Two PhD positions in a research project on educational inequalities (4 years each, 100% SNSF positions)

The Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development of the University of Zurich seeks two predoctoral researchers for the project “Understanding social gradients in education: A psycho-social-ecological framework,” which is directed by Prof. Dr. Kaspar Burger and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The project will use large-scale representative data to examine how psychological, social, and broader contextual characteristics influence inequalities in educational outcomes, and whether these characteristics interact in shaping such inequalities. Doctoral student #1 will analyze educational inequalities from a cross-national comparative perspective, whereas doctoral student #2 will use longitudinal designs.
Further details about the project can be found here:

The ideal candidate will bring along:

  • Master’s degree in educational science, sociology, psychology, economics, social research, demography, social statistics or related fields (this is a requirement)
  • Interest in education, social inequalities, life course, child and youth development
  • Strong motivation to write a doctoral thesis focusing on inequalities in education
  • Experience with quantitative data analysis methods
  • Familiarity with statistical software (e.g., R, Stata, Mplus, Python, SPSS)
  • Excellent command of English (German is considered as an asset)

We offer:

  • An inspiring, dynamic environment of cutting-edge research and high-quality training
  • Ideal conditions to start an academic career
  • Excellent working conditions at a top-class university
  • Continuous support and close exchange among team members
  • International and multidisciplinary research cooperation
  • Opportunity to participate in research training and (inter-)national conferences
  • Attractive salary in line with SNSF regulations

Applications should include a motivation letter (including an outline of the topic of interest for a doctoral research project, 1 page maximum), a curriculum vitae, copies of certificates, a writing sample (e.g., master thesis), names and contact details of ideally two referees, and a letter of recommendation. Please merge all documents into one PDF file and send it to:

For inquiries about the positions, please contact Prof. Dr. Kaspar Burger:

The review of applications will begin on 24/07/2020. Applications received afterwards will be considered until the positions are filled.

Employment will start on 01/09/2020 or as mutually agreed.

Place of work: UZH, Zurich Oerlikon.

Job description (PDF, 106 KB)