Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft
Veröffentlicht am: 16.06.2020

Research associate for the graduate programme "Democratising Security in Turbulent Times"

Universität Hamburg, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, Hamburg

Bewerbungsfrist: 31.07.2020

As a University of Excellence, Universität Hamburg is one of the strongest research universities in Germany. As a flagship university in the greater Hamburg region, it nurtures innovative, cooperative contacts to partners within and outside academia. It also provides and promotes sustainable education, knowledge, and knowledge exchange locally, nationally, and internationally.

The Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH) is an interdisciplinary and independent research institute established by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. It examines the conditions of and challenges to European and international peace and security by combining innovative research and knowledge exchange with politics and society.

The German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) / Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien is an independent social-science research institute based in Hamburg. It analyses political, social and economic developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, and links this knowledge to questions of global significance. It combines region-specific analysis with innovative comparative research on accountability and participation, growth and development, peace and security, and power and ideas.

The Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, Universität Hamburg; the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg; and the German Institute for Global and Area Studies invite applications for up to four positions as

- SALARY LEVEL 13 (TV-L or TV-AVH, depending on employer)


The position in accordance with Section 28 subsection 3 of the Hamburg higher education act (Hamburgisches Hochschulgesetz, HmbHG) commences on 1. January 2021.

This is a fixed-term contract in accordance with Section 2 of the academic fixed-term labor con- tract act (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz, WissZeitVG). The term is fixed for a period of 36 months. The position calls for 65 % of standard work hours per week*.

The Hamburg-wide graduate programme brings together core faculty from four research institutions: Universität Hamburg, Helmut-Schmidt-University/University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg (HSU), Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) and German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA). Funded by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, it is designed to form an intellectual hub for innovative, interdisciplinary and critical peace and security research.

The graduate programme examines fundamental reconfigurations of the relationship between security and democracy against the backdrop of growing political and societal polarisation, the advent of new digital technologies and the rescaling of security to arenas below and beyond the state. We analyse the possibilities and challenges of democratising security in three inter- connected research perspectives: reordering democratic security and the emergence of new landscapes of security; reimagining democratic security as an affective matter around which communities and publics form; and redesigning democratic security through democratic experiments and the forging of norms. The overall question guiding the programme’s research efforts is how the relationship between security and democracy is re-configured under the current challenging conditions.

The English language graduate programme offers committed supervision within the disciplines of political science, sociology, criminology and communication studies as well as interdisciplinary exchanges and a creative space for collaborative learning among peers. The programme combines training in theory and research methods with key professional skills training and individual career mentoring. Within the programme, PhD researchers have the opportunity to engage in policy and civil society outreach activities and to develop international professional networks by pursuing research stays abroad and by taking part in international conferences and workshops.

In addition to the four research associate positions, places may be awarded to doctoral candidates who have their own financing and wish to become associated with the graduate programme. Further information about how to become associated with the graduate programme may be obtained by contacting democratising-security.wisouni-hamburgde.


Active participation in a structured graduate programme.

Specific Duties:

Research associates have to complete the doctoral qualification programme and to write a doctoral dissertation on a topic related to the research programme of the graduate programme. Presence in Hamburg is required (except for research related absences).


A Master’s degree in a research-oriented Master’s programme in a relevant field, preferably in political science, International Relations, sociology, criminology, communication studies, security studies, peace and conflict studies, human geography or adjacent fields. On completion of the Master’s degree (including a Bachelor’s degree) applicants must have reached the equivalent of 300 ECTS points. The Master’s degree must have been awarded by a recognized university or equivalent institution of higher education. Research associates must have an excellent command of English.

Qualified disabled candidates or applicants with equivalent status receive preference in the application process.

For further information on the graduate programme, please consult our website and the FAQs under ‘application’, or contact Prof. Dr. Ursula Schröder (ursula.schroederuni-hamburgde).

Applications should include

  • a cover letter including a personal statement of motivation for the application. The cover letter should also outline general academic interests and fit with the graduate programme,
  • a curriculum vitae,
  • copies of degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records for previous studies (Bachelor and Master),
  • an outline of a research project the candidate would like to pursue within the context of the graduate school (about 4-6 pages, including abstract, research question, preliminary state of the art, statement on possible theoretical and methodological choices as well as statement on fit within the graduate school’s programme). The proposed project should resonate with at least one of the programme’s three research streams (reordering, reimagining, redesigning), as outlined on the WEBSITE
  • one academic reference letter.

Applications should be sent in one single pdf-file by July 31st, 2020, to democratising-security.wisouni-hamburgde. Letters of reference should be sent separately to democratising-security.wisouni-hamburgde. Interviews with shortlisted candidates will be scheduled for September 2020. The three partner institutions UHH, IFSH and GIGA will conduct a single common selection process to fill all positions. A further position will be filled by our project partner Helmut-Schmidt-Universität/Universität der Bundeswehr.

Please do not submit original documents as we are not able to return them. Any documents submitted will be destroyed after the application process has concluded.


* Full-time positions (TV-L) currently comprise 39 hours per week. Full-time positions (TV-AVH) currently comprise 40 hours per week (39,5 hours for research associates with children under 12 years of age).