Vacancy for a post-doc position on «Divercities»

3 juin 2013

Location: University of Paris-Est, Lab’urba

Duration: one year (July 2013-2014), potentially expendable to three years)


Position context

The work is part of a European project of the 7th Framework which runs from March 2013 to March 2017, called “Divercities : Governing Urban Diversity: Creating Social Cohesion, Social Mobility and Economic Performance in Today’s Hyper-diversified Cities”.


The lead partner of project is Utrecht University, Faculty of Geosciences (Prof. Ronald van Kempen and Dr. Gideon Bolt ), with 14 different universities in Europe taking part in this project (Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey, Denmark, UK, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Germany, Estonia, Poland, France…) .


DIVERCITIES short description

The main research questions of this project are:

  1. 1.      What evidence can we find of the positive aspects of urban diversity in terms of social cohesion, social mobility and economic performance for European cities?
  2. 2.      How can these positive arrangements be enhanced by participatory policies and governance arrangements?

The explicit focus on social (social cohesion), socio-economic (social mobility) and economic (economic performance) aspects, as well as on ways to profit from diversity with the help of good policies and governance arrangements guarantees a comprehensive account of the effects of urban diversity.

The general goals of the DIVERCITIES project are:

  1. to understand the positive and negative effects of socio-economic, socio-demographic, ethnic, and cultural diversity for society, the city and the urban economy;
  2. to provide convincing evidence on the positive contribution of diversity to the crucial outcomes of social cohesion, economic performance and social mobility;
  3. to analyse and interpret the role of existing policies and governance arrangements, in content as well as in form, in promoting beneficial aspects of urban diversity;
  4. to improve the knowledge base for policy makers on different levels (EU, national, local) by translating the results of this project into innovative instruments and arrangements.


Ten Work Packages

  1. The research programme will have a clear management structure (WP1), which runs throughout the lifetime of the project.
  2. A communication module (WP2) will be embedded in all stages of our research. This module guarantees communication on the project and debates and seminars on the preliminary outcomes of the research between researchers and stakeholders, as well as discussion on the results with a large number of diverse stakeholders in the selected urban contexts.
  3. Formulation of detailed research and conceptual guidelines, to provide elaborated guidelines for each partner about the details, the methods and the concepts of the research (WP3).
  4. Policy research, focusing on the ways in which diversity is conceptualised, defined, and embedded within contemporary urban policy programmes on national and urban level. We will analyse policy memorandums using critical discourse analysis and we will interview on average 15 key policy persons per city (WP4).
  5. A focus on governance arrangements (small initiatives). We will select in each city a number of small initiatives that focus on using diversity in a positive way and investigate their success and failure factors (WP5).
  6. Interviews among inhabitants in 14 cities will be conducted to find out relations between diversity, policies (see WP4) and initiatives (see WP5) on the one hand and social cohesion and social mobility on the other hand (WP6). The aim is to have 50 interviews per city.
  7. Interviews among entrepreneurs in 14 cities will be conducted to find out relations between diversity policies (see WP4) and initiatives (see WP5) on the one hand and economic performance on the other (WP7). The aim is to have 40 interviews per city.
  8. A cross-evaluation programme in which we will confront research and policy experts in debates and seminars with the preliminary results of the project, with the aim to get ammunition for good end products (WP8).
  9. The production of a handbook for policy makers and academic articles. The results of our research will be disseminated through a handbook for policy makers and through articles for wider academic circles (WP9).
  10. Policy conference and PhD-school. The final policy conference will aim to share the research results with the policy makers and practitioners. The final PhD-school will aim to attract young scientists to the research field and increase their awareness of the issues that the project introduced (WP10).


Postdoc project

The Post-doc will be part of the French Team and will be involved in the whole project.

He will take part to the administration and management of the part of the research project to be produced by the French team. She/He will be involved in WP2 and in WP 4 to WP7:

  • Assisting the French project leader in the management of the project and in  the building of a stakeholder group
  • collecting data for the city report
  • conducting the interviews
  • co-writing the reports  and publications
  • supporting the meetings and events and the website



  • Completed PhD degree in social sciences or urban planning
  • Affinity with quantitative methods and data analysis in the social sciences;
  • Interest in social issues in cities (segregation, diversity, ethnicity) ;
  • Language competencies in English (fluent)
  • Autonomy in achieving the work programme


Applicants should send their application consisting of the following by email to before 29th June 2013:

1)     a letter showing their interest and commitment

2)     a CV

3)      two letters of reference

4)     Phd and Phd reviewers comments

5)     List of publications and an example of academic written work


Location of the position: Lab’urba, University of Paris-Est (Marne-la-Vallée)

Charged salary: depending on the experience of the applicant: 2100 euros as a minimum

Duration: first period of one year, potentially expendable to three and a half years.