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PhD grant in political geography and geographies of representation (36 months) in the framework of the project ANR-DFG IMAGEUN (W/M)

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : FR2007-SOPVAL-002
Workplace : PARIS 13
Date of publication : Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Claude Grasland
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 September 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

The project IMAGEUN (In the Mirror of the European Neighborhood Policy: Mapping Macro-Regional Imaginations) is a binational research project co-funded by the National Research Agency (France) and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Directed by Veit Bachmann (Goethe University Frankfurt) for the German team and Claude Grasland (University of Paris-Diderot) for the French team, it will be launched on May 1 2020 and run for a period of 42 months.

The IMAGEUN project offers a comparative study of different macro-regional imaginations in and around “the European space” through a double comparative analysis. It will inquire into geographical imaginations 1) of political elites, the press and students; and 2) in five countries of study (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Turkey, Tunisia). The envisioned research of the PhD-student will primarily deal with the French and British case studies. As part of her/his research, the PhD-student will have to conduct and analyze surveys among a student audience to capture the semantic and spatial content of their representations of these macro-regions (Europe, West, Middle East, Eurasia, (Euro) Mediterranean, Commonwealth, etc.).

The thesis will primarily use quantitative methods (statistical analysis of survey data, spatial analysis, cartography and geomatics, textual analysis). An interest in reading outside the strictly disciplinary context of geography as well as in the reflexive use of survey methods and the analysis of representations is desirable. Field work for the thesis will include one or more research periods in France and the United Kingdom. Additional field stays in Germany can be envisaged depending on the motivations and skills (especially linguistic) of the candidate. In all cases, regular interactions with a twin thesis funded by the German part of the project are to be expected.

The successful candidate will be in the centre of empirical data acquisition in form of surveys on representations of French and British students – part of work package 3 ("thematic foci") and 4 ("data triangulation & integration") of the project. These activities include the collection, analysis and valorisation of these surveys (contribution to the drafting of reports - in particular the “report on student visions”) as well as the methodological guides expected as deliverables in form of scientific publications - see details relating to WP3 ). This part of the work - in particular the part relating to the investigation - will have to be carried out in coordination with the researchers responsible for the other fields of investigation (Turkish, German, Tunisian). Part of these analyses will be oriented around thematic foci (WP4), two of which have been defined a priori ("human mobility" and "economic challenges") and one will be determined during the first months of the project.

Applicants are invited to consult the general document (in english) presenting the project to situate their contribution in relation to all of the research that will be carried out:

Work Context

The thesis is part of the French part of the project, supported by the 2007 Research Federation of the International College of Territorial Sciences (CIST - The institutions of affiliation will be one of the project partner teams: UMR 6266 IDEES (Rouen), UMR 7533 LADYSS (Paris), UMR 8504 Géographie-cités (Paris) or UMR 5600 EVS (Lyon). Like the pedagogical attachment, enrolment in the doctoral school will depend on the affiliation of the envisaged principal thesis supervisor (see the list of project members in the following section). During fieldwork periods, the student will be able to benefit from the help of the project partners in the field (for example in the British case: the University of Birmingham). Even if a certain autonomy in research is expected, the importance of transversal analyses and the need for coordination between the various members of the project also requires being able to work in a team.

Applications coming from other disciplines than geography are possible. An interdisciplinary scientific culture is also welcome. Applicants are, however, reminded that the proposed thesis is a geography thesis, with supervision provided by geographers and research units belonging to section 39 of the CNRS (Spaces, territories and societies)

A good disciplinary knowledge is therefore expected. Also, we expect the ability to integrate into teams and a professional trajectory located in geography or a related research field that requires skills similar to those expected in the framework of a geography thesis.

We expect good skills and experience in statistical, geomatic and cartographic analysis tools. A capability in a free programming language is also required (preferably R, possibly Python).

Being part of an international research project, an excellent command of English (written and oral) is expected (part of the interview planned for May will be in English) in addition to fluency in French. Knowledge of German is not compulsory but may be appreciated as part of a binational project.

This doctoral contract is not subject to any teaching obligation and thus makes it possible to focus on research activity. It is, however, possible to add to this contract a teaching mission at the host university, according to the availability and terms defined by it and for a maximum volume of 64 hours per year.

The beginning of the contract would ideally be in October 2020, according to the registration deadlines of the attached doctoral school.

Additional Information

Applications must be submitted before April 30, 2020, directly on the CNRS job portal
For more information on the adequacy of your profile with these themes, please contact Claude Grasland (
In any case, it is strongly recommended to contact us for more information on the IMAGEUN project or if you have questions concerning the work packages where the PhD is involved :

The recruitment process will take place in two stages:
- The first step will be a written application. Applicants must submit an application file including: a curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages) describing their background, the main work carried out (titles of dissertations, scientific publications if applicable) and the methodological and technical skills that can be mobilized upon taking function; a motivation letter (2 pages maximum) explaining the adequacy between their profile and the missions carried out as well as the interest of the proposed project in the professional career of the candidate; a research project (10,000 characters including spaces, bibliography included) including: 1) a personal research project integrated into the IMAGEUN project with a state of the art, a problem and a presentation of the methods envisaged, 2) the presentation of a timetable and 3) an integration project to the project and to one of the participating teams (UMR Géographie-cités, UMR IDEES, UMR LADYSS or UMR EVS). In practical terms, it is recommended that candidates contact a potential thesis director or co-director who is a member of one of the teams participating in the IMAGEUN project (see list at the end of the document)
- The second step will be a personal interview to be held in May 2020 with members of the project. The interview will consist of a 10-minute presentation of the candidate focussing on the main elements of her/his file followed by 15 minutes of discussion with the hiring committee. Parts of the interview may be held in English.

List of French members of the IMAGEUN project likely to supervise or co-supervise the thesis:

- Pierre Beckouche (Pr., UMR 7533 LADYSS, Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne)
- Arnaud Brennetot (Pr., UMR 6266 IDEES, Université de Rouen)
- Sophie de Ruffray (Pr., UMR 6266 IDEES, Université de Rouen)
- Clarisse Didelon (Pr., UMR 8506 Géographie Cités, Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne)
- Claude Grasland (Pr.principal investigator, FR 2007 CIST, UMR 8506 Géographie Cités, Université de Paris)
- Antoine Laporte (MCF, UMR 5600 EVS, ENS de Lyon)(Antoine Laporte, MCF will be able to co-supervise the thesis, but in tandem with a thesis director who holds the HDR.)

List of members of the German team (for information):
- Veit Bachmann (WiMi, Department of Human Geography, Goethe University Frankfurt)
- Georg Glasze (Pr, Geographisches Institut, University Friedrich-Alexander, Erlangen-Nürnberg)

Website of research team able to host the PhD :
UMR Ladyss:
UMR Géographie cités:

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