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Researcher (f/m/d) at WZB

The WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Research Group "Effort and Social Inequality” (led by Prof. Dr. Jonas Radl) in the Research Area “Dynamics of Social Inequalities”, invites applications for the position of a Researcher (f/m/d), preferably starting on September 1, 2019. Depending on the applicant’s academic profile/qualification, WZB is offering a full-time position (39 hours per week) for postdoctoral researchers for 24 months or a part-time position (65% position, 25,35 hours per week) for researchers pursuing a Ph.D. for 36 months (extendable subject to availability of funding).

The position is tied to the research project "Effort and Social Inequality – Advancing Measurement and Understanding Parental Origin Effects" (EFFORT). The project runs from 2018 through 2023 and is funded by the European Research Council (ERC). It is jointly hosted by WZB Berlin Social Science Center and the Carlos III Juan March Institute (IC3JM) in Madrid.

The project aims to understand the role of effort in the reproduction of social inequality through a variety of methods, including the development and use of cutting-edge approaches to effort measurement. For more information, see here.


The researcher is expected to: carry out original research related to “Effort and Social Inequality”; analyze social differences in effort-related measures using secondary data; participate in data collection activities, including laboratory experiments; interact with stakeholders (such as schools, administrations, parents and children); collaborate in the communication of results; and help with the organization of project activities.

The researcher will be based at the WZB in Berlin and fully participate in academic life at the research area “Dynamics of Social Inequalities”. At the same time, the researcher will be working in close collaboration with the team based at Carlos III University of Madrid and occasionally spend time in Madrid for research and coordination purposes.


  • Excellent academic credentials (Master or Ph.D. degree, respectively) in sociology or another social science (education, psychology, economics). Applicants who have not completed their Master or Ph.D. degree by the time of the application should include a statement from their supervisor confirming the expected date of the degree.

According to qualification level:

  • Outstanding knowledge of project-related scholarship (e.g., sociological, economic, and/or psychological research on social stratification, intergenerational mobility, non-cognitive skills, or personality traits)
  • Strong interest in the project topic and/or methodology and (for PhD students) willingness to write a project-related dissertation using a sociological approach.
  • Excellent knowledge of quantitative research methods, including techniques of data processing and statistical data analysis (Stata and/or R); experience with longitudinal or hierarchical data is an advantage
  • Willingness to work in interdisciplinary and international contexts
  • Very good English language skills (written and spoken)
  • Excellent German language skills (written and spoken)

Information for pre-doc applicants: The researcher is expected to pursue a doctoral degree. To obtain the PhD, the candidate will be enrolled either at Free University of Berlin or Carlos III University of Madrid (depending on the candidate’s preferences). The call is also open to students who are currently enrolled in a PhD program at other German or international universities and who are willing to relocate to Berlin.

Remuneration: Depending on qualification, salary group E13 (pre-doc applicants) or E14 (postdoc applicants), in accordance with the Wage Agreement for Public Service (TVöD) scale.

Application Materials:

  • Letter of motivation (maximum 2 pages);
  • Curriculum vitae (maximum 3 pages);
  • Copies of university certificates, including transcripts of records;
  • References: one letter of recommendation (referees should email the letter of reference directly), or name and contact details of referee;
  • Work samples: copy of master/PhD thesis (if unavailable: thesis chapter, journal article or seminar paper), in German or English.

Please submit your application electronically in two PDF files (complete application in one file; work sample in another file) until March 31, 2019 to barbara.schlueter [at] (Barbara Schlueter). Reference: Application EFFORT

Enquiries about the vacancy and the project may also be directed to Principal Investigator jonas.radl [at] (Jonas Radl).

Job interviews are expected to take place at WZB in Berlin on Friday May 3, 2019.

Equally well-qualified disabled persons will be given priority. Women and persons with a migrant background are strongly encouraged to apply.


More information