CfA: Postdoctoral researcher - Institute for Social Movements

Call for applications, deadline 15 September 2021

The Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) is one of Germany’s leading research universities. The „Institute for Social Movements“ (ISB) is a central research institute of the RUB under the directorship of Professor Stefan Berger, which has a long track record of researching the comparative history and present-day relevance of social movements.

The ISB is looking for

1 postdoctoral researcher (full time 39,83 h/w payment according to German public service scale - E 13 TV-L)

The position is available for 36 months from 1 January 2022.

You will be working as part of the research group “Europe’s Postwar Consensus: A Golden Age of Social Cohesion and Social Mobility?”, funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung. The aim of the research programme is to analyse social cohesion and social mobility during the 1950s and 1960s in pan-European comparison. It studies state efforts to promote social cohesion and social mobility and how these efforts were received and renegotiated at the societal level. In doing so, it aims to uncover parallels and divergences between Eastern and Western Europe, probing the extent to which a properly European society still existed across the Cold War divide.

In the framework of this research programme, we offer one postdoctoral position. This project falls under the social mobility pillar and studies how the policing of protest movements represented a struggle between the winners and losers of postwar social mobility. Proposals may approach the theme either from the perspective of the protestors (urban and/or rural social movements) or from that of the police (or both).

The position is third party funded and does not have any formal teaching duties attached.

Successful applicants will work under the supervision of Jan De Graaf as part of a research group including two postdocs and a student assistant. National (or regional) case studies are to be decided and depend on the linguistic capabilities of the successful applicants.


  • Excellent PhD in History or a neighboring discipline
  • Very good command of written and spoken English; reading knowledge of at least one further European language (knowledge of Italian or Eastern European languages would be a particular asset)
  • Experience of conducting archival research
  • Strong publication record
  • Strong interest in the (comparative) history of social movements

Please send an application with a cover letter (1 page), your CV including a publication list, a sample of written work, and the names of two referees to Dr. Jan-Arend De Graaf, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Institut für soziale Bewegungen, Clemensstraße 17-19, 44789 Bochum or  Deadline: 15 September 2021. Selected applicants will be invited to submit a 2.500 word research proposal on the project of their choice by 1 October 2021. 

Travel expenses for interviews cannot be refunded.

The RUB is an equal-opportunity employer, and seeks to enhance a fair gender distribution in all job categories and at all levels. The RUB welcomes applications from female candidates and candidates with a disability.