Doctoral Researcher

The University of Cologne is looking for a PhD candidate in the project "Migration, Intersectionality and Institutional Interaction: Experiences of African Migrants in the United Arab Emirates" Deadline: 1.10.2021


  • Topic Job OfferDoctoral Researcher
  • When to (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)
  • Documents letter of motivation, research proposal, CV, transcript of records, writing sample
  • Payment 13 TV-L
  • Download date as file event_note get iCal file


The project is part of the interdisciplinary research group "Cross-border Mobility and Institutional Dynamics" (FOR 5183) coordinated at the University of Siegen. The research group investigates interactions between mobility and institutions, specifically: the importance of institutions for shaping and controlling cross-border mobility, as well as the consequences of mobility for the existence and transformation of institutions. Five projects from the disciplines of sociology, anthropology and political science will collaborate in the research group. The empirical-qualitative, theory-oriented and reflective methodological work of the research group is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). 

The project "Migration, Intersectionality and Institutional Interaction" examines the interaction between migrant actors and representatives of the institutions found in the Gulf States. It assumes that the institutions relevant for labor migration (formal and informal institutions of the labor and housing market, migration authorities, institutions of migrant self-organization) do not treat mobile persons as homogeneous clientele, but that in institutional interactions different positionalities are made relevant by all parties. Accordingly, the project is interested in how intersectionality shapes interactions between migrants and institutional actors in the Gulf States and how social positionings are strategically used by both sides. Empirically, the project examines the experiences of migrants from Africa (especially Ethiopia and Cameroon) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Particular focus will be placed on the institution of the kafala or sponsorship system, which is widespread in the Gulf region and closely linked to institutions of migration control and the labor market, as well as on institutions of migrant self-organization.

Your tasks

  • Development of a PhD project on the topic of „Migration, Intersectionality and Institutional Interaction: Experiences of African Migrants in the United Arab Emirates“ taking into account the
    objectives of the project.
  • Data collection and analysis; ethnographic field research in the United Arab Emirates (12 months in total) and Ethiopia (3 months).
  • Presentation of results in the form of regular reports, lectures and publications.
  • Support in the organization of academic and policy events (conferences, workshops, working meetings).
  • Participation in and contributions to the activities of the research group (FOR 5183)

Your profile

  • Completed master‘s degree (MA) in social and cultural anthropology, sociology, or a closely related field of study; familiarity with migration research will be beneficial.
  • Strong interest in social science theory building, initial experience with ethnographic research will be beneficial.
  • Willingness to conduct several months of ethnographic research in the United Arab Emirates and Ethiopia; familiarity with the research sites will be beneficial.
  • Excellent knowledge of English is required; knowledge of German or willingness to learn German for communication purposes is desired; knowledge of Amharic or Oromo will be
  • Due to the intersectional orientation of the project and research team, applications from ethnic minorities and women are especially desired.

The position is available from 01.01.2022 on a part-time basis (65% / 25,89 hours per week). It is limited until 31.12.2025. If the applicant meets the relevant wage requirements and personal qualifications, the salary is based on remuneration group 13 TV-L of the pay scale for the German public sector.

Please send your application with the usual documents (letter of motivation, research proposal 1-3 pages/1000 words limit), CV, transcript of records) plus a writing sample (e.g., master‘s thesis or publication) by email (in one pdf-file)
with the reference number Wiss2108.

The application deadline is 01.10.2021. Digital interviews with selected candidates are scheduled for Tuesday, 19.10.2021 in the afternoon.


More details

Dr. Michaela Pelican

mpelican[ at ]

Send documents to

m.boeck[ at ]