Two Ph.D. positions “Democracy Barometer”, Zurich

Deadline: Not specified (However, not later than 12 December)
Open to: MA graduates in political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, public policy, mathematics or statistics in combination with a minor in social sciences
Scholarships: approximately 40.000-47.000 CHF/year, gross

In the framework of the NCCR project “Democracy Barometer” this institution is seeking two Ph.D. students. The appointment will begin between January and April 2011.

Project description:
The Democracy Barometer is a new instrument that aims at measuring and understanding the quality of democracy, by studying causes and consequences of democratic qualities, paths of successful democratisation, and problems of democracy / democratisation in a comparative perspective.
The project “Democracy Barometer” has developed an instrument to assess the quality of democracy in 75 established democracies and to measure the fine differences that exist between them. It allows for benchmarking between established democracies and, as democracy is seen as an ongoing process, for a critical observation of their democratic development over time, cf. For more info

Position / Profile:
• We seek candidates with an MA degree in a relevant subject (such as political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, public policy, mathematics or statistics in combination with a minor in social sciences).
• You are motivated to write a PhD thesis, studying the quality of democracy and/or democratisation processes. The Democracy Barometer dataset is at your disposal for your own research.
• You contribute to the extension of the Democracy Barometer dataset, and will have further tasks related to our project (such as dissemination, writing short reports, etc.).
• You have excellent skills in methods of analysis, especially quantitative methods.
• You are fluent in English, and if possible, you have working knowledge in further
• As a PhD student, you participate in the doctoral program of the NCCR Democracy.

Terms of employment:
Work is located at the Zentrum für Demokratie Aarau (ZDA), which is part of the University of Zurich. Aarau is a 25-minute train ride from the Zurich main station. The salary is determined according to the pay scale of the Swiss National Science Foundation (approximately 40.000-47.000 CHF/year, gross). Term of employment is three years, and it cannot be extended over four years.
For further information please contact Daniel Bochsler (
Positions are filled as applications are received. A first selection will take place after 12 December 2010.
Applications should be sent in English, and should include a letter of motivation, a brief outline of your research interests for your PhD thesis (max. 500 words), a detailed curriculum vitae (comprising a list of publications), copies of all academic degrees, one representative seminar paper or an MA thesis (in any language), and the names of two persons who we can contact for a reference letter. Please send your application in PDF to

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