Pre-doctoral research fellows

Job description

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

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

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.

Remuneration: EG 13 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 should combine normative and empirical approaches, the latter including both qualitative case studies and systematic crossnational 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
Bewerbungen-mit [at]
quoting “pre-doctoral 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.