PhD Position at WZB: Doctoral Researcher in the “Varieties of Reproduction Regimes” research group

For the Research Group “Varieties of Reproduction Regimes” (headed by Dr. Hannah Zagel) the WZB Berlin Social Science Center invites applications for the fixed-term position as a Doctoral Researcher (f/m/x) from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025 with the possibility of extension for a further year (subject to funding) at 65% of the regular working hours (currently 25.35 hrs./week).

The WZB Berlin Social Science Center is a publicly financed research institution that conducts leading edge theory-based and problem-oriented social science research ( WZB researchers come from across the globe and work across social science disciplines including sociology, political science, economics, law, and psychology. A member of the Leibniz Association, WZB’s research is directed at the science community, policy makers, the media and the general public.

The research group seeks to understand the interplay of policies regulating reproduc- tion, inequalities and norms from a comparative perspective. Particular attention will be paid to the role of policies and regulations to shape patterns of reproduction differentially across social groups, and to affect norms around reproduction and family. These goals will be pursued through theoretically informed comparative analyses, us- ing a variety of methods and international data sources as well as a new database of reproduction policies, which will be built in the project.

The position involves participation in developing and answering research questions within the project’s larger framework of reproduction policies and their outcomes. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to the work of the group through intellectual exchange, the development and implementation of independent and collaborative research projects, the presentation of their work at national and international conferences and workshops, and the publication of results, preferably in peer-reviewed English-language journals. Further qualification towards a doctoral degree is highly welcome.


  • Excellent academic credentials (master’s degree or equivalent) in sociology or another social science (political science, social policy, public health, demogra- phy). Applicants who have not completed their master’s degree by the time of application should include a statement from their supervisor confirming the expected date of graduation.
  • Very good knowledge of:
    • either quantitative research methods including techniques of data processing and statistical analysis (Stata and/or R); experience with complex data structures (multilevel/longitudinal data) is a plus,
    • or comparative case studies using quantitative or qualitative methods (including but not limited to policy analysis, document analysis, QCA).
  • Good knowledge of theories and current comparative empirical research on policies and/or social inequalities in at least one of the areas relevant to the re- search group (reproduction, health, family, gender)
  • Excellent English language skills in speech and writing (knowledge of German is not required).

Our offer

  • Remuneration in accordance with EG 13 TVöD Bund (German public service collective agreement)
  • Additional benefits for public service employees (VBL U)
  • A well-equipped workplace in the center of Berlin
  • International, cooperative, and diversified working environment
  • In-depth integration into the scientific community in the form of colloquiums
  • and conferences
  • Thorough instruction and guidance
  • Flexible working hours
  • We promote a good work-life balance, and our engagement has been certified by audit work and family and the European Commission’s Human Resources
  • Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)
  • Comprehensive program for continuous professional development and further
  • qualification, in the own discipline and beyond
  • Cafeteria with modern recreation rooms
  • Discounted VBB company ticket

Applications should consist of a cover letter, curriculum vitae, sketch of a research idea related to the programme of the group (1-2 pages), work sample (seminar paper or thesis), bachelor’s and master’s certificates, and official transcripts of coursework. Applications should only be submitted electronically as a PDF file no later than 5 Jan- uary 2022 through the WZB’s application portal. Job interviews will take place on the 19-21 January 2022, likely on Zoom.

Further inquiries should be made to Dr. Hannah Zagel:

For more information about the research group “Varieties of Reproduction Regimes”, follow this link inequalities/varieties-of-reproduction-regimes.