In 2009, RJ developed an entirely new postdoctoral initiative known as 'Flexit'. The main purpose of the project is to strengthen the ties between Humanities and Social Sciences research and the private sector, which is commonly regarded as the weakest link in the 'knowledge triangle'.
Flexit, a project that seeks new, flexible solutions designed to spread research and researchers outside higher education institutions (HEIs), has two main purposes:
- Building bridges between research in the humanities and social sciences, on the one hand, and organisations outside academia on the other.
- Facilitating knowledge transfer and encouraging contacts to enable more organisations outside academia to perceive and profit from the expertise of humanities and social sciences PhD graduates, and vice versa.
Through the programme, we also hope to be able to present alternative career opportunities for researchers in humanities and social sciences. In the long term, by means of the Flexit initiative, RJ aims to influence the academic merit system so that HEIs value experience from the business world more, and vice versa.
Experience to date has been very good, both for the companies and organisations involved and for researchers. In the new version of Flexit, we hope to involve academic institutions more deeply in the programme and in building bridges. After an evaluation of the Flexit pilot project, RJ is now opening the programme to senior researchers as well, and splitting the positions so that each researcher is employed at a company or organisation (the 'host establishment') for two years, and then for a further year at an HEI. Accordingly, applicants need to establish affiliations to their chosen academic departments by the time they apply.
The positions are for a maximum of three years, and consist of 75% research and 25% service in the host establishment. Each position is tied to the latter for the first two years and to an academic department, where contacts with the host establishment continue, for the third. RJ will fund salary costs and other expenses relating to the research, while the host establishment pays the salary for the remainder of the position, the cost of office workspace, the customary office infrastructure, an Internet connection and use of various benefits at the workplace. The host establishment is the employer, and appoints a contact person for the researcher, who works on the premises as an in-house researcher but is also expected to retain and develop contacts with academia.
Who is eligible to apply?
The applicant must have obtained a doctoral degree in a subject in humanities or social sciences. The applicant should have good social skills and well-developed networks both inside and outside the research community.