Quick facts

    • Basel
  • Full time
  • Recruitment


  • Anthropology
  • Political science
  • Social science


  • Postdoc

Apply by: 2024-06-30

Postdoctoral Position at the Social Transitions Research Group

Published 2024-05-22

The Social Transitions Research Group (STR) at the University of Basel investigates processes of social change toward sustainability across various sectors, including food and mobility. It strives to generate knowledge that is theoretically and methodologically sound and relevant to practice. The group has a strong record of nationally and internationally funded research projects and publications on sustainable transitions in various contexts.

The project “Food coalitions beyond the local scale: spaces for a democratic sustainability transformation” is a collaborative effort between the BOKU Vienna, and Technische Universität Berlin, and STR at the University of Basel. This transdisciplinary project aims to explore the opportunities and limitations of Trans-local food coalitions (TLFCs) – initiatives, organizations, or companies that (re)establish relations between food stakeholders and geographic regions to provide democratic and sustainable alternatives to global food chains. By engaging with non-academic partners and utilizing a variety of empirical social research methods, the project seeks to generate practical knowledge for transforming globalized food chains. The project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), and the German Research Foundation (DFG).

STR is seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher to join the TLFC project. The position is limited to three years (75%) and will begin on 1 September 2024. The main responsibilities will include leading Work Packages (WPs) 4 and 5, co-leading WP 7, and substantially contributing to other WPs.

Your responsibilities

Lead WP 4: Comparative Case Study - Collecting Data
•    Establish common guidelines and protocols for qualitative data collection and assist in organizing a data collection training workshop.
•    Collect documents and conduct individual and group interviews, including field visits with non-participant observation.
•    Develop and manage empirical databases for documents, transcriptions, and observation protocols.


Lead WP 5: Comparative Case Study - Analysing Data and Compiling Case Profiles
•    Develop a common coding scheme and codebook for data analysis.
•    Conduct coding and analysis of qualitative data.
•    Triangulate data from documents, interviews, and observations to develop case profiles.
•    Prepare single-case reports and a comparative case study report.


Co-Lead WP 7: Project Management and Coordination
•    Assist in the strategic steering of the project to ensure alignment with objectives.
•    Coordinate administrative management tasks.
•    Manage data, including structuring, storing, and ensuring compliance with data protection regulations.
•    Contribute to outreach management, including the project website and social media accounts.


Contribute to other parts of the project
•    Support the development, implementation and analysis of an online survey on TLFCs (WP 3).
•    Participate in regular project meetings, workshops, and networking events.
•    Engage with practice partners and stakeholders in transdisciplinary processes.


Your profile

•    Doctorate in a relevant field (e.g., sociology, anthropology, political science, sustainability studies, or related disciplines).
•    Strong background in qualitative research methods.
•    Some experience in survey research.
•    Familiarity in social science food research.
•    Excellent organizational and project management skills, preferably also with digital project management tools.
•    Ability to work independently and as part of a collaborative research team.
•    Willingness to travel for fieldwork and project meetings.
•    Proficiency in English and German.

We offer you

•    A stimulating research environment within the Social Transitions Research Group.
•    Opportunities for professional development and interdisciplinary collaboration.
•    Access to resources and support for conducting high-quality research in an emergent national and international research network.
•    A well-equipped and pleasant workplace in the center of Basel.
•    Competitive salary and benefits in accordance with SNSF regulations.


Interested candidates should submit the following documents as a single PDF file using the recruiting online tool of Basel University:
•    A cover letter (max. 2 pages) outlining your motivation, relevant experience, and how your profile fits this call.
•    A detailed CV, including a list of publications.
•    Contact information for two academic references.
•    Two samples of your written work (e.g., research papers or dissertation chapters).

For more information, please contact Prof. Max Bergman (max.bergman@unibas.ch).

The application deadline is 30 June 2024 and project start is 1 September 2024.

The University of Basel is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from women and underrepresented groups.