Hiring now: 3 PhD researchers — migration

We have currently three positions open for a project on how narratives of crisis influence discourses and policies of migration and mobility. The project is built around crisis narratives, how they evolve, and how they affect social behaviour (attitudes, discrimination), policies, as well as migration intentions, bridging disciplines as experimental sociology, history and political theory.

Deadline: 8 May 2022

Full call: https://nccr-onthemove.ch/wp_live14/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/2022_IP40_Doc_UniNe.pdf

If this is not your thing, there are other positions by the NCCR on the move open at the moment, with deadlines in April, May, and June: https://nccr-onthemove.ch/jobs/

PhD Opportunities at Utrecht

Dr. Valentina Di Stasio is recruiting two PhD students who will join her team for the project TARGETS, funded by the European Research Council (ERC StG 2021), and starting in September 2022. The projects will be embedded within the ICS, the Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology, and are based at ERCOMER (European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations), Utrecht University. 

TARGETS is a multi-disciplinary and multi-method project bringing together insights from sociology, socio-legal studies, organizational and social psychology, management and organization studies, with the aim to understand the conditions under which people are recognized as targets of discrimination (both in the workplace and in the courtroom), and the strategies that members of vulnerable groups adopt to avoid becoming targets.

You can find more detailed information on the two PhD projects at these links:

Project 5 (Discrimination Attributions) http://ics-graduateschool.nl/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/5-Di-Stasio-Lubbers_Being-the-target-of-ethnic-discrimination.pdf

Project 6 (Coping strategies)http://ics-graduateschool.nl/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/6-Di-Stasio-Lubbers_Coping-strategies-to-avoid-being-the-target-of-ethnic-discrimination.pdf

The deadline for applying is April 11. More information on the application procedure can be found here: https://ics-graduateschool.nl/vacancies/phd-projects-2022/

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Post-Doc position/ Quantitative Social Scientist/ Migration in Potsdam

Jasper Tjaden is looking for a post doc to work with him in Potsdam starting October 2022. The contract is initially two years with the possibility of extension.

Interested candidates should send their CV and a short (one paragraph) motivation (in the body of the email).

Candidates should have:

  • Interest in migration/ integration studies (!)
  • Advanced R/ Stata skills
  • Good understanding of econometrics
  • Good understanding of causal inference
  • Experience collecting data/ survey methodology
  • Interest in/ experience with digital data (Facebook/ Google etc.)
  • Team player
  • Solid publication record

Prof. Dr. Jasper Tjaden

Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences
Professor of Applied Social Research & Public Policy

https://jaspertjaden.com/

Life after the Migration PhD

This promises to be an excellent event!

Exploring possible career paths outside of academia in professional fields of migration and beyond

What can your working life look like after graduating? With the support of IMES, the ACES Migration Network, and the AISSR, the organisers launch a new hybrid seminar series titled “Life after the Migration PhD”. The series targets PhD researchers who work on migration or related topics and connects them to post-PhD professionals who have moved onto careers outside of academia. The seminars offer insight into a range of non-university working areas and function as a networking environment. They kick off on the 26th of October with a seminar by Claudia Simons.

During three monthly sessions from October to December 2021, we learn more about different working trajectories by talking to professionals in three fields: (1) research institutes outside of university (think-tanks, foundations); (2) international advocacy (NGOs, IOs) and (3) diplomacy and government institutions. The seminars are interactive.

More information and registration: https://aissr.uva.nl/content/events/events/2021/10/life-after-the-migration-phd-1.html

Rejecting candidates

I’m currently screening candidates for a fixed-term position and thought I would share some views “from the other side”, so to speak.

It’s not an easy task, especially if you do your best to provide a fair and equitable selection. One thing that really struck me this time was how strongly the advert resonated in some disciplines and not in others. The advert was for a “Post-Doctoral Researcher”, with a clear preference for “economics; sociology, or political sciences”. That’s simply because for this particular position — in a specific project — that’s the skills we need; and it worked, we have received mostly applications demonstrating excellent quantitative skills. Another generic observation concerns LinkedIn. It’s the first time I’ve also advertised on LinkedIn, and this enticed a fair number of applicants to press the “apply” button, even though the advert asked for applications by e-mail. One thing I noticed compared to the applications by e-mail is that the share of speculative applications was noticeably larger: applications without any reasonable fit. Some of them obviously clicked through the screening questions, because the CV did not always back up the skills. On the other hand, LinkedIn also makes it almost too easy to reject applicants.

The hardest cases are always those truly excellent candidates that just don’t match, but impress otherwise. Let’s be clear here, there are positions that are open, where you set your own research agenda, and there are jobs in projects where the general direction and research design are given.

Reasons we rejected you

Here’s a list of reasons why we have not continued with your application into the second round (in no particular order):

  • very poor English in the cover letter; I know not everyone has had the same opportunities to learn English, grew up with a similar native language or was given the necessary resources, but if your cover letter fails to demonstrate good language skills, we cannot count on your writing those articles in English
  • you did not demonstrate any of the skills we asked for; these are the skills you need to carry out the job, so a motivation to learn advanced quantitative methods is not going to be sufficient, certainly not when you’re up against more than 100 other candidates
  • you really want to work on a (widely) different topic; in this case, it’s a job for a specific project, so no matter how great your “project” is, it’s not useful. I know you need a job, but when you tell us that you really want to work on a different topic, you’re not going to be happy in this job.
  • your best quantitative skills are QCA or Atlas.ti (I’m not making this up!), or you’ve done economic theory up to now
  • you provided a list of keywords from my webpage, but there is no coherent statement. Yes, you got my attention for 1/4 of a second, but not more than that
  • your e-mail bounces when I sent the acknowledgement mail. OK, technically you have not been rejected, but how should we communicate?

Some bad signals we ignored

Let’s be clear here, with over 100 applications, we could be very picky and work only with the applications that immediately impress us. But we also know that we might have missed something in the first round. Here are some things you might want to avoid next time:

  • you’re not following the instructions (i.e. send a single PDF by e-mail in this case, like sending 7 PDF and Word documents, or sending me an updated CV twice); this doesn’t really signal attention to detail
  • your PDF application is poorly organized, like putting the job market paper first, not the cover letter (sure, we love scrolling through documents… .~)
  • your personal website doesn’t work — when did you update it last time?
  • you use a script font for the cover letter — it’s just very hard to read, OK?
  • you can’t spell STSTA [sic.]

Stuff we appreciated in the first round

It’s not magic really, but there are things you did do to aid the screening process, thank you:

  • you have the skills asked for, and you clearly show this
  • you demonstrate in the cover letter that you have read the advert beyond the word “postdoctoral researcher”, like mentioning how your previous work relates to the project we advertised. I know you’re probably writing many applications, but it does make a difference for jobs with clear requirements.
  • that one applicant using Julia
  • your material and especially your CV is nicely organized
  • your cover letter is short and relevant; it’s not just your CV in prose, and probably you don’t want to lead with your teaching statement when applying for a pure research position.

Now on to the second round …