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1 postdoctoral position on F.R.S.-FNRS funded project “Evolv’EP: MEPs’ career & behaviour”


University of Namur (UNamur) & University of Louvain (UCLouvain)

Prof Jérémy Dodeigne, UNamur, principal investigator

Prof Benoît Rihoux, UCLouvain, principal co-investigator

The Research Institute Transitions & the Institut de sciences politiques Louvain-Europe (CESPOL-ISPOLE) are pleased to announce a vacancy for one postdoctoral researcher (f/m) in Political Science/European politics. The project is funded until 2025 by an excellency grant F.R.S-FNRS (35292892). The inter-university team offers an ambitious, vibrant and research-intensive environment with an extensive international network. It carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research and is conveniently located in the centre of Wallonia, close to Brussels. The inter-university research team has extensive expertise in the study of political representatives, comparative politics, and research methods.

Websites: https://uclouvain.be/instituts-recherche/ispole/cespol/evolep-meps.html & https://www.unamur.be/recherche/projets/fnrs/evolvep

Evolv' EP – MEPs’ Career & Behaviour project

(F.R.S.-FNRS funding grant 35292892)

About the project

The European Parliament (EP)’s formal authority has considerably expanded since 1979. Yet, considering that the EP evolves and achieves its formal policy-making capacity along with the types of Members of the EP (MEPs) attracted to serve into it, it is crucial to examine the relationship between MEPs’ career patterns and their legislative behaviour. Indeed, the EP is not only populated by European careerists, but also ‘rookies’ without legislative experience or MEPs fuelled by ‘domestic’ political goals. Therefore, the research question is: How do MEPs’ career patterns affect their legislative behaviour over time? Career patterns are conceptualized as institutions in their own right, socializing and framing how MEPs consider their past, current and future positions in European multilevel settings. The project assesses the effects of MEPs’ career patterns on their parliamentary activities (attendance and content analysis of questions) and voting behaviour (votes and amendments).

The project aims, first, at empirically describing the career patterns of all 3,653 individual MEPs (1979-2019), covering the variety of their local, regional, national and European offices. Second, the project examines the ‘quantity’ of MEPs’ activities as well as the ‘qualitative’ policy and territorial scopes of their legislative behaviour. Third, we explain how MEPs’ career patterns shape their voting behaviour and parliamentary activities within and across EP’s legislative terms. This is achieved through a mixed methods research design using specific statistical, configurational and qualitative analytical tools (QCA) for the analysis of longitudinal career data and of parliamentary behaviour. Overall, this research project also contributes to the ongoing debates on the role of the EP in EU policy-making.

Postdoctoral fellowship in political science/European politics with a focus on MEPs’ political career and parliamentary behaviour in the European parliament.

Research environment and working conditions :

The successful candidate will be offered a fully funded position and the opportunity to pursue innovative doctoral research with close supervision in an experienced and dynamic project team. The inter-university team offers a stimulating working environment in a dynamic and internationally oriented research team. There are also opportunities to take up teaching responsibilities (though this is not required). The project has already completed all stages of data collection (dataset of 3.653 MEPs and 165.000 parliamentary questions in the EP). In collaboration with the research team, the postdoctoral fellow will be in charge of finalizing data analysis for publications in top scientific journals.


The candidate must hold a PhD in social and political sciences. Expertise in legislative studies or in the European Parliament/European studies is a necessary requirement. Methodologically, the applicants must demonstrate a training background in quantitative methods. Demonstrating interests in quantitative content analysis (deep learning and machine learning techniques) is an asset. The candidates must have a strong command of English.

Additional information

The postdoctoral fellow will be employed full-time for a duration of 12 months by the University of Namur (residency in Belgium), starting 1 September 2023 at the latest (earlier starting date if possible). For applicants without prior Belgian contracts and residency over the last 3 years, the full-time contract can be extended for an entire duration of 24 months (depending of seniority).

S/He will be affiliated to the University of Namur (Research Institute Transitions) and the University of Louvain (CESPOL-ISPOLE). Her/his monthly salary will be approximately 2,350 euros (net income). Social insurance as well as access to employment benefits are included.


The application deadline is June 4, 2023. Any inquiries about the project and the position may be sent to jeremy.dodeigne@unamur.be. Candidates apply by submitting their application to jeremy.dodeigne@unamur.be which must include:

• a cover letter

• a detailed CV

• a PhD report (max. 2 pages).

• two letters of recommendation

Interviews will be scheduled on June 14, 2023 in Namur (Belgium) and via MS Teams.

The human resources management policy of the University of Namur is based on respect for the equal rights and equal treatment of all. Diversity is articulated around different axes, including gender, disability, origin, beliefs, age, sexual orientation, and so on. The University of Namur is also a signatory of the Charter of Diversity.