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Centre for Rising Powers, University of Cambridge
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University of Cambridge
Centre for Rising Powers

Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The Centre for Rising Powers (CRP) at the University of Cambridge invites applicants from China, India, Brazil, and South Africa to its inaugural postdoctoral fellowship program, beginning in January 2017.

CRP postdoctoral fellows, hosted by the Centre for Rising Powers at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) will research topics relevant to the work of CRP for a duration of two years. Fellows will be expected to interact and collaborate with other researchers at CRP and participate in activities of POLIS and the university community. The work produced during the fellowship shall be disseminated through working papers, conferences, seminars, and other channels. Shortlisted applicants will be sponsored by CRP for a joint application to the Newton International Fellowship and will be chosen through a competitive process. Applicants are expected to have a publication record in leading journals or show strong promise for world-class research.

Within the first five years of its existence, the interdisciplinary Centre for Rising Powers has established itself as a world-leading research institute on the causes and consequences of rising powers in the international system. Starting in the academic year 2016-2017, the research agenda will focus on the following four themes:

(1) Rising contentions overmaritime governance in Asia has challenged the mainstream realist understanding of regional politics and power transition. Conceptually, the maritime domain embodies unique vulnerabilities and risks for state and non-state actors that require different solutions than those prescribed by the rules of stable spatial control over land. This cluster studies the historical rise of naval powers, origins and application of maritime laws, and regional cooperative mechanisms for traditional and non-traditional security and marine resource management.

(2) How have rising powers sought to reshape the structure of global economic governance, and how do they interact with each other and other actors (including established powers and existing international organizations) in this process? This cluster will explore such issues with reference to five key themes: development and infrastructure financing, international trade, international economic stability, regulation of standards, and industrial policy.

(3) What are the impacts of rising powers on resilience and sustainable development, in particular on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and global environmental accords? This cluster inquires the social, institutional, economic and ecological foundations for the preferences and participation of rising powers in global governance, as well as the behavioural consequences that follow change in economic growth and the concurrent shifts in global power.

(4) What is the interplay of faith and markets in rising powers? Although various ideologies have promoted the view that a modernizing world will inevitably become less capitalist and less religious, we are instead witnessing a widespread turn both to capitalism and to religion. Through the application of diverse methodological and disciplinary research approaches, this cluster will explore the increasingly complex puzzles posed by the interaction of economic and religious activity in a number of areas, including but not limited to: the interplay between market and moral visions and their impact on national institutions and approaches to capitalism; religious institutions and networks of transborder trade, finance, migration, knowledge and expertise; late capitalism and approaches to social justice and ethics; circulations of law and their agents, networks and dynamics.

Eligibility requirements:
Applicants must hold a PhD, or expect to obtain their PhD (including viva) by the time funding starts, and should have no more than 7 years of active full time postdoctoral experience at the time of application (discounting career breaks, but including teaching experience and/or time spent in industry). Applicants must hold Chinese, Indian, Brazilian or South African citizenship. Additionally, applicants must not hold UK citizenship and should be working outside of the UK at the point of application. Applicants who completed their PhD at a UK organization must have been working and based outside the UK for at least one year at the deadline for the application. Fellowships must be carried out in the UK at CRP for the two-year period. Applicants cannot conduct their research outside the UK but short fieldwork trips abroad may be possible where appropriate. Short fieldwork trips abroad must not normally total more than one month per annum. Applicants must be competent in oral and written English.

Assessment criteria:
The primary considerations are listed below. Successful applications should be strong in all respects: 
   • The academic fit with the research agenda of CRP 
   • The academic research background of the applicant 
   • The quality of the proposed research project 
   • The expected benefits for the career development of the applicant

Value and Duration:
Two years maximum, with £24,000 per annum for subsistence costs, and up to £8,000 per annum research expenses, plus a one-off payment of up to £2,000 for relocation expenses. Awards include a contribution to the overheads incurred, up to a total of £33k over two years per visiting researcher. Applicants may also be eligible to receive follow on alumni funding following the tenure of their fellowship to support networking activities with UK-based researchers.

Application process:
Applications should be submitted to the Director of CRP, Dr Kun-Chin Lin (, no later than 29 February, 2016 and should consist of (1) a CV, (2) 1-2 research papers or thesis chapters, (3) an abstract, (4) a proposal for the research project to be carried out while at the Centre for Rising Powers, and (5) the names and contact details of two references. The abstract should summarize the research proposal, briefly outlining the background and summarising the aims of the project. (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces.) The research proposal should provide a general description of the proposed research to be carried out. This should include, but is not limited to, the following: 
   • clear specification of the context and research objectives of the proposed study 
   • description of the methodology to be used 
   • a realistic research programme, describing the activities that will take place, and explaining how they will contribute to the achievement of the research objectives 
   • The inclusion of citations is not mandatory, but if included would need to be within the maximum character limit. 
   • Maximum 8000 characters including spaces. Plain text only.

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by 3 March 2016. The Centre for Rising Powers will thereafter act as the UK sponsor for an application to the Newton International Fellowship. Final results will be announced in August 2016 and the postdoctoral fellowship is expected to commence on 1 October 2016 or 1 January 2017.

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