Doctoral Researchers (f/m/d) Borders and Memory

Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS), Erkner

The Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) in Erkner (close to Berlin) is a publicly funded non-university research institution and a member of the Leibniz Association. The IRS is looking for

three Doctoral Researchers (f/m/d)

for the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group "Borders and Memory" within the IRS Research Area "Economy and Civil Society". The positions should be filled as soon as possible and will be fixed for three years, with the aim of extending them for a further year.

About the Project:

The project of the junior research group "The socio-spatial Memory of European Borders: Dispositifs of Remembering and Forgetting" examines the effect that remembering and forgetting of borders has on the current status of a supposedly borderless Europe. The project analyses three dimensions of the memory of borders, namely memory frames, but also the practices and materiality of border twin towns and villages at four different national borders that are part of the Schengen area. The aim is to reconstruct the entanglement of the dimensions of remembering and forgetting as dispositifs in the sense of a powerful network that encompasses discursive and material elements.

The three doctoral students will each focus empirically on one of the following border regions: the Polish-German, the Danish-German and the Northern Irish-Irish border regions.

The junior research group consisting of the three doctoral students and the project leader will further develop a comparative approach at the intersection of Border Studies and Memory Studies. At the same time, the individual case analyses will allow each doctoral researcher to focus on a specific dimension of border memory and to write an independent qualifying thesis.

Your tasks:

  • Preparation, planning, conducting and analysing the empirical work with a focus on one of the mentioned border regions,
  • theoretical-conceptual work, and
  • Contributing to organisational tasks throughout the entire research process of the project,
  • Development and realisation of an individual case study as a doctoral project within the junior research group,
  • Presentation of research results at national and international conferences and seminars,
  • Publication of scientific papers, including articles in international, peer-reviewed journals,
  • Presentation of research results to a broader audience (participation in science communication)

Your profile:

  • Very good university degree (Master's level) in one of the following disciplines: sociology, cultural studies, human geography (specialising in culture or social geography) or other disciplines with a focus on memory or border studies,
  • First-hand experience with or knowledge of qualitative methods of social research or a high willingness to familiarise oneself with them (especially qualitative interviews, go-alongs, mental maps, biographical photo scripts) and knowledge of research programs such as grounded theory and/or discourse and/or dispositive analysis,
  • Theoretical knowledge of memory research in the social sciences and/or cultural studies, border studies and/or concepts of spatial studies, or a high level of willingness to acquire this theoretical knowledge,
  • Knowledge of the topics of memory cultures and/or border regions, or a high level of willingness to familiarise yourself with these topics,
  • Profound language skills in one of the three specified border regions,
  • A profound level of German and a very good knowledge of written and spoken English

Our offer:

The IRS offers a varied job with a friendly, innovative and interdisciplinary team in a dynamic research environment. Working in a scientific team gives you the freedom to design and implement. Working in a scientific team gives you the freedom to organise and carry out your own qualification project, which is thematically linked to the junior research group. The junior research group is also in direct contact with the IRS bridging project "Disruption and Spatial Development" and thus enables cooperation with colleagues within the research focus and beyond. A self-organised group of doctoral students holds regular meetings and an annual retreat. Through the cooperation of the junior research group with the Institute of Sociology at the TU Berlin and the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 1265) "Re-Figuration of Spaces", as an associated member of the SFB you will have access to the integrated research training group and the multimethodological methods lab. You will also be involved in various forms of scientific exchange organised by the IRS, such as International Lectures or IRS Seminars. The Institute also offers a wide range of opportunities for continuous professional development and is committed to the health care of its employees.

The IRS guarantees the professional equality of all persons according to the Federal Equal Oppotuni- ties Act (BGleiG) and strives for an open and non-discriminatory work culture. We expressly welcome applications from women. Applicants with severe disabilities will be given preference if they are equally qualified. The IRS supports the compatibility of work and family and has been certified as a family-conscious company since 2015. We offer flexible working hours, the possibility of mobile work and a job ticket.

If this job advertisement appeals to you, please send your application documents, i.e. letter of motivation, CV, certificates (of degrees), references as well as a self-authored text (such as a chapter of your master's thesis or your own publication) quoting the reference number 1323 in a single PDF-file by E-Mail by 15.01.2024 addressed to bewerbung(at)leibniz-irs.de.

Leibniz-Institut für Raumbezogene Sozialforschung (IRS)


Flakenstraße 29-31

15537 Erkner


Please direct any queries to Dr. Vivien Sommer: Vivien.Sommer(at)leibniz-irs.de

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