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Junior Professor

Prof. Dr. Christian Ebner

Christian Ebner is a Junior Professor of “Sociological VET Research” at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training and at the University of Cologne.

He was previously an academic researcher at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and at the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB) and has also been a visiting researcher at the London School of Economics (T.H. Marshall Fellowship) and a member of the College for Interdisciplinary Educational Research (CIDER Fellowship). He acquired his doctorate (Dr. phil.) at the Humboldt University in Berlin for his dissertation on the entry into employment of persons completing training in international comparative terms. Alongside research and teaching, the tasks of the Junior Professorship currently also include networking and advisory activities.

Main focuses of research

The main research focuses of Professor Ebner are in the thematic field of education and the labour market and are empirically sociological in their alignment. Current research topics are inequality on the labour market with regard to access and qualifications, transitions from training to the labour market in national and international comparative terms, participation in and returns from continuing vocational training, occupationally specific inequality on the labour market and atypical forms of employment and well-being. His research is largely based on data from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, such as the Employee Surveys conducted by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training and the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BIBB/BAuA Employee Survey) and the training places statistics (BIBB Research Data Centre).

Teaching

At the University of Cologne, Professor Ebner teaches on both Bachelor and Masters courses of study, primarily within the thematic area of “Training and the labour market”. The programmes he teaches encompass seminars and lectures which are more theoretically oriented as well as practical research projects which involve the statistical evaluation of academic research data sets. The close linking that is in place between the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training and the University of Cologne because of the Junior Professorship provides students with an opportunity to gain first hand insights into the activities of a federal institute and information on the topic of training. The data sets of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training are evaluated with the scope of teaching programmes and final dissertations and thus gain greater awareness within the academic environment.

Networking activities are one of the core tasks of the Junior Professorship.

The Junior Professorship is housed at two organisations. These are the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training and the University of Cologne, in the latter case specifically the Institute for Sociology and Social Psychology. In his capacity as Junior Professor at the University of Cologne, Christian Ebner pursues the topic of VET research and also incorporates it into his teaching. He cooperates with academic researchers at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, at the Institute for Sociology and Social Psychology and more widely at the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, of which the latter forms a part. He also maintains cooperation agreements with academic researchers at other non-university based research institutions such as the Social Science Research Centre Berlin and the Institute for Employment Research. Research results are imparted to a specialist audience comprising representatives of the general public, policy makers and trade and industry and are also presented at international academic research conferences. One particular objective in this regard is to strengthen the topic of VET research within the academic research community. Firstly, the topic is afforded a greater degree of establishment in the social sciences via ad-hoc groups (such as at the DGS Congress or at the Conference of the European Survey Research Association). As a co-founder of the Occupations and Social Equality Initiative, Professor Ebner’s objectives are to make sociological VET research more visible right across Germany, to network occupational researchers in a cross-organisational manner and to drive forwards sociological VET research in both theoretical and empirical terms.