Of­fer 49 out of 75 from 25/03/21, 08:09


Tech­ni­sche Uni­ver­sität Ber­lin - Faculty VI - Institute of Sociology / Methods of Social Research

Research Assistant - 0.75 working-time - salary grade E13 TV-L Berliner Hochschulen

under the reserve that funds are granted

Work­ing field:

Working in and independent research in the DFG project “Apples and Flowers. Effects of Pandemics on the (Re-)Organization of Commodity Chains for Fresh Agricultural Products” at the Research Area “Methods of Social Research” (Prof. Dr. Nina Baur) in cooperation with the Research Area “Economic Geography” at HU Berlin (Prof. Dr. Elmar Kulke). Combining the economic geographical approaches of global value chains (GVC) and global production networks (GPN) with the economic sociological approach of sociology of conventions, the project analyzes how the external shock of the Covid-19 pandemic induced the (re-)organization of commodity chains, using two agricultural fresh-products (apples and flowers) as examples. For each product, one short and one long commodity chain will be contrasted, namely the German-German and Chilean-German apple chains and the Dutch-German and Kenya-German chains. Assuming that a commodity chain’s past structure and actors’ knowledge provide the basis for crisis reaction, the project will trace how the (1) commodity chains were organized before the crisis and who are key actors, (2) how the chain and its actors were affected by the crisis, why actors reacted in which ways to the crisis and what are the driving forces of change as well as (3) what short-term and long-effect the Covid-19 pandemic has both on the spatial organization of the chain and on the actors of the chain. The project will (1) make a theoretical contribution to social theory and economic geographical theory and towards integrating these research fields, namely the approaches of global value chains (GVC, GPN) with sociology of conventions. (2) The project will also provide knowledge on short-term and long-term effects of external shocks in general and the Covid-19 pandemic in particular on the organization of commodity chains. (3) Concerning social-policy-implications, project results will give retailers and consumers ideas on how to develop robust commodity chains with security of delivery. Agricultural producers will learn about possibilities how to secure the connection between production and demand. (4) The project also contributes to furthering social science methodology by combining the approach of value chain mapping with process-oriented micro-macro-analysis.

The tasks of the future job holder* include in particular:
  • collaborating with and supporting the research project’s principal investigators in the implementation of the project;
  • jointly organizing and implementing the project’s empirical components together with the research associate from geography, probably in the form of conducting the two case studies for the apple commodity chains (German-German and Chilean-German case study);
  • doing research independently and being responsible for the sociological parts of the project;
  • publishing research results in scientific publications and at conferences;
  • helping with managing, organizing and planning the project;
  • willingness to write a “Dissertation” (Ph.D. thesis) on one of the project’s subtopics.


  • academic university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in sociology, completed at the time of signing the work contract;
  • knowledge in sociology of work, organizations and the economy, documented e.g. by respective courses completed during studies;
  • knowledge in spatial sociology, documented e.g. by respective courses completed during studies;
  • knowledge in social theory especially World Systems Analysis and Sociology of Knowledge, documented e.g. by respective courses completed during studies;
  • knowledge in qualitative methods (e.g. ethnography, content analysis, case studies), documented e.g. by courses completed during studies;
  • knowledge methods of quantitative data collection (e.g. survey methodology, public administrative and other process-generated data), documented e.g. by courses completed during studies;
  • knowledge methods of multivariate statistics, documented e.g. by courses completed during studies;
  • interest in the project topic and willingness to write a “Dissertation” (Ph.D. thesis) on one of the project’s subtopics;
  • organizational and co-ordination skills;
  • initiative, excellent communication skills; experience and willingness to work in a team;
  • profound knowledge of German and English (fluent in written and oral skills).

Desired additional requirements:
  • knowledge in the fields of production planning or logistics, documented e.g. by respective courses completed during studies;
  • experience in international cooperation with Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, demonstrated e.g. by stays abroad.

How to ap­ply:

Please send your application with the reference number and the usual documents (cover letter, curriculum vitae, copies of certificates, copies of references) only by email to Prof. Dr. Nina Baur via

By submitting your application via email you consent to having your data electronically processed and saved. Please note that we do not provide a guaranty for the protection of your personal data when submitted as unprotected file. Please find our data protection notice acc. DSGVO (General Data Protection Regulation) at the TU staff department homepage: or quick access 214041.

To ensure equal opportunities between women and men, applications by women with the required qualifications are explicitly desired. Qualified individuals with disabilities will be favored. The TU Berlin values the diversity of its members and is committed to the goals of equal opportunities.

Technische Universität Berlin - Der Präsident - Fakultät VI, Institut für Soziologie, FG Methoden der empirischen Sozialforschung, Prof. Dr. Nina Baur, Sekr. FH9-1, Fraunhoferstr. 33-36, 10587 Berlin