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Job offer: PhD position at EMBRACE

The University of Würzburg is looking for a scientist at PhD/Prae-Doc level who will be entrusted with three tasks: Collaboration in the international collaborative research project EMBRACE, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe research programme [], teaching in the Chair’s Bachelor programme and working on a PhD thesis related to the Chair’s areas of expertise.

As a member of EMBRACE, the Würzburg team, in close cooperation with a team at Stockholm University, investigates the impact of EU democracy promotion on the level of democracy and conflict in the European neighbourhood. The teaching activities include the organisation of basic courses on current issues of European integration and the role of the European Union in the world as well as the supervision of BA theses. The planned doctoral thesis should be an innovative individual research project closely related to the research questions of EMBRACE and the research priorities of the Chair [for more information about the Chair, please visit its institutional website].

They are looking for a highly reliable junior researcher with an interest in European integration, the European neighbourhood, democratisation, democracy promotion, regime change and/or conflict management. The main task of the researcher will be to collect, systematise, analyse and present data on EU democracy promotion and its impact on the level of democracy in the European neighbourhood and to publish the results in international journals. In view of the international character of the project, the project language is English. Teaching can take place either in English or German. The dissertation should be written in English.

Information about the position:

Date of appointment: 01.01.2024
Contract duration: 1.5 years (until 30/09/2025)
Working hours: 65%
Salary: TV-L 13 (65%)
Application deadline: 01.12.2023


  • Theoretical conceptualisation
  • Data collection, coding, analysis (with Excel, STATA and/or R)
  • Writing research reports and journal articles
  • Project management
  • Teaching on the department’s BA programme (2.5 SWS per semester)
  • Carrying out research work for your own doctoral project


  • Recently completed MA degree in Political Science, Sociology, Economics or a related discipline that fits with the specialisms of the Chair and the EMBRACE project.
  • Experience with quantitative research methods, including data collection and analysis (e.g. using Excel, STATA, R, SPSS, Python or similar).
  • Able to work academically in English; knowledge of German and/or another language spoken in Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans or the Mediterranean region is an advantage.
  • To be a reliable and independent team player.
  • Be willing to improve his/her skills in data coding, data analysis, project management, publishing and teaching.
  • Be willing to complete his/her PhD project even after the end of EMBRACE; contract extension is possible (subject to approval of further funding).

What is on offer:

  • Integration in an international, dynamic and highly motivated chair team and in an exciting international collaborative research project with 14 institutional partners from the EU and its neighbouring countries.
  • Research and management experience in chair and research project work.
  • Methodological training and practice.
  • Experience in teaching.
  • Continuous and encouraging supervision of your dissertation.
  • Support with academic networking and presenting at international conferences.
  • Publication support.

How do I apply?

The application should include a cover letter explaining how the above criteria are met, a CV, a copy of the Master’s degree certificates, a list of publications (if applicable), a description of the planned doctoral project (max. 2 pages), certificates, up to two references (please no letters, contact details are sufficient) and the Master’s thesis.

Please ensure that the chosen reviewer can be contacted shortly after the submission deadline. Please submit the complete application documents in one PDF (max. 10 MB) to Prof. Dr Sonja Grimm by email [] by 1 December 2023 at the latest. Questions about the position can be sent to Sonja Grimm via the same email address. Interviews will be scheduled shortly after the closing date.

Alternatively, the application documents can be sent in paper form to:

Prof. Dr Sonja Grimm, Chair of International Relations and European Studies, Institute of Political Science and Sociology, Wittelsbacherplatz 1, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.

Please only send copies of documents. For reasons of cost, application documents cannot be returned. The documents will be destroyed as soon as the selection procedure has been completed. If a stamped envelope is enclosed, the application documents will be returned no later than three months after the end of the selection procedure.