Postdoc position in ERC project ‘Processing Citizenship’

The Department of Science, Technology, and Policy Studies (STePS), Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences at the University of Twente is looking for a Postdoc with a background in Ethnography of borders and/or migration to join the ERC-funded project ‘Processing Citizenship: Digital registration of migrants as co-production of citizens, territory and Europe’ (ProcessCitizenship), with Dr. Annalisa Pelizza as Principal Investigator.

Project and work description

‘Processing Citizenship’ investigates the information infrastructure for migrant registration at and across European borders, focusing on how citizenship, modernist institutions and territory are co-produced.

Intensifying migration waves are changing EU policies―with Hotspots being set up in frontline countries―but also the way knowledge about migrants, institutions and territory is created. Information systems are key enablers of this knowledge. They materialize legislative, political, administrative dynamics in which citizenship, state and borders are co-produced. ProcessingCitizenship aims to establish information systems as ‘interfaces’ that make visible changes in the modern nation state. It aims to develop a history of the present that accounts for contemporary materially-embedded practices of registration of migrants at Hotspots as activities of governance formation.

The project combines border studies and surveillance studies in IT and migration with a materialist performative approach derived from science and technology studies and media geography. Data will be collected via qualitative and computational techniques.

We offer a trans-disciplinary, interactive and international research environment in a leading Science and Technology Studies (STS) department. The appointee will be a key member of a team of eight, working in close relationship with the Principal Investigator. The project’s framework being given, s/he will have the opportunity to independently take day-to-day decisions and plan responsibilities.


The postdoctoral researcher will work with the Principal Investigator in further developing the theoretical and methodological framework. Together with the PI, s/he will train the team of three PhD students in ethnographic and qualitative interviewing methodologies, and co-supervise them.

Fieldwork research will be conducted mainly at Hotspots for migrant registration in Greece and Italy. It will consist of participant observation of identification and registration practices, focusing on the techno-social settings, and qualitative interviews with migrants about their everyday experiences with the registration system.

As part of the team, the appointee will support communication and organizational activities related to the project, and participate in publishing and conferential initiatives.


The ideal candidate has a PhD (or equivalent) degree in anthropology, constructivist sociology, political science, human geography or neighbouring disciplines, and demonstrable experience in ethnographic methodologies and migration/border research. The candidate must be fluent in English and preferably in another language as specified below. Knowledge of Dutch is not a requirement.


·         PhD completed at the latest by September 2017

·         Demonstrable knowledge of border/migration studies and on-field experience of ethnographic methodologies

·         Demonstrable experience of and willingness to embark in international fieldwork research

·         Commitment to the project’s success, willingness to collaborate in a research team and write joint publications

·         Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to plan one’s and others’ work and meet deadlines

·         Record of topical publications

·         Sound understanding of the potential non-academic impacts of the research and ways of engaging with it

·         Familiarity with management of resources and willingness to accept Horizon2020 administrative and ethical behaviour


·         Linguistic fluency either in Arabic (strongly desirable), modern Greek or Italian

·         Research experience after PhD

·         Knowledge of major STS approaches and/or STS literature in information infrastructures

·         Ability to think across disciplinary boundaries, creating an inclusive and creative culture

Conditions of employment

We offer a full-time contract (38 hours per week) spanning a period of 2 years. The appointee is expected to take office on June 1st, 2017 (although a later start date may be negotiated). Depending on relevant background and experience, the gross monthly salary on a full time basis ranges from € 3.427,- to € 4.514,- per month.

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labor Agreement for Universities (CAO). Employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus. International employees are entitled to a 30% tax allowance.

We offer excellent auxiliary terms of employment, such as professional and personal development programs; a secondary remuneration package; a dynamic environment with enthusiastic colleagues; an organization focusing on internationalization and a high degree of responsibility and independence. Last but not least, the University of Twente combines a unique location at the core of Europe – with major cities easily reachable by train (e.g., Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr Area) – with a truly international academic environment and a high quality of life.

Application procedure

Applications should be submitted via!/vacature/816678  before January 8, 2017 h. 23:59 (CET).

Applications should include:

·         a motivation letter describing why you would be a good fit for this project;

·         a one-page description of your future research plans;

·         curriculum vitae, including list of publications;

·         one publication, preferably showing experience in ethnographic methodologies;

·         two letters of reference, including referee contacts.

Only complete applications submitted by the deadline will be taken into consideration.

The first interview round will take place in the second half of January 2017. In case needed, a second round of interviews will be conducted in the first half of February 2017. For more information on this position please contact Dr. Annalisa Pelizza (Principal Investigator) a.

In case of equal qualifications, recruitment will be conducted with an attention to fostering gender, age, linguistic and national diversity. Hence, submissions from international candidates and/or from candidates from academically under-represented groups are welcome.