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YUFE Career Tracks: Postdoctoral Programme on „European Identity“

YUFE - Young Universities for the Future of Europe

Closing date: 12/10/2021
Public vacancy

YUFE Postdoctoral Programme on “Citizens’ Wellbeing“

Have you recently finished your PhD and you have a keen research interest in the area of Citizens’ Wellbeing? Apply for a three-year YUFE Postdoc position at one of our YUFE universities - and participate in the pioneering research activities at one of the first European Universities!

The YUFE Alliance is based on the joint vision of ten young research universities and four non-academic partners aiming to address European and global challenges and contribute to the development of an innovative, united, and competitive Europe. YUFE offers the leading model of a young, student-centered, open and inclusive European University based on the Quadruple Helix process, with cooperation between the education sector, the public and private sector, policy makers and citizens. The YUFE Alliance is united in its commitment to build inter-connected education and research and innovation systems that are open, accessible and inclusive, founded on the principles of open science and social responsibility.

Job description


Guided by our vision to create a true European University, we pursue the following goals with this Postdoctoral Programme:

  • To attract the most talented early career researchers to YUFE by providing excellent research conditions, dedicated mentoring and the opportunity to co-create one of the first European Universities
  • To foster research excellence in the field of Citizens’ Wellbeing
  • To create an interdisciplinary network of experts in the field of  Citizens’ Wellbeing among the YUFE partner universities
  • To enhance the  YUFE Career Track with this call and improve career development opportunities within YUFE and beyond

The postdoctoral positions are open to promising early career researchers holding a PhD from all over the world. Preference is given to applicants who have just completed their doctorate and have not held a postdoctoral fellowship before. While we welcome both internal and external applications, applicants are strongly encouraged to propose a postdoc project at a YUFE institution which is not their alma mater. The 2021 programme competition is targeted at researchers from the Health and Social Care Science, Information Science, Psychology, Social Sciences, Humanities, Life Science  and any other relevant field relating to the focus theme Citizens’ Wellbeing. Individual institutions might have preferences as to the subject area and these are specified in the university-specific requirements linked below.

Programme structure

As a successful candidate …

  • you will be employed full-time as a postdoctoral researcher at one of the YUFE universities (“contract university”) for the duration of three years. The employment conditions and salaries of the contract university apply. Research expenses including travel allowances can be applied for. Please note that the conditions and requirements vary between contract universities.
  • you will closely collaborate with colleagues from at least one other YUFE university (“partner university”).  An outline of that collaboration and a mobility plan that proposes extended stays at the partner and other YUFE universities other than your contract university are part of your application material.
  • you will be mentored by two faculty members - one at your prospective contract institution, one at your prospective (main) partner university. You propose these mentors together with your application. Both have to confirm their willingness to engage in mentoring before you submit your application.
  • you will work closely with your mentors but you will be given a high level of autonomy to pursue your individual project and develop and establish your future research agenda.
  • you will have the opportunity to engage in teaching and supervising activities. Teaching obligations may differ depending on the contract university, but these activities shall not exceed 10% of the full-time employment.
  • you will be in close contact with the other postdocs in the programme. The YUFE postdoc cohort will be part of the broader YUFE research network on Citizens’ Wellbeing that we wish to create. You will be expected to contribute actively to joint activities of the YUFE postdoc cohort (e.g., a (virtual) jour fixe, peer-to-peer counseling and evaluation of progress reports, an annual research network event, co-organisation of research conferences or workshops).
  • you will participate in a mid-term state-of-play event. The state-of-play event is designed to showcase the postdoctoral projects, foster collaboration, and provide you with feed-back and guidance towards further career steps from an experts’ committee.
  • you will be provided with an additional third mentor - your career mentor. The career mentor may be an expert in a different field and will assist you in your individual career development. If applicable to your project, the career mentor might be a professional from the public or private sector.
  • you will take part in the YUFE staff development programme. There will be staff development opportunities tailored to the needs and interests of your cohort.



Eligibility and Requirements

  • Applicants must hold a PhD degree and have a research record in a subject area connected to the focus area of the programme. Applicants must be early career researchers who have completed their PhD no earlier than 3 years before the start of the programme. Thus, the PhD must have been completed on or after 1 September, 2019.  Parental and other care (or medical) related leaves will be taken into account – where relevant - and the eligibility window may be widened accordingly.
  • Applicants must present a research project pertaining to the programme’s focus theme on Citizens’ Wellbeing.
  • Applicants must present a mobility plan for the duration of the position, together with a suggestion of both a mentor at the prospective contract university and a mentor at the prospective (main) YUFE partner university.
  • Applicants must have a strong track-record in research.
  • Experience of cooperation and networking in the scientific community is desirable.
  • Experience in communicating research to a broader audience (e.g. via a blog, engagement with citizens or societal actors, etc.) is not a requirement, but positively valued.

General hints

Eligible contract and partner universities

YUFE Alliance universities you can apply to as contract universities in the programme for this call:

  • Universidad Carlos III De Madrid, Spain
  • University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • University of Bremen, Germany
  • University of Cyprus, Cyprus
  • University of Eastern Finland, Finland
  • University of Essex, the United Kingdom
  • University of Rijeka, Croatia
  • Tor Vergata University of Rome, Italy

All YUFE Alliance universities can be chosen as partner universities for your mobility stay(s). These include:

  • Maastricht University, the Netherlands
  • Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland
  • Universidad Carlos III De Madrid, Spain
  • University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • University of Bremen, Germany
  • University of Cyprus, Cyprus
  • University of Eastern Finland, Finland
  • University of Essex, the United Kingdom
  • University of Rijeka, Croatia
  • Tor Vergata University of Rome, Italy

This is the second call within the YUFE Postdoctoral Programme, currently offering 8 positions at 8 YUFE universities (see list of contract universities above). We envision other calls in the coming years addressing other YUFE focus areas and possibly involving another set of contract universities. Note that all YUFE universities are involved as partner universities. It means that faculty from all partner universities serve as members of the selection committee, act as mentors and will host postdocs during their mobility stays.

Note: Multiple applications, i.e., applications to more than one prospective contract university are possible.  In the application form, you can indicate that you wish your application to be considered at both the contract and the main partner university with roles of contract and partner universities interchanged. Be aware that this requires a confirmation from both mentors that they are willing to act as main hosts.


Please apply online at our application portal: YUFE Postdoctoral Programme Application.

You will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • a motivation letter (1 page)
  • your CV + list of publications (max 5 pages)
  • PhD certificate (or proof of completion)
  • a project outline (max 5 pages)
  • a mobility plan (max 2 pages)
  • confirmation of mentors at contract and partner universities


The selection proceeds in two stages:

I - YUFE Expert Committee Selection: The Committee evaluates all applications received before the deadline and draws up a ranked list for each university. The committee consists of experts from all YUFE universities and represents a broad range of disciplines pertaining to Citizens’ Wellbeing.

II – Contract University Final Selection: Once the YUFE Expert Committee produces the ranking, each university that grants a position will assess the relevant applicant(s). The candidate has to fulfill national/local employment requirements. In some instances, the application process may involve interviewing of shortlisted candidates (for detailed information please see the programme guideline).
YUFE is committed to equality and diversity and these values will be fostered throughout the evaluation and selection process.


The closing date for applications is 12:00 noon (CET) on Friday, 10 December 2021. The YUFE Expert Committee will complete its work by the end of March 2022. Offers by individual institutions may differ in time, but are expected to be made as soon as possible thereafter. The individual funding period starts with the academic year 2022/23, as applicable to the contract university (start in the period from August to October).  

We advise you to read our programme information in the following order: