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Last date to submit your application: 20/01/2023

Start date: 01/05/2023

Job description

The selected Post-Doctoral Research Fellow will be involved in the implementation of the EU-funded research project AspirE - “Decision making of aspiring (re)migrants to/within the EU: The case of labour market-leading migrations from Asia” (Horizon Europe RIA n° 101095289).

About the project

Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, Europe continues to be a major destination for transnational migrants, notably from Asia and Africa. The way in which this phenomenon has been unfolding underlines the urgent need to further conceptualise transnational migration by analysing the decisionmaking of aspiring (re)migrants. This scholarly enterprise is critically important as mainstream migration theories put more of a focus on broader social processes and dynamics, thereby overlooking the human aspects of migration. Basing itself on several migration theories in various disciplines, this proposal adopts a framework that humanises research on (non-)migration decision-making, i.e. highlighting its human aspects in three ways: engendering, decolonising and situating the analysis in temporal, psychological, relational and social contexts. As a case study, the AspirE research project will examine the decision-making of aspiring (re)migrants from selected Southeast and East Asian countries (China, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam) to and within selected EU member countries (Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Finland). These migrants are oriented towards the EU labour markets where they are concentrated in ethnic niches. Employing qualitative and participatory research methodologies, the study will map the extent to which spatial mobility policies at the EU and national levels take into account aspiring (re)migrants’ behaviour, identify the micro- and meso-level drivers of (re)migration aspiration and/or intention and determine the temporality of aspiring (re)migrants’ decision-making. The results of this project will provide concrete information as to how individuals’ migration decisions change over time and on the specific stage at which mobility policies are more likely to play a role in shaping migration outcomes, which will enhance EU migration policies.

This project brings together six European partners and seven Asian partners: Université libre de Bruxelles (BEL), Masaryk University (CZ), Goethe University Frankfurt (GER), University of Milan (ITA), Instituto Universitario de Lisboa – ISCTE (POR), Tampere University (FIN), Scalabrini Migration Center (PH), Mahidol University (TH), Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VN), Foundation for Isaan Education and Popular Media (TH), Asia-Pacific Center (VN), The Education University of Hong Kong (HK), and Waseda University (JP).


The research fellowship will have the duration of 24 months and may be eventually renewed within the project duration upon positive evaluation and approval of the AspirE consortium’s competent authorities.


Degree qualification

• Candidates must hold a PhD in Social Sciences by the time of employment.

• The doctoral degree has been obtained within the three years prior to the date of submission of the application for the grant.

• No prior post-doctoral experience is required.

Preferential factors

• PhD in areas related to migration studies and/or transnationalism;

• Knowledge on migration and diaspora;

• Knowledge about, experience on, and/or interest in psychology of migration;

• Strong skills in qualitative and participatory research methods;

• Experience in the use of qualitative software for data collection and/or analysis (e.g., MAXQDA, ATLAS.ti, NVivo, Network Canvas);

• Experience of working in an international environment; and

• High proficiency in Japanese and English language.

Qualities required

The candidates must have the following qualities:

• Ability to work in a team, to meet deadlines and to combine autonomy with respect of guidelines;

• Demonstrate their ability to evolve in a multi-cultural environment;

• Show expertise and/or interest in the topic of the project;

• Be able to coordinate the organisation of scientific events (e.g., webinars, workshops, panels international conferences …)

Mobility requirement

As the funding is provided as an international post-doctoral fellowship, eligible candidates must be in a position to formally expatriate (i.e., move) to Belgium when starting the contract. This means that the selected candidate must not have resided or carried out their main activity in Belgium for more than 24 months over the past 3 years immediately before their recruitment date.

Candidates should also be willing to move to Japan to carry out fieldwork under the supervision of and in collaboration with Gracia Liu-Farrer (associated partner/collaborator) at Waseda University in Tokyo.

Work description

The selected Post-Doctoral Fellow will be involved in the following tasks:

• (co-)organisation of the project’s events (public consultation, webinars, workshops, meetings);

• compiling literature review and relevant documentation for the project;

• conducting content analysis of migration policies (esp. in the context of Japan);

• improvement of methodological tools for qualitative data collection;

• conducting, transcribing, and analysing semi-structured interviews with Japanese aspiring migrants in Japan;

• data collection and contribution to the mapping of Japanese aspiring migrants’ social networks using a qualitative software;

• collecting, analysing, and pseudonymising video diaries;

• general support to the project execution in Japan through production of reports and documents related to the study as well as dissemination of the project’s findings;

• Engaging in writing and submitting scientific papers.

• Participating in project events and meetings.

Work environment

The hired Post-Doctoral Research Fellow will be institutionally based in ULB. The research activities are mainly carried out in Japan, and the Fellow will be affiliated with the Institute of Asian Migrations, Waseda University, Japan.


• EU Citizens and citizens from countries that have a bilateral social security agreement with Belgium: social security coverage including medical insurance, unemployment benefit, retirement pension, maternity leave, and child benefit;

• Non-EU Citizens from countries that have no bilateral social security agreement with Belgium: social security coverage including medical insurance, maternity leave, and child benefit;

• Insurance against accidents in the workplace;

• Tax exemption;

• Low-cost private hospitalization insurance; and

• On-site services at the ULB: medical centre, university hospital, sports centre, subsidized restaurants, cultural centre, crèche, activities for children…

Application procedure

Candidates are invited to submit their application in one email sent jointly to the project’s Principal Investigator ( and AspirE research collaborators ( &

Application files must include in a single PDF document the following information in English:

• A detailed Curriculum Vitae listing all academic qualifications, relevant research experience and previous publications; You may choose to complete a standard Europass form ( or not. This is left entirely up to the applicants. Once completed, whether Europeass or not, the CV must be included in the single application file.

• A personal motivation letter (two pages maximum);

• A copy of the passport/ID, PhD and master diploma; and

• The names and e-mail addresses of three references (who may be contacted by those evaluating applications to ensure a balanced analysis). These referees should not have conflicts of interest because of familial or emotional ties.

Application Calendar

✓ Applications are open until Friday 20 January 2023 (Midnight CET).

✓ Short-listed candidates will be informed on Tuesday 24 January 2023.

✓ Interviews will be organised remotely on Tuesday 31 January 2023.

✓ The final decision will be taken as soon as possible after the interviews.

✓ If the selected candidate is a non-EU citizen, this postdoc will be immediately advised to apply for a visa to come to Belgium to avoid delay in the project’s data-gathering phase.

✓ The contract will immediately start on Monday 1 May 2023.


The successful candidate will be selected based on the quality of the CV, research achievements, motivation, and congruence with the project. Candidates should explain clearly their interest in the project and how and why they can contribute to its development. Experience and achievements in academic research in areas relevant to the project will be taken into consideration at the time of selection.

Composition of the selection Jury

Gracia Liu-Farrer (Waseda University, Japan); Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot (LAMC-ULB, Belgium), and Frederik Ponjaert (IEE-ULB, Belgium).

Equal opportunity policy

ULB’s personnel policy is based on diversity and equal opportunity. We recruit candidates on the basis of their skills, regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, origin, nationality, beliefs, disability, etc.

More details on the ULB gender and diversity policy are available at

You can find the full set of career provisions for the scientific staff on our website at

For information

Contact: Gracia Liu-Farrer (

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