Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows

The Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH (WZB Berlin Social Science Centre) seeks to hire Two Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows starting on 1 September 2017 for the duration of up to two years.

Appointments are made at 65% of the regular working hours (currently 25.35 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 fellow will conduct research and develop or complete a dissertation on a topic related to one of the unit’s thematic research areas. In addition, she or he will be expected to contribute to new research projects and publications developed by the group, such as developing strategies for international measurement of political alienation and accountability or measures of the evolution of norms in changing societies.


Applicants should be enrolled in a Ph.D. program in political science, economics, or a related social science discipline in a German or international institution. Preference will be given to applicants that have completed any required coursework and are in the dissertation research stage of their work. Excellent English writing and communication skills are required (English is the working language of the unit). Preference will be given to applicants with field work experience, and strengths in quantitative methodology or formal theory.

Salary for the position:

Group EG 13 TVöD (in accordance with German public service collective agreement).


Candidates are kindly requested to submit a CV, writing sample, and cover letter (in English) not later than 20 February 2017. The CV should contain 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 (or prospectus) 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 “pre-doctoral fellow application” in the subject line.

For any additional information see here.