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Wis­sen­schafts­zen­trum Ber­lin für Sozi­al­for­schung gGmbH - Sozi­al­wis­sen­schaf­ten

Das Wis­sen­schafts­zen­trum Ber­lin für Sozi­al­for­schung (WZB) betreibt pro­blem­ori­en­tierte Grund­la­gen­for­schung. Unter­sucht wer­den Ent­wick­lun­gen, Pro­bleme und Inno­va­ti­ons­chan­cen moder­ner Gesell­schaf­ten. Die For­schung ist theo­rie­ge­lei­tet, pra­xis­be­zo­gen, oft lang­fris­tig ange­legt und meist inter­na­tio­nal ver­glei­chend.

Postdoc­toral Research Fel­low (f/m/x)


Work­ing field:

he Wis­senschaft­szen­trum Ber­lin für Sozi­alforschung gGmbH (WZB Ber­lin Social Sci­ence Centre), research depart­ment Insti­tu­tions and Polit­ical Inequal­ity (IPI) (Dir­ector: Pro­fessor Macartan Humphreys) seeks to hire

A Postdoc­toral Research Fel­low (f/m/x)

for an appoint­ment start­ing Septem­ber 2021 (nego­ti­able) for a dur­a­tion of up to three years. Shorter dur­a­tions are pos­sible for can­did­ates with fac­ulty pos­i­tions in hand. The appoint­ment is made at 100% of the reg­u­lar work­ing hours (cur­rently 39 hours/week).

WZB is a non-profit organ­iz­a­tion and a mem­ber of the Leib­niz Asso­ci­ation. WZB engages in research of fun­da­mental soci­etal ques­tions from the per­spect­ives of dif­fer­ent dis­cip­lines. It is one of the most renowned insti­tu­tions in the field of social sci­ences. The sci­ent­ists who work together at the insti­tute come from such fields as soci­ology, polit­ical sci­ence, eco­nom­ics, law, and psy­cho­logy. The find­ings of WZB research are dir­ec­ted at the sci­ence com­munity, the inter­ested pub­lic, and also experts deal­ing with polit­ical and eco­nomic issues, with media, and soci­ety.
The insti­tu­tions and polit­ical inequal­ity research depart­ment focuses on the polit­ical eco­nomy of social and polit­ical inequal­ity.

Your tasks and duties
  • The research fel­low will work inde­pend­ently, design­ing and imple­ment­ing research pro­jects and pro­du­cing high-qual­ity pub­lic­a­tions in at least one of the unit’s them­atic research areas (polit­ical inequal­ity, between-group inequal­it­ies, cumu­lat­ive learn­ing).
  • This pos­i­tion is part of a wider WZB effort to strengthen research in the area of digit­al­iz­a­tion, both as a sub­stant­ive research topic and as a meth­od­o­lo­gical tool. Can­did­ates for this pos­i­tion should demon­strate a research agenda related to how pro­cesses of digit­al­iz­a­tion impact and inter­act with sub­stant­ive research areas of the depart­ment. Examples include, but are not lim­ited to: using digital data, such as mobil­ity and com­mu­nic­a­tions data, to under­stand pat­terns of inequal­ity and social/polit­ical frag­ment­a­tion; assess­ing the role of Inform­a­tion and Com­mu­nic­a­tions Tools (ICTs) in alter­ing polit­ical inequal­ity and account­ab­il­ity; under­stand­ing the polit­ical implic­a­tions of state sur­veil­lance tech­no­lo­gies and how they affect inequal­ity and the nature of protest and con­test­a­tion; under­stand­ing polar­iz­a­tion, inter­group rela­tions, and polit­ical and social mobil­iz­a­tion in online com­munit­ies; and using ICTs to deliver exper­i­mental inter­ven­tions and col­lect inform­a­tion from pop­u­la­tions. We par­tic­u­larly wel­come agen­das that focus on such ques­tions in devel­op­ing con­texts.
  • In addi­tion, the fel­low will be expec­ted to col­lab­or­ate with and mentor other schol­ars in the unit and play a lead­ing role in devel­op­ing the unit’s work­shops and research pro­jects.


Your qual­i­fic­a­tion and pro­file
  • Applic­ants must have com­pleted a Ph.D. in polit­ical sci­ence, eco­nom­ics, stat­ist­ics, or a related social sci­ence dis­cip­line by the time the pos­i­tion will start, and have a vibrant and cre­at­ive research agenda. In excep­tional cir­cum­stances, we will con­sider applic­a­tions from can­did­ates who will be a few months away from defend­ing their Ph.D. by the time the pos­i­tion starts.
  • Excel­lent Eng­lish writ­ing and com­mu­nic­a­tion skills are required (Eng­lish is the work­ing know­ledge of the unit).
  • Applic­ants should have skills in quant­it­at­ive meth­ods or formal the­ory, prefer­ably with train­ing in causal infer­ence and know­ledge of Bayesian meth­ods.

What we of­fer:

Our offer
  • Remu­ner­a­tion in accord­ance with EG 14 TVöD Bund (in accord­ance with Ger­man pub­lic ser­vice col­lect­ive agree­ment)
  • Addi­tional bene­fits for pub­lic ser­vice employ­ees (VBL U)
  • Inter­na­tional, cooper­at­ive, and diver­si­fied work­ing envir­on­ment
  • In-depth integ­ra­tion into the sci­entific com­munity in the form of col­loqui­ums and con­fer­ences
  • Flex­ible work­ing hours
  • We pro­mote a good work-life bal­ance, and our engage­ment has been cer­ti­fied by audit work­and­fam­ily and the European Com­mis­sion’s Human Resources Strategy for Research­ers (HRS4R)
  • Com­pre­hens­ive pro­gram for con­tinu­ous pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment and fur­ther qual­i­fic­a­tion

How to ap­ply:

Equally qual­i­fied applic­ants with dis­ab­il­it­ies will be given pref­er­ence. We value diversity and wel­come all applic­a­tions – irre­spect­ive of gender, nation­al­ity, eth­nic or social ori­gin, reli­gion, dis­ab­il­ity, age, or sexual ori­ent­a­tion. WZB expressly encour­ages women or per­sons with migra­tion back­grounds to apply.

If you have any ques­tions regard­ing the job open­ing, please con­tact

Job inter­views will likely take place in the week start­ing April 12.

For more inform­a­tion about the research group IPI, fol­low this link:

Have we sparked your interest? In that case, we are look­ing for­ward to receiv­ing your applic­a­tion.
Can­did­ates are reques­ted to sub­mit the fol­low­ing doc­u­ments (all in Eng­lish)

  • CV
  • Cover let­ter
  • Writ­ing sample

The cover let­ter should out­line a research agenda for the period of applic­a­tion which relates to the digit­al­iz­a­tion theme described above.
Please start your applic­a­tion by fol­low­ing the steps out­lined at: We will eval­u­ate all com­plete applic­a­tions received by (and includ­ing) March 1st, 2021.

In addi­tion, applic­ants should sep­ar­ately sub­mit one let­ter of recom­mend­a­tion (addi­tional let­ters are wel­come and will be sought for short­l­is­ted can­did­ates). Please, ask your let­ter writer to send the let­ter of recom­mend­a­tion to the email-address quot­ing “[your last name] IPI postdoc ref­er­ence let­ter” in the sub­ject line by March 1st, 2021.