A very exciting position for early career scholars with a focus on urban China. This is an announcement of a postdoctoral fellow position to be based at the Department of Public Policy, City University of Hong Kong, working with its urban research group. Please contact Dr Bart Wissink at b.wissink@cityu.edu.hk  if you are interested.

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Urban Research Group of City University Hong Kong (Appointment for 1 year)


From Chicago to Shenzhen: The City One Hundred Years On 

In March this year, exactly 100 years have passed since Robert Park penned his seminal paper The City in the American Journal of Sociology. Subtitled ‘Suggestions for the investigation of human behaviour in the city environment’, this paper provided the founding statement for the Chicago school of urban sociology that came to epitomize urban research in the United States and abroad for decades to come. Park stressed the need to research the city as a social structure, and presented the city as “a laboratory or clinic in which human nature and social processes may be most conveniently and profitably studied”. A hundred years onward, much has changed in urban research and in the urban world itself. We now life in a world of global cities, where the Chinese city occupies the centre stage that the American city once had. While many themes picked up by Park still seem very relevant today, at the same time the Chinese city has a radically different urban structure. How does this impact the social life of Chinese citizens? Using Shenzhen as the contemporary urban ‘laboratory’, this project suggests revisiting Park`s agenda, to review its relevance for the contemporary Chinese city, and – reflecting on the new characteristics of the Chinese city – to develop this into a new multi-disciplinary agenda for urban research.

Project main investigators: Prof. Ray Forrest, Prof. Ngai-ming Yip, dr. Bart Wissink


We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow who will:

  1. Write three scoping studies (one on the urban segregation of China; one on new mobilities in Chinese cities; and one on new forms of sociability in Chinese cities);
  2. Co-author one Q1 journal article on the main theme of this project;
  3. Author two popular media articles – one for a Hong Kong newspaper and one for a Chinese newspaper – on the main implications of the project for cities in China;
  4. Organise an international research workshop that brings together urban China experts, experts in the fields of the three scoping studies, and urban studies experts. 


We are looking for a researcher with a recent PhD in urban studies or a related discipline. Knowledge of Chinese urbanism is highly preferred, and knowledge of the Chicago school of urban sociology desirable. Proficiency in English is required, and proficiency in Chinese is preferred. Availability by September/October 2015 is preferred.

(For enquiries, please contact Dr. Bart Wissink at b.wissink@cityu.edu.hk) 

Salary and Conditions of Service

Salary offered will be competitive, commensurate with qualifications and experience. Fringe benefits include leave, MPF, and medical and dental consultations at the campus clinic.

City University of Hong Kong is an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to the principle of diversity. We encourage applications from all qualified candidates, especially those who will enhance the diversity of our staff. City University of Hong Kong was ranked 5th among the world’s top 50 universities under the age of 50 in the Quacquarelli Symonds 2014 survey.