Doctoral Researcher

Case study in Germany for “DigID – Doing Digital Identities” at Leuphana University of Lüneburg @Leuphana_Uni funded by the European Research Council (ERC), EG 13 TV-L, 75%; application deadline: 22 May 2023



Doctoral Researcher (m/f/d) DigID Germany

As a humanistic, sustainable and action-oriented university, Leuphana University of Lüneburg stands for innovation in education and science. Methodological diversity, interdisciplinary cooperation, transdisciplinary cooperation with practice and an overall dynamic development characterise its research profile in the core topics of education, culture, management/technology, sustainability and state. Its international study model with the Leuphana College, the Leuphana Graduate School and the Leuphana Professional School is unique in Germany and has won many awards.

The University is looking for a responsible, motivated and committed person in context of the project “DigID – Doing Digital Identities” which has been funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and is led by Prof. Stephan Scheel, Chair of Political Sociology, at the Institute of Sociology and Cultural Organization of the Leuphana University Lüneburg

Doctoral Researcher (m/f/d)
(salary group EG 13 TV-L, 75%)

The position is temporary for a period of 4 years. Starting date: 1st September 2023 (or by arrangement)

You will be working as a PhD-candidate at the internationally renowned Centre for Digital Cultures (CDC). The advertised position is part of the newly founded working group of the Chair of Political Sociology in the School of Humanities and Social Studies. Your main task is to develop a PhD-project within the conceptual and thematic framework of the ERC-funded project „DigID – Doing Digital Identities“ (2023-2028; in the following: DigID). The project investigates – in five country case studies – how the shift towards digital iden-tification technologies changes the relations and interactions between state institutions and citizens. It en-gages with this research question in three sites in which digital methods of identification are increasingly used: (1) birth registration, (2) mundane citizen-state transactions for enacting social and political rights and (3) border controls. The person hired for this position will be in charge of the country case study of Germany. The position is supposed to start on 1st September 2023 or according to a negotiated starting date.

You can find more detailed information about the DigID project under following link:

Your tasks:

  • to develop and implement a distinct PhD-dissertation project within the conceptual and thematic framework of the DigID-project;
  • to organise, plan and conduct ethnographic fieldwork in context of the DigID project, in particular for the country case study of Germany;
  • to contribute to collaborative ethnographic research on the international case study of the ‘transna-tional field of identification’ (see project description for further details)
  • to actively contribute to the build-up of project-owned databases for research data (in particular field notes and interview protocols etc.), relevant primary sources as well as academic publications with a particular focus on the assigned country case study;
  • to develop – in close collaboration with the project team – a set of distinct methods and working practices as may be necessary to achieve the objectives of the research, particularly regarding data collection, data management and analysis and fieldwork and interview protocols;
  • To write and/or contribute to single and co-authored publications in English in leading peer-reviewed international journals;
  • To actively contribute to the planning, organisation and implementation of workshops, conferences, working meetings of the advisory board and other events in context of the DigID-project and the work-ing group for Political Sociology;
  • To prepare and actively participate (in person) in project team meetings; initially, these will be held on weekly basis, subsequently in a bi-weekly rhythm.
  • To develop and teach one seminar per term (2 hours per week) that relate to themes and topics of the working group on Political Sociology.

Your profile:

  • A completed, above average university degree (Master's or equivalent) in the field of social or cultural sciences (e.g. anthropology, sociology, political science); the degree must be completed by the starting date of the post (in September 2023).
  • Demonstratable knowledge of central approaches and debates of at least one of the following fields of study: citizenship studies, critical data studies, science and technology studies (STS);
  • Proven experience in autonomously conducting ethnographic research (in particular semi-structured interviews and (non-)participant observation)
  • Very good command of English in both speaking and writing; willingness to contribute to project-related publications in English language; 
  • Interdisciplinary understanding of research and willingness to cooperate with an interdisciplinary and international team of researchers;
  • Ability to work both independently and team-oriented, with good time-management;
  • Willingness to travel internationally and to spend longer periods on field trips in Germany for con-ducting fieldwork for the project;
  • First publishing experiences are a plus but not essential;
  • Good knowledge of German in speaking and writing is desirable. 

Our offer:

  • Opportunity to pursue a PhD-project in the context of an internationally renowned research project;
  • an inspiring working environment as part of the university community of researchers, lecturers, stu-dents and staff in technology and administration,
  • a workplace at one of the most beautiful university locations in Germany in a true campus university with an internationally acclaimed central building by Daniel Libeskind and the directly adjacent na-ture reserve Wilschenbruch,
  • a high level of job security as part of the public service,
  • an additional company pension plan through the Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder (VBL),
  • flexible and family-friendly working hours within a flexitime framework from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m,
  • flexible and family-friendly options for alternating between presence work and mobile work,
  • an extensive internal and external continuing education program
  • a wide range of sports activities sponsored by the university, which employees can take advantage of for one hour per week during working hours to promote their health,
  • a university-sponsored catering service for lunch and dinner in the cafeteria,
  • a job ticket for the Hamburg public transport system sponsored by the university.

Your Application:
For questions regarding the content of the position, please contact Prof. Dr. Stephan Scheel (stephan.scheel[ at ]

Leuphana University of Lüneburg promotes professional gender equality and heterogeneity among its members. Applications from people with severe disabilities will be given preferential consideration if their quali-fications are equal. Please also note our data protection information for applicants.

We look forward to receiving your application. The required application documents should be submitted in English and include the following:

  • A two-page motivation letter in which you outline (1) why you are interested in contributing to the DigID-project, (2) with what kind of expertise and skills you want to contribute to the project; (3) what will be the aspects of the digitization of statist identification practices and their impact on cit-izen-state relations you would like to focus on in the PhD-project you would like to pursue in context of the DigID-project?
  • A detailed CV including a publication and teaching record (if applicable);
  • Copies of any relevant certificates (in particular university degrees);
  • A writing sample like a book chapter or journal article (max. 25 pages), which can also be your MA-dissertation (preferably in English)

Please send these documents (without photo) in one pdf-file by 22.05.2023 by e-mail or as in hard-copy format by post to:

Leuphana University of Lüneburg
Human Resources and Law / Application Management
Password: DigID Germany PhD
Universitätsallee 1
21335 Lüneburg
bewerbung[ at ] 


More details

Prof. Dr. Stephan Scheel

stephan.scheel[ at ]

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bewerbung[ at ]