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Research Manager, Trust and Distrust in Multi-level Governance - 2019BAPFSWEF264

Supported by the Government of Flanders through the resources of the Special Research Fund (BOF), the University of Antwerp seeks candidates for the position of

Research Manager of the Centre of Excellence on ‘Trust and Distrust in Multi-level Governance’ – GOVTRUST

GOVTRUST is one of the 13 Centres of Excellence (COE), supported by the University of Antwerp as part of its “Excellence in Research” strategy. These Centres of Excellence perform cutting-edge and cross-disciplinary research at international frontier domains.

A major issue in contemporary societies is the apparent decline in trust. Reports suggest that citizens are losing trust in their governments and that trust is eroding between societal and governmental actors at different levels. However, policies are increasingly made and implemented through multi-level decision-making processes, with international, EU, national- and sub-national actors as well as private actors and citizens being required to work together smoothly, meaning that a certain level of trust is needed.

The newly established Centre of Excellence GOVTRUST will study in an interdisciplinary way the dynamics, causes and effects of trust and distrust between the actors involved in multi-level governance. To that end, the consortium will apply qualitative, quantitative and experimental research methodologies.

The GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence is a joint collaborative effort by the following disciplines and research groups: political science and public administration by the Politics & Public Governance research group (Faculty of Social Sciences), public law by Government & Law (Faculty of Law), communication sciences by the research group MIOS ‘Media, ICT and interpersonal relations’ (Faculty of Social Sciences), and behavioral economics by the Antwerp Center for Evolutionary Demography (ACED) of the Faculty of Business and Economics.

Your assignment

We seek a skilled and motivated Research Manager with excellent communication skills to help develop the research program of the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence. This Research Manager will stimulate external research funding acquisition and support other activities within the Centre of Excellence, allowing its research program to flourish and grow, while helping to create a dynamic and stimulating work environment that catalyzes collaborative research. To that end, you will work closely together with the GOVTRUST coordinators (Prof. dr. Koen Verhoest and Prof. dr. Esther Van Zimmeren) and the co-promotors of the different involved research groups (Professors Patricia Popelier, Peter Bursens, Michel Walrave and Carolyn Declerck).

  • You inform, offer support and guide GOVTRUST researchers in planning, attracting and managing external funding for research and innovation.
  • You are proactive in designing and writing project applications and bring together national and international partners to this end. In particular, you focus on facilitating multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research, suggesting collaborations and synergies inside and outside the Centre of Excellence.
  • To stimulate the information flow within the Centre of Excellence, you will help to organize seminars and workshops, and prepare and participate in the GOVTRUST strategic meetings in which you and the promoters will prepare and coordinate the GOVTRUST research strategy.
  • You will facilitate international collaboration, summer schools and research stays by external researchers within the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence (e.g. by advertising FWO and Marie Curie grant possibilities on international forums and international calls).
  • To maximize the dissemination of project results, and to increase visibility of the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence, you will help to develop and implement an active communication strategy towards the general public as well as relevant actors and stakeholders (e.g. policy makers and public sector actors, societal and business interests and media).

Your profile

The broad range of responsibilities would suit a flexible and adaptive person who is highly motivated, collaborative and an excellent team-player. You will have the opportunity to develop further your own research skills and expertise within a high-quality Centre of Excellence with a large international network.

  • You hold a doctorate degree (PhD) in public administration, political science, law, communication science, economics/management science or psychology, or other social or human sciences, and have strong interest in multi- and inter-disciplinary research.
  • You have experience with scientific proposal writing, as well as preferably also with research management and research outreach/communication to society. You have knowledge of regional, federal and international research funding opportunities. Relevant post-doctoral experience is a bonus.
  • You have preferably good knowledge on at least some of the following topics or related topics: multi-level governance; the public sector; relations between citizens, societal actors and government; inter-organizational relations; trust between persons, organizations and/or in government.
  • You are creative, proactive and quality-oriented. You possess good planning and organizational skills and are able to give direction. You have a cooperative attitude. Effective interaction with researchers of the involved research groups within the Centre and across the university, funding bodies, and potential partners in collaborative research, will be key to success.
  • You have knowledge and expertise in qualitative and/or quantitative and/or experimental research methods. You have experience in publishing in international scientific journals.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English, including an ability to present effectively to both academic and non-academic audiences. Having fluent knowledge of Dutch is an asset.

We offer

  • a dynamic, stimulating and multi-disciplinary work environment with the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence at UAntwerpen;
  • a full-time position for a term of six years (2020-2025), with an evaluation after one and three years;
  • a close collaboration with the postdoc researcher on the EU funded H2020 project on ‘Trust in Governance and Regulation in Europe’ (TiGRE) (see for the vacancy here) and the postdoc researcher on the research project Trust in government decision-making using big data and artificial intelligence’ (see for the vacancy here). In consultation with the candidate and if he/she is interested a combination of these functions can also be considered;
  • the date of appointment will be the 1st of April, 1st of May 2020 or soon thereafter;
  • a competitive salary.

How to apply?

  • Applications may only be submitted online, until the closing date of 16 February 2020.
  • The candidates are asked to submit a motivation letter, an up-to-date CV, three key publications together with a note of 1,5 pages, explaining why these three publications are relevant for this function. If possible, please provide one or more recommendation letters and reference contacts. All documents must be submitted in English.
  • A pre-selection will be made from the submitted applications, and selected candidates will be invited for an interview. These interviews will take place in the period of 26 February till 6 March 2020.
  • The remainder of the selection procedure is specific to the position and will be determined by the selection panel.
  • More information about the application form can be obtained from
  • For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact Prof. dr. Koen Verhoest (coordinator of the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence),, Tel. +32 484 965 015.

The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research.

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