Jonathan Kuyper, Lisa Dellmuth, Benjamin Moffitt and Jonas Tallberg.
Jonathan Kuyper, Lisa Dellmuth, Benjamin Moffitt and Jonas Tallberg.

 

It has now been six years since Jonas Tallberg at the Department of Political Science helped secure two major research grants for research on transnational actors and international collaboration.

When it was time to recruit postdocs to these two research programmes, this also became the start of a more international recruitment policy at the Department. In addition to advertising in Sweden, the Department advertised the postdoc positions in various international networks. There were about 30 applicants for each position, most of whom came from countries other than Sweden; the two successful candidates came from Germany and the United States.

However, these two people came into an environment that was far from ideal; for example, the administrative language was Swedish, and it was not clear which language should be used in the seminars. According to Jonas Tallberg, this has changed in recent years as more foreign postdocs have arrived at the Department.

Within the two research programmes that Jonas Tallberg is responsible for, another two postdocs have been recruited: one from Australia and one from Germany. In addition, the Department has recruited postdocs through a general announcement a few years ago, which was also advertised internationally. International postdocs have also come to the Department through other research projects and the Swedish Research Council’s programme for recruiting international postdocs. Thus, out of eleven postdocs employed by the Department since 2009, as many as eight come from a country other than Sweden, and only one received their doctorate at Stockholm University.

Well received

Jonathan Kuyper and Lisa Dellmuth, from Australia and Germany, were admitted as PhD students in Jonas Tallberg’s research group through the second announcement.

Lisa Dellmuth says that she was particularly attracted by the diverse expertise of the research group, and she already knew Jonas Tallberg from before.

“When I saw the ad, I felt as if it fit my profile. I was also encouraged by several people to apply for the position,” says Jonathan Kuyper.

His compatriot Benjamin Moffitt was recruited through the Department’s general announcement. For him, the main appeal was Stockholm as a city, along with its cosmopolitan atmosphere.

All three are happy with how they have been received.

“It has been a very positive experience. I like the department, the university, and Stockholm. We have many international guests here at the department, and there are good opportunities to participate in conferences,” says Benjamin Moffitt.

Jonathan Kuyper and Lisa Dellmuth say that the research project they are working on is what they expected and that they have been well received by the Department, not least through the administrative support they have been offered.

The Department of Political Science now has an explicit strategy for international advertising of PhD and teaching positions. A larger proportion of the practical administrative information is now available in English, which has become a second working language in the third-cycle programmes. It was already possible to complete a Bachelor’s and Master’s programme in English. Furthermore, Professor Michele Micheletti is responsible for further developing the internationalisation of the Department.

“When it comes to the research programmes I work with, the international announcements have enabled us to seek the right expertise. In addition, the international postdocs have rejuvenated and given an energy boost to the Department. For the Department’s PhD students, this also signals that the labour market is international,” says Jonas Tallberg.

In conclusion, he argues that the international recruitment of postdocs has brought very valuable expertise to the Department and increased its integration with the international research community.

Text: Per Larsson
Photo: Eva Dalin