Research Assistantship

Research Assistantship at the European Studies Centre
St Antony’s College, University of Oxford

The European Studies Centre is offering a Research Assistantship to a doctoral student (preferably close to submission) who wishes to gain experience of international team-based research in the field of welfare reforms in Scandinavia and Germany. An important part of the European Studies Centre’s role is to conduct comparative research that helps to inform policy development, as well as contributing to scholarly knowledge and understanding in the field of European social policy. This research assistantship will support ongoing work related to an international research project on accountability and welfare democracy in Germany. It will involve searching secondary literature on welfare reforms in Germany, in a comparative perspective with Scandinavian countries. It will also include interviewing policy makers in Germany. This assistantship will involve working under the supervision of Dr Paola Mattei, European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College.

The position offers an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to engage in review of research literature as well as empirical fieldwork in Germany. It will offer the opportunity to contribute to team discussions of ongoing research in the area, and disseminate findings at international workshops, publications, etc.

Job Description

Post: Research Assistant
Duration: Up to one year (with the possibility of extension)
Rate of pay: £12 per hour
Reporting: To Dr Paola Mattei
Hours: 10.5 hours per week, exact working hours to be agreed but can be flexible
Start date: Early June – exact date to be agreed
Location: European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College, 70 Woodstock Road, Oxford


  • Day to day management of the research project;
  • Literature search and managing literature information in the project area;
  • Collection, analysis, and management of primary data;
  • Analysis of qualitative data;
  • Liaison with international partners in the project and participants;
  • Coordination of an international workshop in December 2011 at the ESC;
  • If necessary, conducting interviews in Germany and Norway;
  • Participation in research project meetings and team work;
  • Participation in disseminating activities, such as paper publications, conferences, workshops.
  • Selection Criteria
  • Candidates will be selected for the post on the basis of the selection criteria below. Candidates should ensure that their applications show how they meet each of the following criteria:
  • A current research interest in the field of comparative and European welfare reforms is essential. Applicants should ideally have a formal background in social policy, political science or sociology. Knowledge of Germany and German politics, history and culture would be an advantage;
  • Broad knowledge of qualitative research methods (analysis of qualitative data and primary documents) and interviewing (planning and conducting them);
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including writing scholarly papers;
  • The ability to work as a part of an international team of researchers;
  • The ability to manage a large wealth of empirical data, and a complex portfolio of work with minimal supervision, and complete tasks to deadlines;
  • Excellent knowledge of English and German (oral and written). Knowledge of Danish or Norwegian would be an advantage;
  • The ability to contribute to international conferences and the dissemination of findings through international meetings.

How to apply

  • Applicants should send an application form (downloadable from the College website) including details of two referees, CV and covering letter by email to Ms Margaret Couling, College Registrar, St Antony’s College:
  • The successful candidate will be asked to show that they have the right to work in the UK. He/she may be asked to complete a confidential health questionnaire.
  • The deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday 6th May 2011.
  • Interviews will take place on Friday 20th May 2011 in Oxford. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to give a 10 minute presentation on the challenges currently facing the welfare state.