Postdoctoral researcher (f/m/d)

The IfL invites applications from qualified and motivated candidates for a position on as

Postdoctoral researcher

(65 % E 13 TV-L) (f/m/d).
The position is based within the Department of "Regional Geographies of Europe". The IfL is an independent research institute with currently around 130 employees and is a member of the Leibniz Association. It is financially supported by the State of Saxony and the Federal Republic of Germany through the framework for joint research support.
The position will be embedded into the Institute’s research group on “Mobilities and Migration”, which pays particular attention to mobilities and power relations, the interplay between mobility and socio-spatial inclusion and exclusion processes, socially embedded norms and gendered social practices.
The position is part of the interdisciplinary cooperation and research project "Public transport as public space in European cities: Narrating, experiencing, contesting (PUTSPACE)", funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area programme, with partners based in Belgium, Estonia, Finland and Germany. The project proposes a non-technocratic, politicised and humanities-led perspective on public transport, by conceptualising public transport (PT) as public space: one which confronts citizens with social diversity, speaks of different types of ownership, discipline and surveillance, subversion, interaction and remaking of social norms.
The post-doc project is expected to contribute to the project’s work package on PT narratives from the perspective of diverse actors and contestations over PT, with an emphasis on the post-Soviet region. The postdoc is invited to explore:

  • modernisation, publicness and diversity of PT spaces
  • official and vernacular narratives, stories and accounts of PT
  • civil society mobilisations around PT-related questions such as access, affordability and norms of behaviour in PT
  • narratives on Europeanisation and modernisation in cities marked by diverse experiences of modernity and related points of contestation
  • urban transformations in the former Soviet Union and beyond—the increasing social diversity and polarisation, liberalisation, privatisation and securitisation

We offer

  • a three-year position with in part time 26 hours/week (65 %), flexible working arrangements, a positive work climate and integration into a highly motivated research group dedicated to Mobilities and Migration studies
  • family-friendly working conditions that encourage the compatibility of work and family life
  • the possibility for implementing own ideas within the cooperation and research project on „Public transport as public space“
  • support for academic career development, incl. habilitation
  • fieldwork and conference participation grants, publication support, tailored trainings

Your responsibilities

  • development of a theory framework for researching public transport as public space, with particular emphasis on narratives and contestations in former Soviet countries
  • development and implementation of an own, transnational and comparative, research agenda in close cooperation with project partners
  • conduct own research, incl. fieldwork and data analysis
  • work package-related organisational activities, and contribution to network-wide events such as workshops or summer schools
  • presentation of results through conference participation and publications, knowledge transfer and outreach activities
  • contribution to the profile development of the “Mobilities and Migration” research group

Our expectations

  • a university diploma in humanities or social sciences (human geography, ethnology, sociology, cultural studies, Eastern European studies or the like) and a completed high-quality PhD, thematically connected to the research project
  • relevant research experience in qualitative space and mobility research in a post-Soviet/post-socialist context
  • relevant publication record
  • communication skills and project management experience in international projects
  • very good knowledge of qualitative research methods, particularly with regard to transnational comparative research
  • very good knowledge of theories on mobility, transformation and urban research in a post-Soviet/postsocialist context
  • very good knowledge of English and at least one language of the target region; good knowledge of German and further languages of the target region are welcome

The position requires frequent travelling to the case study regions and to project-related events. We look for a proactive, motivated, autonomous and open-minded person with a well-developed team spirit and innovation skills.

Your application

Please send your application in English (CV, certificates, degrees, themes of prior work incl. projects, relevant publications and an outline of a proposal postdoctoral research project with 1.500 word max.) in a single pdf document with a maximum of 20 pages with the keyword “Postdoc PUTSPACE” to: <link window for sending>personal(at)

By submitting the application, you consent to the processing of your personal data for the purpose of the application procedure.
The IfL follows the goal of professional equality of women and men. Applications from qualified women are most welcome. Recognised persons with disabilities receive preference by equal qualification. We welcome applications from individuals with a migration background.
Contact: Dr Wladimir Sgibnev, <link window for sending>w_sgibnev(at)
Deadline for applications: 11 April 2019
The call is subject to completion of contractual negotiations with the research funding agency. The earliest possible start of recruitment is expected to be 1 May 2019.

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