Začínající vědecký pracovník / Early Stage Researcher 15

Začínající vědecký pracovník / Early Stage Researcher 15

The Institute of International Studies at FSV UK is seeking to appoint two high-calibre Early Stage Researchers (ESR) to join the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network on ‘Delayed Transformational Fatigue in Central and Eastern Europe: Responding to the Rise of Illiberalism/Populism’ (FATIGUE).


Following the collapse of state socialism, the liberalisation of public life, democratisation of politics, abolition of state-run economies and the introduction of markets commenced in the states of the former Soviet bloc. These necessary yet socially costly transformations never ran smoothly and in the same direction in all the post-communist states but by the mid-2000s the most successful countries, clustered in Central Europe and the Baltic, seemed to have managed to consolidate liberal democracy. Then something snapped. The political trajectory veered off in new directions as populist parties started gaining more support. All populists engage in delegitimising the democratic system in the name of unconstrained majoritarianism. Now we have two cases (Hungary and Poland) where right-wing populists are in power and dismantling the institutions of checks and balances, and cases where the dominance of technocratic or left populists (Czechia, Slovakia) seems to risk democratic erosion. FATIGUE aims to explain and interpret this puzzling U-turn, reflect on its delayed emergence, diagnose its consequences and propose viable policy solutions. 15 ESRs will be appointed at six partner universities.

For further information about the Programme visit

The Role                                                                                     

Title: Protest movements as a form of political participation in Central and Eastern Europe.

Objectives: The project will focus on popular movements spreading across Central and Eastern Europe during the period of late communism and in the post-1989 era. The specific focus will be on the impact of these movements and groups on the politics of their respective countries since 2008, i.e. during the phase of ‘delayed transformational fatigue,’ characterised by the rise of populism.

Expected results: ESR15’s research will demonstrate how forms of mobilisation, protest magnitude and protest rhetoric and symbolism have influenced the political and cultural changes observed in Europe since the 2008 crisis.

Planned secondment(s): In Year 2 ESR5 will spend 10 months at University of Tartu and at the Integration and Migration Foundation in Tartu.


Duties & Responsibilities

  • Undertake postgraduate research in support of the agreed doctoral research project.
  • To work closely with the academic supervisors to ensure the compatibility of the individual project with the overall goals of FATIGUE.
  • Present and publish research to both academic and non-academic audiences.
  • Attend and participate in academic and non-academic conferences, events and seminars.
  • Attend and participate in all training events and supervisory meetings.
  • To be seconded to other network partners as necessary to fulfil the grant obligations.
  • Prepare progress reports and similar documents on research for funding bodies, as required.
  • Contribution to the delivery and management of the wider Programme, including attending and participating in programme committee meetings.
  • Undertake any other relevant duties as directed by the Programme Director.


Person Specification

  • A good Undergraduate degree and a postgraduate Master’s degree in social science or history.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, including presentation skills.
  • Highly proficient English language skills.
  • Excellent organisational skills, attention to detail and the ability to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to think logically, create solutions and make informed decisions.
  • Willingness to work collaboratively in a research environment.
  • A strong commitment to your own continuous professional development.
  • Ability to travel and work across Europe.

Eligibility Requirements

All candidates must meet the following requirements to be considered for this post:

Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) shall at the time of recruitment by the host organisation be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited.

At the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.


How to apply

Application to FATIGUE must be must submitted online to (dr. Jiří Vykoukal), followed by the application submitted to one of the two PhD programs at the Institute of International Studies according to (deadline end of April 2018); entrance exam end of June 2018.


The application must include:

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation for applying.
  • A Curriculum Vitae setting out your educational qualifications as well as any additional scientific achievements and publications.
  • Evidence of Advanced-level English – IELTS (or equivalent) overall grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the subtests. See also:
  • A research proposal on the theme of ‘Illiberal trends in political parties and comparative democratic development in Central Europe’. The proposal should be no longer than 2,000 words (excluding the bibliography) and follow the guidelines here:
  • A copy of your Master’s certificate (or equivalent) or certificate of graduation.
  • An official transcript of the completed subjects and grades achieved in the course of the Master’s programme.
  • Two letters of recommendation from researchers familiar with your academic activities, e.g. the advisor of your Master’s thesis. The referees must e-mail their recommendations directly to

Applications close on 28th February 2018 and interviews are anticipated to be held in early April 2018.

Further Information

For more information about the post, please contact: dr. Jiří Vykoukal (

Date of publication: 18th January 2018