Postdoctoral Research Fellows

The Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH (WZB Berlin Social Science Centre) seeks to hire Two Postdoctoral Research Fellows for appointments for up to three years starting on 1 September 2017.

Appointments are made at 100% of the regular working hours (currently 39 hours/week).

The WZB is a publicly financed international social science institution that conducts basic research that is theory-based and problem-oriented (see: The positions will be attached to a new research unit to be established in 2017 in the field of Institutions and Inequality (Director: Professor Macartan Humphreys). The new unit will use observational and experimental methods to study major problems related to the political economy of social and political inequality.

Initial work will have two strands:

  • The first strand focuses on inequalities in linkages between citizens and states, examining topics of political accountability and political alienation: when can citizens affect political outcomes and when do they disconnect from, or challenge, political structures?
  • The second strand, focused on informal institutions, examines the evolution of social norms around behaviors related to equality, fairness, and justice. Of particular interest is norm change induced by changes in economic or demographic structures, such as those produced by migration and urbanization.


The research fellows will work independently, designing and implementing research projects and publishing in at least one of the unit’s thematic research areas. 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. This could involve taking a lead on developing strategies for the international measurement of political accountability and alienation or measures of the evolution of norms in changing societies.


Applicants must have completed a Ph.D. in political science, economics, or a related social science discipline and have a vibrant and creative research agenda. Excellent English writing and communication skills are required (English is the working language of the unit). Applicants should have skills in quantitative methods or formal theory, preferably with training in causal inference and knowledge of Bayesian methods.

Salary for the position:

Group EG 14 TVöD (in accordance with German public service collective agreement)


Candidates are requested to submit a CV and cover letter in English not later than 20 February 2017. Shortlisted candidates should be available for interviews in March 2017 with decisions made very shortly thereafter. The CV should contain a list of publications and contact information for at least three references (but please do not send letters of reference at this time). The cover letter should contain a dissertation summary and a research agenda for the near future. Also, the cover letter should articulate common interests and potential collaboration with the unit. Equally well qualified disabled applicants will be given preference. The WZB expressly invites women and people with an immigrant background to apply.

Please, send your application by email (one pdf-file) to Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB) with “post-doctoral fellow application” in the subject line.

For any additional information see here.