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SOLiDi is looking for 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to write a doctoral thesis on solidarities in diversity and participate in an international and interdisciplinary training network of 10 academic beneficiaries and 23 partner organisations. ESRs will be employed for 36 months by a host institution and are required to take up academic and non-academic secondments within the training network. Start date is 1st September 2021.

The aim of the network is to articulate a new vision on solidarity adapted to superdiverse societies and to better equip professionals and organisations with adequate and innovative tools for facilitating solidarity in diversity. Through joint training events, doctoral researchers will be supported to develop innovative approaches on how to generate and sustain solidarities across cultural boundaries, taking the proximity of citizens with different ethnic-cultural backgrounds in specific places and the practices they engage in as starting point and taking into account social inequalities and uneven power relations.


The rise of national populism and far-right parties in Europe poses a big threat to all forms of solidarity, especially solidarity between members of various ethnic-cultural groups. European democracies should therefore identify the conditions that can encourage and promote solidarity in diversity, taking into account the social inequalities and unequal positions of power between various groups. The EU-funded SOLiDi project has developed a training and research program to train 15 PhD researchers in relevant theories, research methods and ethics in the fields of sociology, human geography and educational sciences. The training and research program will also focus on paradigms of social change, studying how scientific insights on solidarity in diversity can be applied in different policy contexts and organisations.

Below is a list of the 15 ESR projects / PhD positions that are available. Project specific requirements can be found in the individual project descriptions which can be accessed directly through the links:

ESR1: Nurturing solidarities in diversity in social enterprises; University of Antwerp, Department of Sociology, Antwerp, Belgium

This PhD project analyses if and how solidarities in diversity are built within the hybrid organizational context of social enterprises. Social enterprises function in a market context but routinely generate solidarities as part of their strategy to attain their social mission. This research question will be explored through two case studies, one in the area of housing cooperatives for low income families, another one in the sphere of work integration social enterprises.

ESR2: Citizenship education and beyond: the role of education in fostering solidarity in diversity; University of Antwerp, Department of Training and Education Sciences, Antwerp, Belgium

The emergence of majority-minority cities has prompted two rather contradictory responses from policy makers: centripetal tendencies (focusing on cultural homogenization by stressing national identity, culture and values) and centrifugal tendencies (focusing on cultural heterogenization by stressing a global mindset, cultural empathy and interculturality). These tensions are also found in schools in superdiverse urban contexts. The focus of this project is therefore to study through a mainly qualitative and interpretative methodology how the intersection of educational discourses on solidarity and diversity and the school’s role in providing a ‘national curriculum’ and sometimes reproducing educational inequalities, plays out in the everyday school and class context.

ESR3: Intersectional coalitions for solidarity with refugees in rural and suburban settings; University of Antwerp, Department of Sociology, Antwerp, Belgium

Drawing on a qualitative analysis of media reports, documents and in-depth interviews with different stakeholders, this research project will provide a new perspective on the emergence of solidarity with refugees in rural or suburban settings of Belgium. Special attention will go to ways in which the practices and the discourses of mayors, directors of asylum centers and civil society leaders form intersectional coalitions pursuing a particular pedagogical approach to nurture a local climate in which solidarities emerge (or not).

ESR4: Solidarities under strain: place-based identities in turbulent times; Durham University, Department of Geography, Durham, UK

Over the last decade, the liberal democracies of Western Europe have been characterised by turbulence and uncertainty, placing pressure on all forms of solidarity. Building on discussions of intersectional solidarities, this project will explore the diverse forms of labour that maintain solidarities in the North East of England. Following an ethnographic approach, this project will examine how place-based solidarities, senses of identity, and forms of collectivity, are maintained and challenged in the turbulent politics of the present.

ESR5: Nurturing and creating solidarity with migrant teachers: a public education issue; Maynooth University, Department of Education and Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy, Maynooth, Ireland

The objective of this research is to assess how migrant teachers can contribute to furthering the solidarity aims of public education and will involve collaborative research with the Migrant Teacher Project in Ireland. The research will focus on: 1. mapping European current policies and practices exploring the status of migrant teachers within public education; 2. exploring a case study of how migrant teachers mobilise and orient themselves professionally within the MTP and the Irish educational conte

ESR6: From representation to solidarity: enhancing democracy through migrants’ political participation; German Centre for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM-Institut), Berlin, Germany

Representativeness of people with experience of migration, discrimination or racism in public administration is of key importance for facilitating solidarity in diversity. This project focuses on the efforts of various actors to assure that the workforce in public administration and other key institutions in Germany mirror the socio- demographic composition of the German society, and that migrants and their descendants and BIPoC people in Germany are adequately represented in the political decision-making processes. This project’s objectives are to map the actors involved in this field, understand their roles and strategies, and analyse the relationship between diversity, solidarity, political participation and representativeness.

ESR7: Solidarity in diversity within youth work. Towards an ethnography-based public pedagogy; KU Leuven, Laboratory for Education and Society (LES), Leuven, Belgium

The aim of this project is to analyze which characteristics determine pedagogical interventions that strengthen vocational education within youth work. We shift from an instrumental or labor market perspective on vocational education in schools to a socio-material approach to vocational education within youth work. The challenge of the research project is to explore, both empirically and conceptually, how youth work establishes a specific educational ecology, particularly for young people who struggle to connect to a regular school curriculum.

