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Postdoctoral Research Associate DERISK

London (Greater)
£43,205 to £46,732 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.
Closing date
27 Mar 2025

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Academic Discipline
Arts & Humanities
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job Details

Job description

The Department of Political Economy is seeking to appoint two Postdoctoral Research Associates to work full time on the research project DERISK with Steven Klein. The Systemic Risk and the Transformation of Democracy (DERISK) project is funded by a UKRI Frontier Research Grant (successfully evaluated for the ERC Starting Grant and funded by UKRI as part of the UKRI Horizon Europe guarantee). From financial crises to climate change and pandemics, over the past several decades societies have increasingly faced systemic risks. Drawing together political philosophy, the philosophy of risk, and empirical research on systemic risk in political science, sociology, economics, risk studies, and complexity theory, the project asks: what happens to democracy when systemic risks become a central problem of politics? And how should democratic institutions govern these new forms of risk? 

To answer these questions, the project will develop a new theory of risk democracy. As empirically-grounded political theory, this model will provide both a diagnostic account of how the changing structure of risk is challenging welfare-state modes of democratic risk-sharing, focusing on three case studies: financial risk, climate change risk, and pandemic risk. 

The successful applicant will have an excellent academic track record and a strong knowledge of normative political theory and democratic theory. The successful applicant will ideally have expertise in the political theory of climate change. The successful applicant will be expected to contribute to the research across the project’s four work packages, including co-authoring the research outputs from the project, helping to manage student assistants and organize events to disseminate the project’s findings. There is a strong potential for the post doc to contribute to the design and implementation of research ideas within the overall project frame. 

The successful applicant will be based at the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. Founded in 2010, the department is the only dedicated Department of Political Economy in the UK offering a unique interdisciplinary environment with staff and students from all over the world.   

Applications will be considered from postdoctoral researchers and from current PhD students nearing the completion of their PhD. Applicants must have submitted their PhD by the time they take up the post. 

All applications should include: 1) a cover letter; and 2) a CV (including names of two referees) and 3) a single-authored article-length writing sample. 

The post will be offered on a fixed-term contract from 1st September 2024 to 31st August 2027

The posts is a full-time position on the ERC project - 100% full time equivalent. 

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 3 years 

This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent

Key responsibilities

  • Produce original research about systemic risk and democracy. 
  • Provide policy analysis and information about the effects of systemic risk on democracy. 
  • Co-authoring research outputs from the project  
  • Managing research assistants  
  • Organizing conference panels and other events to disseminate the project’s findings. 
  • Presenting research outputs from the project. 

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.  

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria  

1.      PhD awarded or near completion in Political Science, Philosophy, or a closely related discipline. 

2.      Demonstrated capacity for producing excellent research published, or capable of being published, with leading academic journals and presses. 

3.      Solid expertise in normative political theory.

Desirable criteria 

5.      A good grasp of relevant academic literature (e.g. risk studies, democratic theory).

6.      Experience with publishing academic and public-facing articles. 

7.      Expertise in the political theory of climate change. 

Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.


King's College London is one of the top 20 universities in the world and among the oldest in England. King's has more than 27,600 students (of whom nearly 10,500 are graduate students) from some 150 countries worldwide, and some 6,800 staff.

King's has an outstanding reputation for world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) King’s was ranked 6th nationally in the ‘power’ ranking, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity, and 7th for quality according to Times Higher Education rankings. Eighty-four per cent of research at King’s was deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (3* and 4*). The university is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of more than £684 million.

King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar.

King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit:

King’s £600 million campaign, World questions|KING’s answers, has delivered huge global impact in areas where King’s has particular expertise. Philanthropic support has funded new research to save young lives at Evelina London Children’s Hospital; established the King’s Dickson Poon School of Law as a worldwide leader in transnational law; built a new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital; allowed unique collaboration between leading neuroscientists to fast-track new treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, depression and schizophrenia at the new Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute; created the Cicely Saunders Institute: the first academic institution in the world dedicated to palliative care, and supported the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership in the Ebola crisis. Donations provide over 300 of the most promising students with scholarships and bursaries each year. More information about the campaign is available at

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