Research Fellow (Sociology)

Country: Germany;

City: Berlin

Vacancy added: 15.07.2017

Employer: WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Vacancy type: PhD position;

For whom: For researchers;

Resumes due: 30.08.2017


The WZB Berlin Social Science Center, project “Matching Young People to Apprenticeships in Challenging Times” (project leader: Dr. Paula Protsch) located in the Research Unit “Skill Formation and Labor Markets” (Director: Prof. Dr. Heike Solga) invites applications for the position of a

Research Fellow at 65% of the regular working hours (currently 25.35 hours/week)

starting on November 1, 2017 for three years subject to funding approval. The project will be part of the interdisciplinary Priority Program “The German Labor Market in a Globalized World – Challenges Through Trade, Technology, and Demographics”, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

From a sociological perspective, the project investigates whether and in which respects employers looking for apprentices adapt their recruitment and selection practices to cope with challenges posed by their regional, occupational, and firm-specific situation, and how this compares to young people's search and application strategies. The project will focus particularly on informal search and recruiting practices (e.g., via social contacts) and possibly associated social inequalities within the group of young people.


  • Contribution to and independent research within the project
  • Literature review, covering the relevant disciplines (particularly, Sociology, Economics, and Personnel Psychology)
  • Preparation and statistical analysis of individual longitudinal data (National Educational Panel Study (NEPS)) and employer survey data
  • Review of administrative data and development of suitable indicators of the supply and demand situation
  • Presentation of project findings in workshop and conferences, including network meetings within the DFG Priority Program
  • Participation in joint publications
  • Writing a project-related PhD thesis
  • Participation in the activities of both the WZB and the research unit


  • Excellent university degree in Sociology or Social Sciences (Master or equivalent)
  • Willingness to write a project-related dissertation in Sociology
  • Strong interest in the German education system and vocational training system, as well as interest in research on social inequalities; in-depth knowledge is an advantage
  • Very good knowledge of quantitative research and methods, including data preparation techniques and statistical data analysis methods (with syntax-based statistics programs - Stata and/or R); experience with multi-level or longitudinal data is an advantage
  • Openness and high willingness to conduct research in interdisciplinary contexts
  • Excellent English language skills (written and spoken)
  • Very good German language skills (written and spoken)

Salary: EG 13 on the Wage Agreement for Public Service (TVöD) scale.

Your application should include:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum vitae (no picture)
  • Copies of your university certificates, including transcripts of records
  • Copies of job references (if applicable)
  • Copy of your master thesis or equivalent final thesis, German or English
  • Outline for a project-related PhD thesis in English (2-3 pages)


Where to send resume: