Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Postdoc candidate for a MSCA IF in Relational Quality: Developing Quality through Collaborative Networks and Collaboration Portfolios

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    15/05/2020 23:30 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette
    University of Luxembourg (application management through Luxinnovation)

The University of Luxembourg is interested in hosting a postdoctoral fellow within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship programme. 


         Please note that this opportunity is not a funded positions (yet); it depend on

         1. The organization selecting you for continuing the process and

         2. A successful proposal written mostly by you (with some input from your host organization           in Luxembourg) and submitted before September 9th 2020.



Project idea: 

Q-KNOW comparatively and historically charts the massive expansion of science production worldwide—through a focus on Germany, a leading science producer for over a century. We analyze how scientific publications and co-publications of organizations that produce scientific knowledge have developed over time. We investigate the proportion and impact of interorganizational collaborative networks, depending on collaboration portfolios among organizations in Germany (and all partner organizations worldwide) and how these relationships are leveraged to enhance scientific quality at organizational level. The Q-KNOW project directly addresses this significant black box. The term “quality development” refers to interorganizational prioritization and related processes that lead to an improvement of scientific capacity and the reinforcement of certain performance outputs. Different organizational forms and single organizations are subject to specific determining factors and have different goals and tasks. Thus, we expect to find different understandings of scientific quality and priorities related to scientific quality development on the organizational level. Finally, we derive recommendations for various levels of research policymaking and administration.

Our research design integrates different analytical levels to investigate Germany’s higher education and science system, its organizations, and its relationships globally. On system level, we examine the development of research collaborations and interorganizational collaborative networks of organizations through co-authored journal publications. Analyzing articles by researchers based in German organizations (and their co-authors worldwide) from 1900–2020, we develop a unique bibliometric dataset, based on Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science

Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE). Millions of research articles are being encoded, systematized, and classified (organizational forms). On organizational level, our case studies analyze selected nodes of these collaboration networks as well as organizational collaboration portfolios and their organizational conditions. The collaboration portfolios take the number, quality (relative citation indices based on the number of citations, disciplinary, and field-specific citation rates), and the heterogeneity of collaboration relationships (N= ca. 60,000) of 4,500 organizations into account. A mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods from bibliometrics and sociology as well as organizational and higher education research will be applied to uncover trends and patterns over one hundred and twenty years.

We combine the results of our longitudinal bibliometric analyses (1900–2020) of collaboration

patterns of universities and other research organizations in Germany’s higher education and science system with social network analyses (SNA). This enables us to examine hypotheses on historical path dependencies of collaboration portfolios among organizational forms of science-producing organizations. Our selected organizational case studies will show possibilities for the further development of collaboration portfolios as well as disciplinary and spatial differences. From these results, we derive policy recommendations for university management and research policymakers to develop scientific quality through collaboration networks and collaboration portfolios.

The broad extend of the project as well as the rich empirical database allows the candidate to develop and further expand his or her own research project. We are very open to new methodological approaches, especially in the field of machine learning and the advancement of social network analysis as well as innovative and creative research ideas leading to new research questions that haven’t been covered by researchers in the field of Science of Science yet. We would like to encourage potential candidates to submit a research proposal that goes beyond the scope of the Q-KNOW project, including the embedding of empirical data, using the Web of Science Core Collection, and a comprehensive theoretical approach.


Offer Requirements

  • PhD in Sociology, Social Sciences, Computer Science, Computational Sciences, Computational Sociology, or related areas
  • Profound knowledge of Higher Education research, Science Studies, Data Science, Graph Analytics, Content and Metadata Analysis, Quantitative Empirical Social Research, Bibliometrics, Social Network Analyses
  • Very good experience with the statistical analysis software STATA, SPSS or R (programming skills can be an asset)
  • Good English language skills (a certified level B2 is the minimum required, while level C1 is a plus)
  • Willingness to work in an inter-cultural and international environment
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Curiosity and self-motivation

Institute description: 

The University of Luxembourg is one of the youngest universities in Europe. Founded in 2003, the university aspires to become one of Europe’s most renowned research universities with a distinctly international, multilingual and interdisciplinary profile. The University of Luxembourg consists of three faculties, three interdisciplinary research centers and currently employs about 270 professors, associate professors and senior lecturers. 6,423 students from 125 different countries are enrolled in our study programs, and the proportion of international students amounts to 56 percent (for further information, please have a look at https://wwwen.uni.lu/universitaet).

Your research project will be located at the Institute of Education and Society within the Department of Social Sciences in Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Constituting a multidisciplinary research team at the intersection of higher education research, science studies, bibliometrics, and computational sciences, across two existing pillars of excellence at the University––“Computer Science & ICT Security” and “Education”–– will provide the necessary infrastructure to build long-term interfaculty and cross-disciplinary collaborations leading to innovative, cutting-edge research in Science of Science, including substantial public outreach beyond Luxembourg.



We offer a dynamic and well-equipped research environment within the Department of Social Sciences. Our small multidisciplinary research team as well as the University of Luxembourg offers intensive training and unique academic career development opportunities for postdocs who aspire to enhance their scientific as well as management and leadership skills. Furthermore, incoming MSCA-IF Fellows who choose the University of Luxembourg as their host institution are eligible to apply for an additional budget to help redact their application (based on a positive evaluation of the proposal).

The highly international, multilingual, and multidisciplinary research environment at the university as well as enables potential candidates to expand their collaborative networks and to find new strategic partners for future research projects and exchange of researchers. Signed framework agreements with universities throughout Europe and worldwide facilitate postdocs to establish lasting contacts with interesting experts of their field and beyond.



About Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship:

The MSCA IF are postdoctoral fellowships, financed through the European Commission for 2 year positions, covering salary and research costs of the researchers, who can come from anywhere in the world. The evaluation process of these programmes is more about the project and the career development of the candidate, than his/her publication record. The organizations in Luxembourg that want to host such talented researchers include large public research organizations as well as private companies that offer interesting job perspectives after completion of the fellowship.

Minimal eligibility criteria

  • Individual: applicant applies together with host institute
  • PhD at the deadline or Masters plus 4 years of full time equivalent research experience
  • Not working or living in Luxembourg for longer than 12 months before the call deadline
  • For rules see here or contact your NCP


How to apply

Please submit your CV to Charles Betz, Advisor - European R&D and Innovation Support at Luxinnovation, until May 15th 2020 and refer to which position(s) you are applying for; you can also send several finetuned CVs if you are interested in multiple positions. Make sure you address the text and requirements mentioned by the respective hosts. 

Please note that applications are made through Luxinnovation, your contact point for Horizon 2020 in Luxembourg, before being handed over to the host company.


Luxinnovation, the Luxembourgish Innovation agency and National Contact Point for MSCA, will support both you and your future host institute during your application phase. For all applicants coming to Luxembourg we offer guidance documents, webinars, training in proposal writing and we will review your proposals if you wish so (depending on our availability). In 2019, MSCA IF proposals from Luxembourg had an average success rate of 28.5%, and proposals reviewed by our service 42%.

More information can be found on our website.


  • science production
  • bibliometrics
  • social network analysis
  • data-driven modelling - digital twinning
  • big data
  • collaborative networks
  • social network analysis
  • research policy
  • higher education research



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