-building. More specifically, it will involve analyzing how rebordering affects the ways in which borders are mobilized as meaning-making signs or symbols (i.e., semiotics resources) by local CBC actors for the political and discursive construction of cross-border urban agglomerations. Given the research issue to be addressed, theories of social semiotics that pay attention to the way actors use signs and symbols to create meaning and communicate it in specific situations will be mobilized.
Four specific objectives required to meet the goal of the project are defined: (1) elaborating a conceptual framework informed by social semiotics and adapted to the case of border symbolism; (2) analyzing borders’ symbolization strategies at work based on case studies; (3) examining more specifically the material form of borders in space and the political implications of their visibility or invisibility; (4) assessing the impact of rebordering dynamics on CBC discourses and border symbolism.
The empirical analysis will focus on four cross-border urban agglomerations that constitute emblematic cases of cross-border regionalism in Europe: the Alzette-Belval European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation along the French-Luxembourg border, the European Twin City Frankfurt (Oder)-Słubice at the German-Polish border, the Trinational Eurodistrict Basel at the triple point between Switzerland, France and Germany, and Greater Geneva along the French-Swiss border.
The investigation of the symbolization strategies at work in these “laboratories of integration” will rely on multimodal discourse analysis focusing on CBC actors’ narratives and the images they use. This multimodal approach will consider different methods of expressing ideas, concepts, or beliefs; thereby representing an innovative and substantial contribution to a better understanding of the symbolic role of borders in the shaping of regional imaginaries, the political construction of cross-border spaces, and the capacity of CBC projects to face the challenges posed by rebordering.
The successful candidate will be asked to fill her/his doctoral training, to write a doctoral dissertation and to participate in the scientific, dissemination, and administrative activities linked to the BOMIOTICS project and to the Urban Development and Mobility Department.
An exciting multi-disciplinary and international research environment with ample opportunities to exchange with scholars from related disciplines at LISER;
A work contract with full social security coverage at LISER;
A competitive salary for the full-time PhD position for a period of maximum of 4 consecutive years;
A generous annual training budget and networking opportunities through participation in international conferences.
Master degree in the field of social sciences or humanities (e.g., border studies, cultural or political geography, political science, communication studies, sociology, anthropology or any other relevant discipline);
Previous research in the field of border studies and/or multimodal discourse analysis is a plus;
Expertise in qualitative methods (i.e., discourse analysis, interviews, ethnographic methods);
Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are required. Language skills in French and/or German are a plus.
LISER particularly encourages female researchers to apply.
LISER is a publicly funded research institute located in Luxembourg and dedicated to applied empirical research in economic, social and spatial sciences. The Institute hosts three departments (Living Conditions, Labour Market, and Urban Development and Mobility) as well as a Data Management Unit that coordinates the collection of a wide range of survey data on households and individuals. Beyond its established departments, the Institute invests in several interdisciplinary research fields.
The Institute attracts top researchers from all over the world and high-level student training is a vibrant part of the Institute’s activities. The Institute‘s staff consists of about 190 employees, more than 50% of the staff being researchers, mainly from the fields of economics, sociology, and geography. The working languages at the institute are French and English.
The Institute is located on the Belval campus in the south of Luxembourg, which hosts the University of Luxembourg and a substantial part of the country’s publicly funded research facilities, i.e. LISER, the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) cross-national data centre, the Luxembourg Institutes of Health (LIH) and of Science and Technology (LIST). The University has outstanding high-performance computing facilities available for use by associated researchers in the Luxembourg Institutes. Information for foreign researchers interested in Luxembourg research is accessible via the national EURAXESS platform.
Luxembourg with its > 600,000 inhabitants is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and provides a stimulating mixture of modern culture and tradition. Contemporary urbanity of its capital lies in close vicinity to a rich nature. In addition to excellent health, education (public, private and high level international schools) and recreational services, the community affords a rich variety of cultural activities typical of a major university environment, including museums, music, art and theatre. Luxembourg is a multi-lingual nation. Besides the official languages (French, German and Luxemburgish), English, Italian and Portuguese are spoken frequently.
Please submit the following documents via https://jobs.liser.lu/jobs :
A Curriculum Vitae;
A motivation letter presenting your relevant skills with respect to the project and how you plan to contribute to it;
A copy of your relevant diplomas;
Transcripts of the Master grades;
Two reference letters (to be uploaded with the application documents or sent separately to email@example.com, quoting the above reference number of the position 23-05)
Closing date for applications: when the position is filled.
Expected start date: September 1st, 2023.
Would you have any question on the position or for project-related information, please contact Dr. Christophe Sohn (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For administrative matters, please contact email@example.com
LISER is an Equal Opportunity Employer