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PhD position in European Politics in Zürich

Studierende finden an der ETH Zürich ein Umfeld, das eigenständiges Denken fördert, Forschende ein Klima, das zu Spitzenleistungen inspiriert.


100%, Zurich, temporary

The Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS) invites applications for a full-time PhD position in the European Politics group (), which is headed by Prof. Frank Schimmelfennig. The position is part of the Ambizione research project “Democratic Backsliding in Eastern Europe: Sequence, Strategies, Citizens,” led by Dr. Natasha Wunsch and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The PhD student will contribute to the research project, collaborate with colleagues in the group, and pursue her/his own research agenda on the topic of democratic backsliding in Europe.

Job description

We offer an intellectually challenging full-time position in one of the leading political science research centres in Europe, where you will become part of an innovative research project. The successful candidate will support the Principal Investigator in the implementation of the project, with ample space to develop and pursue his or her own research interests under the framework of the project. She or he will be enrolled as a PhD student, will have a work contract at ETH Zurich and will work in Switzerland.

The successful candidate will join a dynamic and supportive work environment that values intellectual curiosity and initiative. Her or his PhD thesis will be supervised by Prof. Frank Schimmelfennig (ETH Zurich) and further mentored by Dr Natasha Wunsch, who is the project’s Principal Investigator. The position is available for up to 48 months, with a competitive salary in accordance with . In addition, the position comes with a generous budget for methods training and travelling (e.g. scientific conferences). 

The latest possible start date for the position is 1 March 2020. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Your profile

The successful candidate should have a Master’s degree (or be close to completion) in Political Science or related disciplines as well as strong methodological skills, with a particular interest in and experience with survey-based methods. We are looking for candidates who combine the ability for independent research with strong teamwork and communication skills, and who are self-driven and highly motivated. The ideal candidate has experience conducting research on issues related to democratisation as well as an interest in and some prior knowledge on the Post-Communist region. Fluency in English and familiarity with statistical software (R and/or STATA) are essential.

ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

We look forward to receiving your application with the following documents (combined into a single pdf file):

  1. Cover letter with a short description of your research interests and how they relate to the project’s focus
  2. Detailed CV
  3. Transcripts of all degrees
  4. Names and contact information of at least two academic references
  5. Writing sample (Master’s thesis if possible)

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr Natasha Wunsch via email: natasha.wunsch@eup.gess.ethz.ch (no applications).

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