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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.

Pre-doc­toral research fel­lows (Ph.D. Pos­i­tion)

Work­ing field:

The Wis­senschaft­szen­trum Ber­lin für Sozi­alforschung gGmbH (WZB Ber­lin Social Sci­ence Centre) seeks to hire up to two Pre-doc­toral research fel­lows.

The pos­i­tions are at 65% of full-time (cur­rently 25.35 weekly hours) and with a con­tract dur­a­tion of three years. The start­ing date is flex­ible, but not later than Septem­ber 2020.

The pos­i­tions will be within the inter­dis­cip­lin­ary research area Migra­tion and Diversity, headed by Prof. Ruud Koop­mans. The research area „Migra­tion and Diversity“ includes the research depart­ment “Migra­tion, Integ­ra­tion, Transna­tion­al­iz­a­tion” (headed by Prof. Ruud Koop­mans) and the research group “Inter­na­tional Cit­izen­ship Law” (headed by Prof. Liav Orgad).

The research area focuses on issues related to migra­tion, integ­ra­tion, and major­ity-minor­ity rela­tions, includ­ing polit­ical unfree­dom and reli­gious con­flicts in source coun­tries as drivers of migra­tion. The research takes an inter­dis­cip­lin­ary per­spect­ive, encom­passing soci­ology, polit­ical sci­ence, social-psy­cho­logy, eco­nom­ics, law, and polit­ical philo­sophy. Ongo­ing research foci include pat­terns and drivers of migra­tion from West Africa; reli­gious fun­da­ment­al­ism and extrem­ism; and major­ity and minor­ity rights. Meth­od­o­lo­gic­ally, the research is mostly groun­ded in quant­it­at­ive and exper­i­mental evid­ence, com­ple­men­ted with legal, insti­tu­tional, and norm­at­ive ana­lyses.

Inform­a­tion about the WZB can be found at and about the MAD research area at

The research­ers will con­duct research lead­ing to a dis­ser­ta­tion under the super­vi­sion of Pro­fessor Ruud Koop­mans (as well as of Pro­fessor Liav Orgad in the case of can­did­ates apply­ing to topic 3) on one of the fol­low­ing research top­ics:
1) Jihadist move­ments and inter-reli­gious com­munal viol­ence in West Africa
2) Demo­crat­iz­a­tion and polit­ical Islam in the Middle East and North Africa
3) Cross-nation­ally com­par­at­ive ana­lysis of major­ity rights – both of national tit­u­lar major­it­ies and of national minor­it­ies or indi­gen­ous groups as major­it­ies in their his­tor­ical regions of set­tle­ment – and their norm­at­ive bases.
In addi­tion to their primary research tasks, the WZB offers its research­ers the pos­sib­il­ity to par­ti­cip­ate in vari­ous inter­na­tional exchange pro­grams that the Cen­ter is involved in. The research of WZB fel­lows is sup­por­ted by research assist­ants, travel fund­ing, access to small and medium-scale research funds for data col­lec­tion, as well as oppor­tun­it­ies to invite external col­lab­or­at­ors and speak­ers.


  • Excel­lent MA degree
  • Dis­cip­lin­ary back­ground depend­ing on the topic (top­ics 1 and 2: polit­ical sci­ence, soci­ology or eco­nom­ics; topic 3: polit­ical sci­ence, polit­ical philo­sophy or a rel­ev­ant field of law)
  • Excel­lent Eng­lish writ­ing and com­mu­nic­a­tion skills
  • Know­ledge of local lan­guages of coun­tries/regions of study is advant­age­ous
  • Know­ledge of Ger­man is wel­come but not required
  • Excel­lent meth­od­o­lo­gical skills appro­pri­ate to the research topic.

What we of­fer:

EG 13 TVöD (in accord­ance with Ger­man civil ser­vice col­lect­ive agree­ment)

How to ap­ply:

Equally well qual­i­fied dis­abled can­did­ates will be given pref­er­ence. The WZB expressly invites women and per­sons with migra­tion back­ground to apply.

Can­did­ates are invited to send applic­a­tions elec­tron­ic­ally in pdf-format (not more than
2 pdf-files) con­sist­ing of
  • a motiv­a­tion let­ter
  • CV
  • cop­ies of rel­ev­ant cer­ti­fic­ates
  • a syn­op­sis (2-3 pages) of the research within one of the three sug­ges­ted top­ical areas they would like to con­duct if they were to get the pos­i­tion.
  • Applic­a­tions regard­ing top­ics 1 and 2 should include – but need not be lim­ited to – the use of quant­it­at­ive and/or exper­i­mental meth­ods into the research syn­op­sis.
Applic­a­tions regard­ing topic 3 should com­bine norm­at­ive and empir­ical approaches, the lat­ter includ­ing both qual­it­at­ive case stud­ies and sys­tem­atic cross-national ana­lyses of major­ity rights.
Please, send applic­a­tions by 16 Feb­ru­ary, 2020 to
Wis­senschaft­szen­trum Ber­lin für Sozi­alforschung gGmbH (WZB) / WZB Ber­lin Social Sci­ence Centre

Prof. Ruud Koop­mans
quot­ing “pre-doc­toral researcher MIT” in the sub­ject line.