Friday, June 13, 2014

“Urban reconfigurations in post-Soviet space” - PhD Fellowships

The Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) in Leipzig kindly invites applications from highly qualified and motivated individuals for 2 PhD fellowships to commence as soon as possible. The IfL is a non-university research institute and member of the Leibniz association with currently around 70 employees. It is institutionally financed by the Free State of Saxony and the Federal Republic of Germany in the context of a common research funding agreement.

The fellowships include
· a monthly stipend of 1400 Euro granted for six months
· access to the academic service infrastructure of the IfL (e.g. the Central Geographical Library, the Geography archives, cartographic and IT services, scientific seminars)
· individual support in terms of exchange and discussions within the international research network of ira.urba
· flexible working arrangements in Leipzig

The fellowships will be financed within the framework of the international comparative research project “Urban reconfigurations in post-Soviet space” (ira.urban). The project aims at analysing and explaining continuities and discontinuities in the reconfiguration of urban spaces in the light of traditional, reproduced Soviet and newly formed post-Soviet conditions, as well as of changing global economic and social orders. On the basis of transnational comparative case study research, the project focuses on the question to what extent urban development has become part of a socially negotiated adjustment processes, and a mirror of a comprehensive modernisation process of urban societies in the republics of the former Soviet Union.

The fellowships relate to the ira.urban subproject on urban economy. We expect the research projects to focus on mono-industrial cities, which offer particular insights into post-Soviet urban dynamics and the trajectories of urban systems. In spite of a shared institutional legacy, after 20 years of transition these cities are following very diverse development paths. Against this backdrop, we are looking into processes, preconditions and factors within and beyond these cities, which have promoted their success or downfall. The research projects should particularly focus on:

(1) Institutional practices as key preconditions for development trajectories of post-Soviet mono-industrial cities, focusing on comparative analyses of institutional actor networks, urban governance and the legal environment;

(2) Household strategies of survival and adaptation to market conditions in post-Soviet mono-industrial cities, with a focus on local and actor-centred research projects.

The awardee addresses in his PhD thesis the aforementioned topic, and deploys it empirically and theoretically for a local or comparative case study in the post-Soviet space. In the context of the ira.urban project, he/she contributes to the comparative analysis of survival strategies and institutional mechanisms in different post-Soviet countries and their repercussions on reconfigurations of post-Soviet urban space.

The successful candidate will be in an advanced stage of his/her PhD project, have gained relevant skills in social research methods, as well as experiences in comparative urban research in post-Soviet space, and/or have elaborated concepts for researching the aforementioned topic.

Furthermore, we expect of both candidates geographic flexibility, fluency in English and in at least one language of the post-Soviet space, as well as working knowledge in Office software. The positions require hard-working individuals with analytical strength, communication skills, self-initiative and a strong team spirit.

Please submit your complete application package in English as one pdf file by e-mail to The deadline for applications is July 13th 2014.

Please enclose the following documents:

· CV
· letter of motivation/statement of purpose, including a short display of the links between your project/idea and ira.urban (2 pages max.)
· exposé of your PhD project, including your work schedule and work progress (5 pages max, excluding sources)
· list of your publications and presentations
· certificates, references …

Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Isolde Brade ( or Dr. Irina Slepukhina ( We are looking forward to your application!

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