Junior Researcher (m/f/d)

Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde (IfL), Leipzig

The Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) in Leipzig, Germany, invites applications for a PhD-researcher position (f/m/d) from 01.01.2022 to 29.02.2024 as: Junior Researcher, 65%, E 13 TV-L

The successful applicant will be part of the team working on a research project entitled “Beyond ‘Left Behind Places’: Understanding Demographic and Socioeconomic Change in Peripheral Regions”. This project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of the Open Research Area (ORA) for the Social Sciences scheme. The project consortium includes partners in the United Kingdom (CURDS, Newcastle University and University College London) and France (University of Strasbourg and CIRAD Montpellier). The aim of the project is to develop a new understanding of demographic and socio-economic change in peripheral regions, examining the circumstances and prospects of places and people currently categorised as ‘left behind’. It will advance understandings of peripheralisation as an on-going process driven by the geographical concentration of people and prosperity in large urban centres alongside the decline or stagnation of other regions. Other goals of the project include assessing the relationships between the demographic dynamics of peripheral regions and people’s socio-economic, health and political outcomes, examining the livelihood activities and practices of residents in peripheral regions and identifying new policy responses that combine conventional and alternative perspectives.

Qualitative analysis of two case study regions in Germany aims at uncovering people’s everyday social and economic practices and experiences, addressing the neglected question of how ‘ordinary’ people deal with processes of peripheralisation. Other important fields of research are everyday practices of (im)mobility and the question who moves to or stays in ‘left behind’ regions. The project will also assess current and inform future institutional and policy approaches to addressing the varied predicaments of peripheral regions, addressing the limitations of city-centric thinking to develop more place-sensitive approaches.

The Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) is an independent research institute specialising in human geography. The institute is a member of the Leibniz Association that includes Germany's leading research institutions. IfL conducts basic research on regional geographies of Germany and Europe and communicates its research findings to wider audiences. Under the heading “Geographies of the Regional”, the institute develops perspectives on socio-spatial developments in a globalised society that is increasingly characterised by differences, diversity, and complexity.

We offer:

  • The position of a Junior Researcher based within the Department for Regional Geography of Europe funded for at least 26 months, starting from 01.01.2022;
  • Integration in inspiring and innovative multi-national, multi-disciplinary research teams within the project consortium and at IfL;
  • Integration in the IfL team;
  • Inspiring and stimulating environment of the multi-disciplinary and multi-national project consortium;
  • Opportunities to pursue a doctoral degree;
  • Family-friendly working conditions that enable the compatibility of work and family life, flexible organisation of working time, and a good working environment;
  • Networking opportunities through international conferences and project meetings;
  • Institutional support, office space, access to the library resources;
  • Salary according to the regulations for level TV-L 13.

Your responsibilities:

  • To co-design and implement the research programme of the project, including two German case studies in an urban and a rural district in the old Länder;
  • By drawing comparisons with other countries, contribute to the findings and the scientific outputs of the project;
  • Assume a fair share of responsibility in preparing project workshops, conferences, and outreach activities, and to actively participate in such events;
  • Contribute to project dissemination activities through peer-reviewed academic and policy publications, and presentations at national and international conferences;
  • To contribute to and participate in the Institute's research activities and events.

We are looking for a proactive, motivated, autonomous and open-minded person with a well-developed team spirit and innovation skills as well as a high level of personal commitment and reliability. The fulfilment of the tasks requires a high level of spatial flexibility; willingness to travel is expected.

Our expectations:

  • Academic background (Master's level) in human or economic geography, urban sociology, urban and regional studies, urban and regional planning, or related disciplines;
  • Familiarity with the debates on spatial inequalities/peripheralisation, regional policies, urban and regional development, internal/international migration to structurally weak (rural) areas;
  • Familiarity with qualitative research methods and experience in designing and conducting biographical interviews, participant observation, and focus group research;
  • High proficiency in English (spoken and written), sufficient command of German is an advantage;
  • Experience in working in international projects is an advantage; Experience in presenting at conferences and publishing in academic journals is an advantage.

Your application:

Please send your application in English in a single PDF file (maximum 30 pages) with the subject line “Job Application / Beyond Left Behind Places” to: personal@leibniz-ifl.de. Your application should include a CV, a motivation letter, copies of relevant certificates and degrees, themes of prior work, including projects and relevant publications.

IfL follows the goal of professional equality of all genders. Applicants recognised as persons with disabilities receive preference by equal qualification. We especially welcome applications from individuals with a migration background.

By submitting your application, you consent to the processing of your personal data. You will receive a confirmation of receipt after the email has been successfully delivered. Records of your application will be deleted after four months.


Contact                                     Dr. Tim Leibert, t_leibert@leibniz-ifl.de

Deadline for applications           25 October 2021 until 12:00 hrs

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview conducted in early November 2021.

Further information on the IfL can be found at our website.