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  • Writer's pictureManos Tsakiris

Recruiting Post-doc Fellows for the Centre for the Politics of Feelings

We are recruiting two Early Career Fellows to join the Centre for the Politics of Feeling to conduct interdisciplinary research on emotions and politics. Find out what we offer and what we are looking for.


These Fellowships are addressed to early career applicants (post-docs with PhD completed prior to commencement of employment) with a focus on political psychology, political science or social-affective neuroscience.The fellowships are available from November 1st 2023 or soon thereafter, for a period of two years, with the possibility of an extension, and present an exciting opportunity for the successful applicants to undertake novel research in the areas of affect, emotions and politics at the Centre for the Politics of Feelings.


The interdisciplinary Centre for the Politics of Feelings addresses, from a multi-disciplinary perspective, how affect and emotions and their underlying neurophysiological mechanisms shape political behaviour in intricate couplings with rationality, as well as how politics shapes and exploits affect and emotions. The Centre represents a focused, timely and multidisciplinary endeavour to give a new answer to an age-old question: what does it mean to be a political animal, in particular in the 21st century of ‘emo-cratic’ politics, alternative facts, social media, precarious health and populism.


At the Centre, we wish to bring together bright minds from different fields: researchers from the social sciences and humanities as well as life sciences who wish address the aforementioned issues in their research. The researchers are expected to have a genuine interest in working across disciplines to jointly develop visionary ideas for the politics of feelings, and contribute to the development of original and impactful research projects, bearing in mind our society’s long-term welfare and sustainability.

We want to support successful candidates to pursue their own research agenda in the field of emotions and politics. And we also expect them to collaborate with the Director of the Centre and the other fellows on joint research projects. We therefore invite applicants to submit suggestions for a project that falls within the broad remit of the Centre’s scope.


Examples of Themes

The themes below represent some illustrative examples that could be explored by the Centre’s research team. Applicants should not feel obliged to address any of these particular themes in their project proposals, but the expectation is that all proposals will address a topic that considers the relation between emotions and politics.

The mentalization of physiological states and political behaviour: One of the pressing issues that we are facing is how exactly to align physiological responses and reactions, that are often unconscious, with the subjectively experienced conscious emotion. Gaps still exist between different levels of analysis (e.g. from physiological states to psychological concepts) which must be bridged in order to achieve a broader and causal understanding of the link between emotions and political behaviour.

Emotional prescription and affect labelling: Emotional prescription (e.g. ‘you should feel anger’) and affect-labelling (e.g. ‘you are feeling anger’) can function as the context within which people will experience and perhaps construct their emotions. Given the distinctive effects that different emotions may have on political behaviour, how can socio-political processes of emotional prescription or affect-labelling explain the emotional microclimates of different social groups, across time and place?

Political allostasis: Social and affective neuroscience has documented the mechanisms whereby social relationships allow people to regulate their emotional and physiological states more effectively within social groups than as individuals. How do specific social and political contexts impact our physiological/emotional dysregulation, or reversely how can other social and political contexts promote physiological/emotional regulation?


What we can offer you ?

• Freedom and the intellectual and financial support to pursue your intellectual interests as presented in your proposal and to work creatively across disciplines to produce internationally exciting research.

• Mentoring by members of our Advisory Board and the Director of the Centre in preparation of your next career steps

• Networking opportunities with a range of academic and non-academic stakeholders

• Leadership and Management Training courses offered by the partnering Institutions

• Annual travel budget for conferences, workshops, dissemination activities and networking

• A stimulating intellectual environment at the School of Advanced Study and Royal Holloway University of London


Who are we looking for ? We are looking for candidates who :

• Share the Centre’s vision for interdisciplinary research on the politics of feelings. They should have an ability to bring innovative research ideas to the Centre, and to turn research ideas into impactful projects. Ideally, candidates will have already engaged with networks beyond their expertise (e.g. academics beyond their discipline, as well as non-academic users and/or the general public )

• Possess a relevant PhD in a related field of study, and have sufficient specialist knowledge and methodological skills that reflect the state-of-the-art in their respective disciplines

• Have a track record of excellent research in their discipline assessed by the quality rather than the quantity of published work

• Can develop and lead independently on research projects and proposals

• Can identify sources of research funding and contribute to the process of attracting additional grants.

• Will be physically present for the term of their fellowship, actively contribute to the overall research of Centre, and establish collaborations with other fellows and the broader community at the Centre such as the advisory board and associate fellows, the partnering Institutions (School of Advanced Study & Royal Holloway, University of London), and beyond.

• Have a proven ability to disseminate research in a range of audiences in written or other formats

• Fluency in one or more languages other than English is advantageous


How to apply? Full information can be found here : https://jobs.royalholloway.ac.uk/vacancy.aspx?ref=0823-394

Deadline : 18/09/2023


If you have any questions on this call or the application process, please get in touch with Professor Manos Tsakiris via e-mail: manos.tsakiris@rhul.ac.uk


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