Doctoral Candidate Position in Development and Knowledge Sociology (w/m/d)

Updated: 10 months ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research ( ) in Bremen is a member of the Leibniz Association, which is supported by the German Federal and State Governments. Through its research, ZMT contributes to developing science-based strategies for sustainable use of tropical coastal systems.

ZMT offers a

Doctoral Candidate Position in Development and Knowledge Sociology (w/m/d)

(Reference number: 114 B - Development and Knowledge Sociology)

Project: Narrating Science as a World-Making Activity: Sea Level Change in Singapore

The project is part of the interdisciplinary research program Fiction Meets Science II: Varieties of Science Narrative’, and is supported by a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge (FB 08, University of Bremen & ZMT)


The Research Group ‘Development and Knowledge Sociology’ at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research in Bremen, in collaboration with Fiction Meets Science II, and the Fachbereich 8 at the University of Bremen, is seeking a PhD candidate in the social sciences with grounded expertise in marine/coastal sociology, anthropology, area studies, human geography, gender, development, postcolonial or science and technology studies, working on tropical regions for a three-year VW-funded PhD project as part of a work package entitled ‘Narrating Science as a World-Making Activity: Sea Level Change in Singapore’, that forms part of the larger interdisciplinary project  ‘Fiction Meets Science II: Varieties of Science Narrative’ (FMS II). Descriptions of both are included below.

The ‘Development and Knowledge Sociology’ Research Group focuses on three interrelated fields of research: a) Marine Science Studies - Discourses of Knowledge; b) Oceanic Futures and Foresight Studies; c) Coastal Transformation Studies. The doctoral candidate will contribute directly to the first of these and collaborate with the other two.

Tasks :

  • Develop – in close interaction with Professor Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge and the ‘Fiction Meets Science’-project team – an individualised PhD research agenda
  • Conduct empirical, qualitative research and write a PhD-thesis
  • Cooperate closely  with the other researchers within the wider ‘Fiction Meets Science’-network and contribute to the successful implementation of the project as a whole
  • Contribute to ongoing discussions and work processes in the Research Group at ZMT, as well as the Social Science Department at ZMT when necessary

Fiction Meets Science II: Varieties of Narrative ( )

In FMS II, literature and social science scholars study how science is being portrayed in both fictional and factual narratives in literature, movies and science journalism in diverse cultural contexts of science and public discourse production.

The PhD Project: Narrating Science as a World-Making Activity: Sea Level Change in Singapore

Since the Tsunami hit South and Southeast Asia in December 2004, dystopian images of flash floods and rapidly eroding coasts have increasingly formed part of the climate change narratives in both novels and news accounts. How, and to what extent, these science narratives and images of rapidly changing coastal futures may inform policy-making, however, remains unknown. This project ethnographically assesses how different kinds of science narrative may help shape the imaginaries of a sea-level-change-challenged future that legitimate Singaporean policymaking for coastal protection and early warning systems. The aim is to qualitatively assess how, to what degree and in which forms science narratives in the realm of popular culture and science journalism enter the discourses, logics and reasoning put forth in the political realm with the aim to guide political decision-making.

Note: The above depicts the original design of the subproject and should guide, but not limit, the research agenda for the PhD. Singapore was chosen for the case study because of its acute problem with sea-level rise and its relatively small policy sphere. But another regional emphasis is certainly possible, if it fits better with the applicant’s past experiences, regional expertise and own research interests.


  • Master’s degree in a relevant field of the social sciences (e.g. Sociology, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Area Studies, Human Geography, Development, Gender and/or Science & Technology Studies)
  • Empirical, qualitative, ethnographic research experience, possibly even outside of Europe
  • Ability and interest in doing long-term field research in the study region (7-8 months)
  • Advanced written and oral communication skills in English, including demonstrated academic writing skills
  • Effective interpersonal communication skills including ability to work in a team
  • Local language skills from the research region (Singaporean Chinese, Tamil, Malay) would be an additional plus

Details of Position:

In the German academic salary system this is a 66.6%, TV-L, EG 13 position; envisioned starting date: as soon as possible.

  • 30-month work contract (with a possible extension being subject to project finances)

We offer:

  • An exciting working environment in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented institute and research project
  • Possibilities to build and extend an international professional network and participate in a research field of high public and scientific interest
  • A family-friendly working environment
  • Various Corporate Health Management offers like company sports etc.

ZMT is an equal opportunity employer. International applicants are welcome, as are those with a migration background in Germany. Disabled persons with comparable qualification receive preferential status.

Additional Information:

For additional information, please contact Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge: anna-katharina.hornidge(at)

Submission of Application:

Please send the following application documents in English: Letter of Motivation, CV (with publication record if relevant), attached certificates, a sample chapter from a completed MA/MSc thesis or published paper, and a brief proposal of not more than two pages, outlining your individual PhD research agenda within the frame of the work package description above. Deadline for applications: Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

Documents should be e-mailed as a single PDF file to Ms. L. Oehlmann (bewerbung(at) ) with the reference number “114 B - Development and Knowledge Sociology”

Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research, Fahrenheitstraße 6, D-28359 Bremen

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