Open Position: Post-Doctoral Researcher within the ERC Project MARIPOLDATA

At the Faculty of Social Sciences (Department of Political Science) of the University of Vienna the position of a Post-Doctoral Researcher within the ERC Project MARIPOLDATA is vacant. Application deadline: 31 October 2021


The successful candidate will work in an interdisciplinary research team within the ERC project “The Politics of Marine Biodiversity Data: Global and National Policies and Practices of Monitoring the Oceans (MARIPOLDATA)” led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Alice Vadrot, the Principal Investigator (PI) of the project. The research group is hosted by the Department of Political Science of the University of Vienna and is composed of the PI, a research administrator, 4 PhD students, 1 master student (starting in January/February 2022) and the new post-doctoral researcher.

The central objective of MARIPOLDATA is to develop and apply a new methodology for grounding the analysis of science-policy interrelations in empirical research. The interdisciplinary and multiscale approach of the project tackles barriers between political science research and the social studies of science, with the objective to understand how we will govern Oceans in the future and how inequalities related to science and data infrastructures can be addressed, studied and reduced. The larger aim of the project is to develop a distinct line of social science research for understanding the interrelation between science and politics more deeply and with regard to its material, social and epistemic effects.

The Post-Doctoral researcher will have a background in Political Science, the Social Study of Science, Environmental Studies, Sociology, Human Geography or related field with an expertise in science-policy interrelations, environmental expertise, or scientific advice. He/She will work on MARIPOLDATA´s four work packages, contributing to the project aims and the synthesis of preliminary research findings. The successful candidate is expected to work with and triangulate data collected through ethnography, bibliometrics, and oral history. He/She will coordinate data analysis and collective writing processes using different types of data.

This is an exciting opportunity for a PhD graduate to develop further research experience, working with senior and junior colleagues on an ERC funded project and in the rapidly emerging and increasingly relevant area of ocean science and governance.

Duration of Employment: 40.00 hours/week until the project ends on October 31, 2023

Salary: Job grading in accordance with collective bargaining agreement: §48 VwGr. B1 lit. b (postdoc) with relevant work experience determining the assignment to a particular salary grade.

Expecting Starting date: Beginning of January 2022 at the earliest  

Workplace: Vienna


Main duties:

  • Contribute to ongoing research in the MARIPOLDATA project, analysis and writing, in discussion with the PI, to deliver on project aims
  • Data analysis, synthesis, and triangulation of preliminary research findings
  • Keep up to date with research literature relevant to the project
  • Collaborate with members of the research team, including researchers from other social science disciplines
  • Prepare publications drafts and coordinate collective writing processes
  • Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications
  • Disseminate research findings for publication, by giving talks in research seminars, conferences, and writing manuscripts
  • Supervise undergraduate and master students on research related work and provide guidance to PhD students, where appropriate
  • Participate in outreach activities to communicate science to the public.


Personal profile:

  • PhD in one of the following fields: Political Science, Social Study of Science, Environmental Studies, Sociology, Human Geography
  • Experience and expertise (theoretical/empirical) in one of the following areas: science-policy interfaces, scienctific advise, role of experts and expertise in policy-making, international negotiations, multilateral environmental agreements.
  • Knowledge in one of these fields: ocean protection, environmental protection, sustainable development, marine policy, marine biodiversity, high seas
  • Excellent Writing skills
  • High-level analytical capability
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Interest in the history and sociology of ocean science or the development of science to study nature more broadly
  • Understanding national research capacities in negotiating new treaties



Applications should be sent electronically to by October 31st 2021 and include the following documents in a single PDF file in English:

  • Cover Letter outlining how your expertise is linked to MARIPOLDATA´s project objectives and give an overview of how you would pursue the research
  • Curriculum vitae
  • List of publications – with the most important scientific publications highlighted (at least two)
  • Contacts of 3 References
  • Certificate of PhD degree


Selection & Next Steps:

Following the closing date, we will contact you by email to let you know whether or not you have been shortlisted to participate in the next stage of the selection process. Interviews will be held in mid-November 2021

For enquiries about the application process, please contact:

For informal enquiries about the job, please contact Dr Alice Vadrot:

For more information about the project:

The University of Vienna intends to increase the number of women on its faculty, particularly in high-level positions, and therefore specifically invites applications by women. Among equally qualified applicants, women will receive preferential consideration.


About the Project:

In order to protect marine biodiversity and ensure that benefits are equally shared, the UN General Assembly has decided to develop a new legally binding treaty under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Marine biodiversity data will play a central role: Firstly, in supporting intergovernmental efforts to identify, protect and monitor marine biodiversity. Secondly, in informing governments interested in particular aspects of marine biodiversity, including its economic use and its contribution to biosecurity. In examining how this data are represented and used, this project will create a novel understanding of the materiality of science - policy interrelations in global environmental politics as well as develop the methodologies to do so. This is crucial, because the capacities to develop and use data infrastructures are unequally distributed among countries and global initiatives for data sharing are significantly challenged by conflicting perceptions of who benefits from marine biodiversity research.

The central objective of MARIPOLDATA is to develop and apply a new multiscale methodology for grounding the analysis of science - policy interrelations in empirical research. An interdisciplinary team, led by the PI, will collect and analyse data across different policy -levels and spatial scales by combining 1) ethnographic studies at intergovernmental negotiation sites with 2) a comparative analysis of national marine biodiversity monitoring policies and practices and 3) bibliometric and network analyses and oral history interviews for mapping the field of marine biodiversity science.