Postdoc Opportunity at National University of Singapore (Second Call; Deadline 27 Sep 2019)

National University of Singapore

Social Science and Humanities Research (SSHR) Fellowship

Postdoctoral Fellow for Research Project on ‘Peopling Infrastructure:

Aeromobilities, Automation and Labour Mobilisations in Asia’

(Deadline: 27 September 2019)

Awarded by Singapore’s Social Science Research Council (SSRC), a Social Science and Humanities Research (SSHR) Fellowship, led by Principle Investigator Dr Lin Weiqiang (National University of Singapore) with collaborators Professor Peter Adey (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Dr Tina Harris (University of Amsterdam), is seeking to appoint a postdoctoral fellow to contribute to the team’s research activities on airport infrastructure, automation and labour.


Motivated by the rapid acceleration of aeromobilities in Asia, the SSHR Fellowship project aims to better understand the inner-workings of the aviation industry as well as inform related policies surrounding infrastructure building, technology and airport labour in the region. In particular, the project will focus on the daily labour that goes into the maintenance and reproduction of airport infrastructure as well as its relationship with technological (automative) counterparts. Our focus is on contemporary Asia and is concerned with the sustainability of the present turn towards mega-infrastructures.

Area of Expertise and Job Scope

The successful candidate should ideally be well-versed in the aeromobilities literature, and should have undertaken research demonstrating a focus on either:

–          The social, cultural and political intersections between labour and automation

–          Infrastructural politics (especially in transport) and its theorisations

He/she should have:

–          A PhD in Anthropology, Geography, History, Sociology or another relevant (Social Science or Humanities) discipline, or be awaiting conferment of a PhD (the PhD must be awarded by the time the post is taken up). An official letter from the Registrar’s Office of your university will be required to confirm the award of your PhD degree before contracts are issued.

–          Research interests and experience on any or combinations of airports, infrastructure, automation and labour

–          Regional expertise and/or demonstrable interest in Asia’s infrastructural projects

–          A promising trajectory in research and publication; a publication record in areas related to the above specified research interests and field areas is a significant advantage.

–          Excellent communication skills in English and preferably language proficiency in Arabic, Bahasa Melayu and/or Mandarin Chinese.

The successful candidate is expected to contribute significantly to the SSHR Fellowship project besides carrying out his/her own research plans. This includes, but is not limited to:

–          Conducting international fieldwork (predominantly in the form of semi-structured interviews) with up to 180 research participants.

–          Contributing to fresh research directions and co-writing.

–          Co-organisation of and/or paper presentations in workshops and conference sessions.

–          Collaborations with other researchers (in the department and beyond) where appropriate.

Terms and Conditions

The postdoctoral fellow will work closely with the SSHR Fellowship project team in the roles listed above. Detailed terms and conditions are as follows:

–          Contract to be awarded for 24 months in the first instance, starting January 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

–          There is a possibility that the appointment will be eligible for a 6 to 12 month extension (to be awarded on the basis of research progress and funding availability).

–          An annual salary of up to Singapore S$60,000. All salary and benefits-in-kind are subjected to taxation in accordance with local tax laws. Please note that University Housing will not be provided and appointees will have to make their own private housing arrangements. A small monthly contribution (of up to S$500/month) for housing expenses may be available, however this is not guaranteed.

–          Singapore citizens and permanent residents are eligible for Provident Fund benefits.

–          Medical benefits in accordance with the Medical Benefit Plan. See:

–          Formal vacation leave of 28 days per calendar year and capacity to apply for fieldwork and conference leave of up to 90 days per year.

–          Conference travel expenses will be available (a minimum of S$3,000 over the period of the postdoc). Further conference and research travel expenses may be available, subject to budgets).

–          There are opportunities to develop synergies with and/or participate in the activities of the FASS Max Weber Foundation Research Group (MWS RG), whose cognate focus is on ‘borders, mobility and new infrastructures’.

Application Procedures

Candidates should send the following documents with their application:

–          A cover letter detailing research background and interests, envisaged publication plans and proposed start date.

–          Full curriculum vitae with a complete list of publications and details of any relevant teaching experience.

–          Names and contact details of two referees.

Candidates should email their application to Ms WONG Lai Wa ( later than 27 September 2019. Informal enquiries can be directed to the PI (Dr Lin Weiqiang at

Please visit our websites at for information on the SSHR Fellowship project, and for information on the Department of Geography. Details of the MWS RG can be found at:

Other benefits that the University provides and other information about working in NUS and living in Singapore are available at Terms and conditions, according to university guidelines, are subject to changes without prior notice.

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