Post-Doctoral Researcher


The European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) invites applications for a Post-Doctoral Researcher (TV-L 13, 100%) under the project “Triggering Events, Emotional Climates, and Cascades of Cultural Identity Conflicts” (SPARK). SPARK is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

The successful candidate must take up employment at the seat of the ECMI in Flensburg and be willing to travel as necessitated by research work or outreach activities. A Personnel Agreement at the ECMI governs opportunities for remote work. The advertised position is financed by third-party funding and is to be filled for three years. The full-time position is ranked at TV-L 13.


SPARK analyses the short-term escalation dynamics in cultural identity conflicts on a global scale. Conflictive mass behaviour is conceptualised as “cascades”, which are understood as propagations of self-organising conflictive mass behaviour of varying intensity and extensity. In our model, an emboldening emotional climate provides the “fuel” that is sparked by a triggering event. As an intermediate step, we expect that the activated potential translates into action through collective self-organisation. By combining triggering events, collective emotions and self-organisation, SPARK investigates an innovative and comprehensive explanation of the non-linear short-term escalation dynamics of collective mass behaviour in cultural identity conflicts. The project is structured in three work packages (WP). WP1 establishes the empirical database. In a second step (WP2), we subject the model to a quantitative test. For this purpose, we measure collective self-organisation and emotional climates by conducting network and sentiment analyses. The third step (WP3) consists of a qualitative test of the model. Based on the statistical evaluation, we select typical and deviant cases for process tracing analysis. In cooperation with local case experts, conflict-specific case studies are prepared and subjected to a systematic cross-case comparison.

  • Conduct independent and collaborative high-quality research within the aims of the project, in particular WP2.
  • Disseminate research findings through high-ranking publications and conference participation.
  • Carry out and assist with other duties as determined by the project leadership, such as the organisation of workshops or the cooperation with project partners.
  • A PhD degree in political science, international relations, sociology, or another relevant discipline.
  • Extensive knowledge of the field of empirical conflict research, with a solid track record of published research on this topic, and a strong interest in ethnic conflicts, intrastate conflict dynamics, and minority issues.
  • Excellent knowledge of quantitative methods of social science research and advanced skills in statistics software, preferably R.
  • Very good communication and presentation skills and the ability to work in a team.
  • Excellent command of English, knowledge of German is an asset.

The ECMI is an international, multi-disciplinary research and competence institution, working with governments, civil society, the academic community, and international organisations on minority issues in Europe. We aim to provide governments and the public with relevant research and analysis about national minorities as well as to influence the European agenda on minority affairs. The Centre offers a multicultural, English-language working environment with varied tasks and opportunities for professional advancement. Our management structure is flat with a high degree of autonomy in research work.

The ECMI is an equal opportunity institution with a commitment to improving gender balances in academia as well as the advancement of researchers with disability and of minority backgrounds.


Interested applicants should submit:

  • a cover letter;
  • a CV (including a publications list);
  • and a 1-2-page statement describing their research themes.

Application materials should be submitted electronically to Dr Felix Schulte ( no later than 11 September 2022. The position is to be filled as of 01 November 2022.

ECMI Founders