ESR8: Intersectional solidarity and activism; KU Leuven, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Geography Division, Leuven, Belgium

This PhD addresses the tension between identity, intersectionality and solidarity. It discusses the difficulties and possibilities of building intersectional solidarity in the context of (trans)local activism. The research will take an ethnographic approach, including participant observation and auto-ethnography as a community and movement member, interviews and participatory mapping sessions with individual participants about their experiences and strategies of intersectional solidarity and oral histories of movement organizers about their movement’s or organization’s vision and strategies vis-à-vis solidarity.

ESR9: Intersectional solidarities: supporting LGBT migrants in a superdiverse city; Leicester University, Department of Geography, Geology and the Environment, Leicester, UK

This project examines the experiences of LGBT migrants and the places and practices through which they experience solidarity in diversity. Using qualitative methods it will compare the experiences of LGBT migrants amongst: (1) those who have migrated from Eastern or Southern Europe; (2) those joining well-established diasporic communities in the city (especially from South Asia); (3) international students. The project will investigate the places and practices that enable them to feel that they ‘belong’ in the city, as LGBT migrants.

ESR10: Understanding how young people’s complex racialised discourses and practices shape solidarities in an ethnically diverse city: Building skills, sharing knowledge; Leicester University, Department of Geography, Geology and the Environment, Leicester, UK

The goal of this project is to investigate complex racialised discourses and practices of young people that shape inclusive (and exclusive) solidarities in an ethnically diverse city. To explore solidarity in place, the project will involve (1) participant observation work with young people aged 13-19 who are variously economically, culturally and socially positioned in how they experience privilege, prejudice, victimization and everyday multiculturalism in Youth Centres in Leicester and (2) interviews with youth workers around experiences, challenges, training and skills for handling racism and racialised talk.

ESR11: Political activism for public pedagogy. A study in ‘Dissenting’ Solidarity; University of Malta, Department of Education Studies, Faculty of Education, Msida, Malta

This research project explores the formation of solidarity with marginalized groups through political activism as a form of public pedagogy. It also studies how public pedagogies are enabled by the performance of politically active strategic resistances by social groups that radicalize solidarity from its compliant and assimilative tendencies. The research project will provide (1) a critical analysis of the political philosophy related to solidarity and political activism and public education and (2) an analysis of the historical developments (also in Malta) in concepts and practices of solidarity in political activism during the last 50 years; and (3) case study of political activities and public pedagogies of a Malta-based social movement

ESR12: Bridging solidarity in neighborhood teams; University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, the Netherlands

The research project aims to analyse how community workers in neighborhood teams in the Netherlands give shape to promoting bridging solidarity between inhabitants with different ethnic, religious and/or cultural backgrounds. How neighborhood teams conduct this ‘solidarity work’ will be investigated in two diverse neighborhoods in the Dutch cities of Haarlem and Nijmegen by conducting participant observations, repeated interviews with inhabitants and photo-voice (discussing interviewees’ pictures of displays of solidarity).

ESR13: Competing solidarities: sexual justice vs cultural justice in social work?; University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Social workers are increasingly confronted with culturally inspired (risk of) family violence in families of migrant background. This project studies social workers’ encounters with these harmful gender and sexuality related practices, the moral dilemmas these create for professionals and clients and professionals’ actual interventions. Research methods include case file analysis and in-depth study of ten cases in two Dutch neighborhoods. The aim is to improve the quality of intervention in these harmful practices.

ESR14: Rural practices of solidarities in diversity in the labour movement; Uppsala University, Department of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala, Sweden

This particular project will explore how rural practices of solidarity are created, negotiated and fused together between the established labour movement and newly arrived migrants. You will work with participatory action research methods with newly arrived migrants within a local organization in a rural area.

ESR15: Solidarities and conflicts in governing migrant integration on urban scale; University of Vienna, Department of Sociology, Vienna, Austria

The project examines how the governance of migrants ́ integration plays out at urban level. To gain an understanding of how migrants are integrated in the host communities and the underlying governance processes, the research project will identify and analyse the potential solidarities and conflicts developed at urban level as a result of the actors (governmental, non-governmental, private and civic) interactions shaping formal and informal paths towards migrants’ integration


Deadline: 24 March 2021 (link)

After the deadline for applications, the project supervisor and co-supervisor will draft a shortlist of 5 to 8 candidates. This shortlist will be discussed by representatives of all SOLiDi academic partner institutions. The shortlisted candidates will then be invited for interview. The ranked candidates will be discussed by representatives of all SOLiDi academic partner institutions, who will assess the gender and geographical balance of the selected candidates and the balance in disciplinary backgrounds across the network. Successful candidates will be notified by the end of May 2021.


  • Applicants can be of any nationality.
  • Applicants must be eligible to enroll in the PhD programme of the host institution.
  • H2020 MSCA Mobility Rule: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date (that is 31/08/2018 to 01/09/2021). Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status are not taken into account.
  • H2020 MSCA eligibility criteria: Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) must, at the date of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged).

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