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Postdoctoral Fellowship Position in “Borders, Mobility and New Infrastructures” at the National University of Singapore

Established in June 2017 by Max Weber Foundation’s (MWS) German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) and a team of researchers (Lin Weiqiang and James D Sidaway from the Department of Geography and  from the Department of Southeast Asian Studies) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), National University of Singapore, the Max Weber Foundation Research Group is seeking to appoint a postdoctoral fellow to contribute to the Research Group’s activities on Borders, Mobility and New Infrastructures.

Motivated by an increase in border disputes across a variety of territories in Southeast Asia, quickened mobilities and interactions among peoples, and an acceleration of trade in (legal and illegal) goods across the region, the Group is seeking candidates whose research demonstrates a focus on either:

  • Changing borderscapes in Southeast Asia: air, land, and sea.
  • Cross-border infrastructures in Asia and new scales and spaces of interaction.

The Group's understanding of borders and mobility is not limited to traditional geopolitical borders, but includes also multi-dimensional (re)imaginations of territories (including maritime and vertical ones), as well as an array of social, economic, and cultural spaces. Similarly, the definition of infrastructure encompasses both physical and non-physical networks (social, business, and cultural) that have a bearing on the uneven (im)mobilities of people, goods, knowledge and capital. Our focus is contemporary, but not at the exclusion of historical perspectives.

Area of Expertise

The successful candidate 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.
  • Broad interdisciplinary expertise, with a specialization primarily (but not necessarily exclusively), in Southeast Asia and/or its relationships with other regions.
  • Research interests and experience on any or combinations of border issues, mobility, infrastructure and transnational studies.
  • A promising trajectory in research and publication; a publication record in areas related to the above specified research interests is a significant advantage.
  • Excellent communication skills and dedication to academic teaching excellence and collegiality.

The successful candidates are expected to participate actively in the MWS Research Group’s activities and collaborate with other FASS researchers where appropriate. In addition, the postdoctoral fellows will be expected to teach up to one module per academic year in Southeast Asian Studies.

Terms and Conditions

You will work with the research team and shall carry out roles including; organising workshops and conferences, applying for grant funding, participating in current research projects and developing and carrying out new research projects. Administrative duties and committee work may be assigned from time to time. Please also indicate in the application letter any teaching experience and what you would be interested in teaching.

  • Contract to be awarded for 24 months in the first instance, starting by 1st August 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.
  • There is a possibility that the appointment will be eligible for a one-year extension (to be awarded on the basis of research progress and funding).
  • An annual salary of up to Singapore $66,000. This all-in sum is inclusive of stipends for housing and living expenses. 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 arrangements.
  • Singapore citizens and permanent residents are eligible for Provident Fund benefits.
  • Medical benefits in accordance with the Medical Benefit Plan. See: http://www.nus.edu.sg/careers/whatyougettoenjoy.html
  • 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.
  • A contribution to relocation expenses may be payable for candidates not already in Singapore at the time of appointment.


Application Procedures

All applications, including a cover letter detailing research interests, envisaged research and publication plans during the Fellowship, as well as a CV with a complete list of publications, details of any relevant teaching experience and the names and contact details of two academic referees, should be submitted no later than 20 April 2018.  Applications and attachments should be sent to: Ms Wong Lai Wa (geowlw@nus.edu.sg).

Informal enquiries to: Professor James D Sidaway (geojds@nus.edu.sg).

Visit our websites at
for information on the Research Group, and http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/sea/ for information on the Department of Southeast Asian Studies (and the undergraduate modules on offer therein).  Details of the Max Weber Foundation’s (MWS) German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) can be found at: https://www.dijtokyo.org/

Other benefits that the University provides and other information about working in NUS and living in Singapore are available at http://www.nus.edu.sg/careers/whyjoinus.htm. Terms and conditions, according to university guidelines, are subject to changes without prior notice.