1 PhD candidate studying social / occupational mobility using social network methods

University of Zurich
March 15, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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Department of Sociology

1 PhD candidate studying social / occupational mobility using social network

methods 100 %

The Department of Sociology at the University of Zurich looks back on more than 50 years of active research and teaching. It is one of the leading empirically oriented institutes in Switzerland and Europe. The basic understanding is based on theory-driven empirical social research with a strong focus on quantitative methods.

The PhD position is part of a 5-year project funded by the Swiss national science foundation. The project is led by Prof. Per Block and focusses on understanding how individuals move between jobs and occupations over the life- course and between generations. The project uses statistical methods developed for the analysis of social networks to gain new insights into the social component of mobility. The conceptual and methodological approach is briefly outlined in this paper: tinyurl.com/5c7mbmaw. The approach will be applied to diverse areas during the project. One example is tinyurl.com/2jbw2c6f.

Your responsibilities

The prospective position holder will conduct research to write a PhD thesis with a high degree of flexibility. During the initial months of the position, the type of mobility (inter-generational, occupational change over the life course, or job mobility), the context (country and/or industry), and the aim (understanding individual mobility, understanding contextual variation on mobility, or segregation dynamics etc.) will be developed jointly by the PhD student and the supervisor. Students interested in working on methodological developments in this area are equally encouraged to apply. The main responsibilities of the position holder are:

  • Learn statistical skills, conceptual approaches, and the relevant literature to become a competent researcher and academic in the fields of network studies, social mobility or labour markets.
  • Develop and exchange ideas with colleagues.
  • Perform statistical analyses.
  • Write and publish research articles.
  • Travel to international conferences to engage in knowledge exchange and present results.
  • Your profile
  • A collaborative, and creative mindset.
  • Master's degree (or close to completion) in social science or an adjacent area, such as Sociology, Economics, Network science, Social statistics, or related fields.
  • Good quantitative skills and willingness to develop expertise in specialised statistical methodology.
  • Experience in using statistical software such as R, Python, or Stata and willingness to work in R.
  • Willingness to engage with past theoretical and empirical literature in the relevant field in depth.
  • Excellent English language skills, both written and spoken.
  • Speaking German is not required for the position.
  • What we offer
  • A stimulating, dynamic and supportive research environment.
  • Very competitive salary and excellent working conditions.
  • A large degree of leeway for creativity, planning, and development of ideas and projects.
  • A motivated and friendly team atmosphere designed to create great research and facilitate personal development.
  • The possibility to work with a certain degree of flexibility (in terms of time and place).
  • High quality of life in Zurich.
  • The position is initially limited to three years, with the possibility of extension upon successful funding acquisition.
  • For further information, please contact Prof. Per Block. He will provide contact details of current PhD students so that applicants can get an outside perspective on working in the group, if this is desired.

    Place of work

    University of Zurich, Department of Sociology, Andreasstrasse 15, 8050 Zurich, Switzerland

    Start of employment

    Employment start date in Fall 2023 or earlier, if desired.

    Please submit your application in only one pdf file until 15.03.2023.

    Your application should contain all of the following five documents: (i) A motivation letter including your strengths and skills (max 2 pages), (ii) your CV (including name and contact details of two referees), (iii) an outline of your research interests (max 2 pages), (iv) one writing sample (e.g. Masters thesis, Bachelor thesis, past course-work), (v) your most relevant degree certificate and grade transcript (usually the most recent degree).

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