Post-doctoral position for ERC project: 'Green Industrial Policy in the Age of Rare Metals

14 June 2022

The ERC funded 5-year project GRIP-ARM is looking for 1 Post-Doctoral Fellow on China’s resource-based industrial strategy. Deadline to apply: Thursday 11 August.

The GRIP-ARM project

Our new global political economy is increasingly defined by ‘critical raw materials’ – of which rare earths elements (or ‘rare earths’) are the most significant. These seventeen chemically similar metals – with special properties of ferromagnetism, superconductivity, and luminescence – play a vital role in the production of advanced manufacturing and low-carbon technology. Two important trends underline the urgency of this research. Firstly, low and middle-income countries joining the race for industrialization are increasing demands for high-tech goods ranging from computers, mobile phones, and flat screens, as well as for low-carbon consumer products, such as energy- efficient cars, solar panels, wind turbines, and even lights – all of which constitute further pressures to accelerate the pace and breadth of natural resource exploitation. Secondly, growing demands for rare earths are currently suffering from a supply constraint given that China – the dominant market player in rare earths mining – has begun to impose export restrictions and reorient its mining policy to support domestic industrialization. The impending resource crunch creates incentives for mineral states to gain strategic and economic advantage.

The GRIP-ARM project, and the researchers that are part of this team, will contribute to understanding how mineral exporters can design industrial strategies in pursuit of their national economic and security objectives, as well as examining the responses of end-user manufacturing companies and national governments both in securing stable access of rare earth elements and in facilitating the transition towards sustainable development.

Job description summary

As post-doctoral fellow, you will be responsible for studying the industrial restructuring of the critical minerals — especially rare earths elements — and its linkages to advanced manufacturing sectors in China. You will be expected to incorporate a distinctive perspective on the New Silk Road campaign and the nascent body of scholarship on ‘Global China’ in order to analyze the global restructuring taking place in the context of China’s ascent in the international order.

To contribute substantially on the project, the Fellow is expected to be well-versed in multiple techniques, which includes but is not exclusive, elite interviewing, surveys or other research techniques for micro-level analysis, and global value chains (GVC) analysis.

It is expected that extensive fieldwork will be conducted in China, which will be supported by Tsinghua University. The prospective candidate may propose different pathways for his/her own research, for example, by exploring potential comparative analysis within China, proposing a distinctive yet complementary approach to analyze industrialization, or undertaking value chain analysis of specific critical minerals and end user manufacturing/high technology sectors. 


  • A completed PhD degree (or recently submitted PhD thesis) in political science, political economy, and/or development studies;
  • Evidence of a trackrecord or working in the field of political economy and economic policy analysis, with emphasis on industrial policy, global value chains, and/or natural resource governance and politics;
  • Proven trackrecord of conducting fieldwork research at both national and regional levels, employing multiple methodological techniques;
  • Fluency in English and Chinese 
  • Excellent communication skills to work in a teamwork setting, and a proactive, versatile and independent attitude in completing tasks;
  • Work experience and/or contacts with government, international organizations, or research institutions is an advantage;
  • Experience in organizing high impact research activities is highly desirable.

Conditions of employment:

The successful candidate will be offered a temporary fulltime contract for one year, at the level of Post-doc with Erasmus University Rotterdam. After an evaluation and proven suitability for the position the contract will be extended for another year.

Salary: € 3.821, - and a maximum of € 5.230, - gross per month, on a fulltime basis (CAO NU scale 11)
Location: The International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, The Netherlands
Deadline to apply: Thursday 11 August


More information

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