Call for Applications

Image 34462358

Pre-Doctoral Researcher (m/f/d) (E13 TV-G-U, 50%-part-time)

To the German Version / zur deutschen Fassung

Within the framework of the research group "Reconfiguration and Internalization of Social Structure (RISS)" at the department of Social Science at Goethe University Frankfurt, we are looking for a

research assistant (Pre-Doctoral) (m/f/d)

(E13 TV-G-U, 50% part-time)

for the project no. 3, Intergenerational Transmission of Work-Family Trajectories in Germany. The position is temporary ends on September 30, 2025. The salary grade is based on the job characteristics of the collective agreement (TV-G-U) applicable to Goethe University.

The project is led by Prof. Heather Hofmeister, Ph.D. and offers the opportunity for completing a dissertation in Sociology.

 The successful candidate will write a dissertation on the project topic and method, which is to compare work-family trajectories of parents born in Germany between 1930 and 1949 with those of their adult children (born 1958-1981) and siblings’ work-family and socio-economic status (SES) trajectories using the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). Work-family trajectories refer to sequences of marital status, parenthood, and the gendered division of labor. SES trajectories are sequences of educational attainment, occupational status, and income. The project asks: 1) Under what conditions have sons and daughters reproduced or deviated from their fathers’ and mothers’ work-family trajectories? 2) Under what conditions are siblings’ work-family and SES trajectories similar or different? Tremendous recent economic, demographic, and cultural shifts in Germany suggest that children may not replicate parents’ life course trajectories and resulting positions in the social structure, and that siblings may live very different life courses, with East-West differences likely. The project investigates the contributions of inter- and intragenerational similarity or divergence in trajectory patterns on the reconfiguration of social structure in Germany after reunification.

The project uses the GSOEP: longitudinal survey data from a representative sample of about 11,000 German households and more than 20,000 persons. GSOEP is well-suited for comparing parents and children and siblings because it allows survey respondents from two generations and siblings within one family to be linked and tracked longitudinally. To compare mother-daughter / father-son pairs, the project employs data on children’s employment and family history with retrospective data on employment and family history from their parents. To compare siblings, the project employs data from individuals in the SOEP who were born in the same household to the same parents. Data on both Eastern and Western Germany is available starting in 1990; the project draws on data from that year to the present and uses retrospective data for earlier decades.


About us:

This project is embedded in a bigger RISS project group that investigates the connection between multiple dimensions of socio-structural change and socio-political orientations. There are various hypotheses about how the many dimensions of social change that can be observed might play out in the long term: Will the socio-structural mixing of people with different group affiliations lead to more social integration and cohesion? Or is the opposite the case, and will society disintegrate into fragmented groups? The RISS research group aims to develop an explicitly multidimensional conception of socio-structural change and test it within the framework of an innovative empirical research strategy. To this end, it combines social structure analysis and political sociology. The spokesperson of the research group is Prof. Dr. Daniela Grunow, and the co- speaker is Prof. Dr. Richard Traunmüller. In addition to the coordination project, the research group consists of six individual projects in which 8 PIs work together with their teams. Information about the research group and the individual projects can be found here ( We are a close-knit community of researchers, and further opportunities for professional community-building in the department and faculty are available. 

We have an international network and predispositions to interdisciplinary and future-oriented research.  There is a wing of the team that works in science communication and scientific transfer (making findings accessible to a broader audience). We enjoy flat hierarchies, lots of independence, and a respectful and caring work environment.  We keep in touch with those from our team who have moved on to other positions and enjoy good relationships with each other, our students and our colleagues.

Frankfurt is a city of 700,000, with many industries and a strong banking sector, full of historical neighborhoods, and well connected by plane and rail to Europe and the world: it’s the largest airport hub in continental Europe. The university was founded in 1919 by local citizens and continues a strong outreach and practice orientation, while being a world-renowned research-oriented university. The sociologically famous Frankfurt School was founded here, and a strong tradition in sociology and political science continues: we are the largest social science department in Germany. Our park-like campus is new and has excellent facilities while being connected to the city center via a 5 minute subway ride.

Requirements for a successful application are a completed academic university degree (Master/Diplom or equivalent) in the field of social sciences (preferably sociology), relevant knowledge in several of the above-mentioned subject areas and excellent knowledge in the application of advanced quantitative analysis procedures with state-of-the art software, i.e. Stata and/or R. Applicants with experience in longtitudinal data analysis, sequence analysis, or willingness to learn these skills are especially welcome: training can be provided. Excellent command of English language skills is required, command of German language will be an asset. We also like to see personal motivation, conscientious and independent work skills, initiative, interest and ability in working within a team and clarity on own life goals. 

Application materials (in one PDF document):  Please indicate in your application the job number(s) to which your application refers.

  • a CV detailing your academic and work experience, publications or independent written work, and related experience that you deem relevant for the application.
  • a description of your research and teaching past, present, and future.
  • a statement of your motivation for this position (this can be in your cover letter).
  • one example of a written piece of research work that can clearly show your abilities for research design, analytical thinking, writing and use of quantitative techniques. This could be a masters thesis.
  • names and contact information for two references.
  • records of your course work and university degrees.

Goethe University wants to represent as diverse life worlds and backgrounds of experience as possible in its employee structure and is actively committed to equal opportunities. In order to further increase the diversity of its employees, Goethe University welcomes applications from people with a migration history as well as from people of different age groups, religious affiliations and sexual orientations. Priority will be given to women with the same qualifications.This also applies to persons with disabilities. Great importance is attached to the family-friendly design of university work contexts; Posts are in principle divisible, provided that the tasks do not conflict with this. Great importance is attached to the family-friendly organisation of university working contexts.

Applications should be sent electronically, clearly labeled, quoting the reference number 06/2022 by 4th April 2022 to the Dean of the Department of Social Sciences of the J.W. Goethe University, e-mail address: