Fairwork is hiring a Post-Doctoral Researcher (f/m/x)

Posted on 19.02.2024
We are hiring

For its research group Globalization, Work and Production, the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) is looking for a post-doctoral researcher (f/m/x)

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 scientific community, policymakers, the media, and the general public.

The post holder will act as a Post-Doctoral Researcher for the German team of the Fairwork project (see here for an overview of our ratings in Germany). Fairwork is a global action research project that assesses conditions in digitally mediated work against the principles of fair work and uses that research to push for positive change in the digital economy.

The Fairwork project is jointly coordinated by the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford (PI and Director Professor Mark Graham) and the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) (Professor Martin Krzywdzinski). The post holder will be part of the German team based in Berlin, at the WZB, however will closely work with both the OII and WZB teams and across the project.

The German team will research the German platform economy with a particular focus on the effects of algorithmic management on working conditions and the challenges and prospects for collective bargaining and representation in this sector. As part of this research, the team will be responsible for the Fairwork Germany reports for 2024 and 2025 and engage with key stakeholders in the sector to advocate for better regulation of platform labour.

The primary aims of this position will be to (1) conduct research with platform workers and platform managers about job quality on digital labour platforms; (2) use that research as part of action research strategies to leverage change in the gig economy; (3) collaborate on publications and research outputs to disseminate the evaluations of platforms against principles of fair work.

Your tasks and duties
The post holder will be an experienced researcher with outstanding all-around skills to conduct high-quality, independent research. In particular, the post-holder will

  • conduct primary research and secondary comprehensive and comparative analysis of data collected in the Fairwork project
  • prepare research publications, chapters, summaries, and reports
  • collaborate in the preparation and management of grant applications
  • reach out and liaise with external partners and stakeholders, particularly unions, policymakers and platforms
  • disseminate findings in the scientific community and the media

Your qualifications profile

  • a relevant postgraduate degree in sociology, geography, anthropology, economics, development studies, or related fields
  • strong publication record and familiarity with the existing literature and research related to the platform economy, the digital economy, decent work, or precarious/temporary work
  • knowledge of issues impacting precarious and insecure workers, and a demonstrable commitment to working towards the empowerment of workers, and to equality and inclusion
  • academic or professional experience, experience in the development of research projects and methodologies
    experience in conducting, analysing, and interpreting interview data
  • excellent communication skills, including the ability to write for publications, present research proposals and results, and represent the research group at meetings
    ability to effectively interact with a wide range of stakeholders like unions, platform workers, managers, policymakers and journalists
  • ability to work independently, communicate effectively with a team, and be a constructive force in a team environment
  • enthusiasm to work in a diverse and international team
  • preferably fluent in German and English

Our offer

  • remuneration in accordance with EG 14 TVöD Bund
  • 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
  • flexible working hours and the possibility of mobile working (at least 20% of the weekly working hours agreed in the contract)
  • we promote a good work-life balance
  • comprehensive program for continuous professional development and further qualification, in the own discipline and beyond
  • cafeteria with modern recreation rooms
  • reduced monthly ticket for local public transport (Jobticket or Deutschlandticket Job)

The position will be filled subject to funding approval.

Equally qualified applicants with disabilities will be given preference. We value diversity and welcome all applications – irrespective of gender, nationality, ethnic or social origin, religion, disability, age, or sexual orientation. WZB expressly encourages women or persons with migration backgrounds to apply.

Candidates are requested to submit the following documents in English in a single PDF-file, no later than 3 March 2024:
Cover letter outlining motivation, previous experiences, career plans Curriculum Vitae
Writing/Working samples
Copies of relevant certificates
One letter of reference from previous employers and contact information for two
additional references

If you have any questions regarding the job opening, please contact Eileen Jahnke, telephone +49 30 25491 538

For more information about the Fairwork Project, see For more information about WZB, see here.
Have we sparked your interest? In that case, we look forward to receiving your online application.