Postdoctoral research fellows

Job description

The Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH (WZB Berlin Social Science Centre) seeks to hire up to two

Postdoctoral research fellows.

The positions are full-time (currently 39 weekly hours) and with an initial contract duration of three years with the intention of renewal for three more years. Depending on the qualifications and experience of the candidate, an initial contract duration of more than three years may be possible.

The starting date is flexible, but not later than September 2020.

The positions will be within the interdisciplinary research department Migration, Integration, Transnationalization, headed by Prof. Ruud Koopmans.

The department 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 MIT research unit at

Job description

The researchers will conduct independent research, contribute to the research program of the department, and produce high-level international publications in relation to one or more 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. Modernization movements and reform theology within Islam in response to the challenge of fundamentalism, with a focus on Islam in Europe and/or the countries of the Islamic world.

In addition to their primary research tasks, the WZB encourages the researchers to teach courses at universities in Berlin, and to participate in various international exchange programs that the Centre 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 Ph.D. degree (obtained already or soon to be completed), with
  • Disciplinary background depending on the topic (topics 1 and 2: political science, sociology or economics; topic 3: sociology, theology, Middle Eastern or Islamic studies)
  • Articles in recognized peer-reviewed journals or equivalent monograph, either published or, in case of a very recent Ph.D., in an advanced stage of preparation
  • Excellent methodological skills appropriate to the research topic
  • Experience with primary data collection.
  • 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.

Remuneration: EG 14 TVöD (in accordance with German civil service collective agreement)

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 will likely rely more heavily on qualitative methods but may also include quantitative aspects (e.g., in content analyses).

Please, send applications by 16 February, 2020 to

Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH (WZB) / WZB Berlin Social Science Centre

Prof. Ruud Koopmans
Bewerbungen-mit [at]
quoting “postdoc researcher MIT” in the subject line.

Application deadline

Prof. Ruud Koopmans
Bewerbungen-mit [at]

Work and family


Since 2010 the audit berufundfamilie (Work-Family Audit) Certificate distinguishes the WZB as a family-friendly employer.