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Doctoral student/PhD student (m/f/d) (researcher)

The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) is a nationally and internationally recognized center of excellence for researching and developing vocational training and continuing education. Within the junior research group ‘Vocational orientations and their realization: young people’s transitions to vocational training in a spatial context’ the BIBB offers two positions as 

Doctoral student/PhD student (m/f/d) (researcher)

with 75% of the regular weekly working time (currently 29.25 hours) for a fixed period of three years. An extension of one year is possible. 

Project description:

The junior research group is embedded in the BIBB thematic cluster ‘Vocational orientation and transitions—integration into training and careers.’ The group examines the impact of individual, social and contextual factors on the transition to vocational education and training, and on job entry in Germany with a particular focus on the role of spatial opportunity structures. The group is interdisciplinary and internationally oriented and is headed by Dr. Alexandra Wicht in cooperation with the University of Siegen.

The junior research group comprises three quantitative-empirical projects, in which the two dissertations will be implemented with different emphases: (1) vocational orientations and respective changes during the search for training, (2) successful transitions to vocational education and training, (3) spatial mobility intentions and mobility during the search for a training place. The focus in all projects is on investigating the interaction of individual characteristics 
(e.g., educational qualifications, personality), social factors (e.g., socio-economic and ethnic origin), and spatial conditions (e.g., regional educational opportunities, training and job opportunities, spatial infrastructure). The group’s analyses are primarily based on data from the National Education Panel (NEPS), and other secondary data, such as the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), which are linked – depending on the research question – with regional aggregate data. For further information on the junior research group, please contact Dr. Alexandra Wicht.

You will be supported in your PhD project by experienced researchers. The dissertation will also be carried out in close cooperation with the above-mentioned collaborating university. A research visit is possible, participation in the activities offered by the faculty is desired. Moreover, you will be supported by the BIBB graduate program. The graduate program offers optimal conditions for doctoral studies through a comprehensive qualification and advisory program as well as exchange and networking opportunities. If you have any questions about the graduate program at the BIBB, please contact Dr. Judith Offerhaus.

Tasks and responsibilities:

As a doctoral researcher you will be involved in the work of the junior research group and will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Completing a doctorate on a project-related research question,
  • preparing and analyzing quantitative longitudinal and multilevel data,
  • publishing research results in national and international peer-reviewed journals, 
  • preparing research findings for the international and national scientific community as well as for vocational education and training policy makers and practitioners,
  • presenting research results at thematically relevant national and international conferences,
  • cooperating and networking with national and international project partners,
  • contributing to the conception and organizational implementation of the project,
  • writing of project reports, 
  • continuous and active participation in the BIBB graduate program.

Your profile:

  • You have completed or are about to complete a higher education degree in the field of social sciences, economics, psychology with at least the grade “good.”
  • You have good knowledge of the German (vocational) education system, (vocational) education research and current (vocational) education policy issues. 
  • You are particularly interested in scientific work, especially regarding educational research and policy. 
  • You are able to develop your own ideas for a PhD project and implement them within the overarching goals of the junior research group.
  • You have very good knowledge of quantitative statistical methods for analyzing survey data, preferably longitudinal and multilevel data, and are proficient in using appropriate analysis software (e.g., in Stata, R, or Mplus).
  • You preferably have experience with NEPS or comparable survey data.
  • You are able to prepare and present project results in an appropriate way for different target audiences; experience in a scientific context and also in English is an advantage.
  • You have strong communication and writing skills in German and English (your English language skills correspond to at least level C 1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
  • You are characterized by an independent, structured and goal-oriented way of working. You are highly motivated and have the ability to work in interdisciplinary teams. You are resilient, flexible and willing to travel for work.

 Please submit the following documents:

  • Cover letter/ letter of motivation
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Higher education certificates, school and other training certificates
  • Short proposal (max. two pages, in German or English) outlining ideas for a possible research question of the doctoral thesis
  • Optional writing sample (e.g., term paper or final thesis)

Classification: Pay group 13 TVöD (Classification is carried out in application of § 12 TV EntgO Bund.)

The BIBB is actively committed to the compatibility of work and family life. We have been certified as a family-friendly employer since 2010 and offer flexible working hours and a wide range of part-time models, mobile working, teleworking, and a hotline for family support services. For further information, please visit http://www.bibb.de/beruf-familie or https://www.berufundfamilie.de/english-info.

We welcome applications from people of all nationalities. People with disabilities are preferred if they have the same qualifications. The application of women is explicitly encouraged.

We use the Interamt electronic applicant management system. We look forward to receiving your complete application, indicating the reference number 44/21, by 30.09.2021

at: https://interamt.de/koop/app/stelle?id=706591 (Interamt ID: 706591).

You may find information regarding the processing of your personal data within the recruitment process (Section 13 GDPR) at www.bibb.de/stellenangebote (information in German). 

For further information on the Federal Institute of Vocational Education and Training, please refer to the website