Doctoral position

At the University of Vienna, over 10,000 people work together on the big questions of the future. Approximately 7,500 of them are academic staff members. These are individuals who, with their curiosity and their continuous pursuit of excellence, engage in international cutting-edge research and teaching. With us, you will also find space to unfold your potential. We are looking for 


4 Doctoral Researchers

ERC Research Project TwinPolitics

Job vacancy starting: 15.09.2024 | Working hours:  30,00  | Classification CBA:  §48 VwGr. B1 Grundstufe (praedoc)

Limited contract until: 15.09.2028

Job ID: 2669

Among the many good reasons to want to research and teach at the University of Vienna, there is one in particular, which has convinced numerous academic staff members so far. They see themselves as personalities who need space for their continuous striving and curiosity in order to be able to be on continuous exploration and curiosity and help us better understand our world. Does this sound like you? Then join our accomplished team!


About the project: TwinPolitics is an ERC-funded five-year research project led by Assoc-. Prof. Dr. Alice Vadrot. The central objective of TwinPolitics is to investigate the development of digital twins as a (geo)political phenomenon that could permanently transform the interface between science and politics. Digital twins are a method for analyzing complex systems and developing "what-if" scenarios to accelerate the implementation of global sustainability goals. The TwinPolitics Team will critically assess how digital twins can contribute to more equitable practices of negotiating and implementing global environmental agreements in the future. The team will develop new methods to empirically investigate digital twins as socio-technical and political relationships and model their emergence at the interface between science and politics. To this end, the TwinPolitics research group will combine methods from ethnography and computational social science and apply them to digital ocean twins in the EU, China, and the USA. Ethnographic data will be collected at different policy levels and from various research sites to identify which features of digital twins promote inclusion, diversity, and equity, These will then be fed into socio-technical models. In a final step, the use of digital twins in multilateral negotiations will be tested using three examples: the International Seabed Authority, negotiations on a new UN plastics agreement, and negotiations on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity.

Background information


The candidates should have a background in Political Science, Marine/Environmental Social Sciences, the Social Study of Science, Sociology, Legal Studies or a related field, with a focus on global environmental politics, international negotiations, multilateral environmental agreements, ocean governance, data science or science-policy interrelations. Doctoral students will be expected to collaborate and experiment with different social science methods to study the role of digital twins in global environmental agreement-making, including fieldwork at negotiations related to marine biodiversity, plastic pollution, and deep-seabed mining. They will contribute to the further development of concepts and methods to study the role of data in global environmental politics. 

The successful candidates will work in an interdisciplinary research team within the ERC project TwinPolitics led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Alice Vadrot. The TwinPolitics research group will be based at the Department of Political Science of the University of Vienna and composed of the Principal Investigator (Alice Vadrot), a research administrator, four doctoral students, two post-doctoral researchers, and two research assistants.


This is an exciting opportunity for graduate students to develop research experience, work with senior colleagues on a new ERC-funded project and write a doctoral thesis in the rapidly emerging and increasingly relevant area of marine policy, politics and data. The doctoral students will be embedded into a vibrant research environment and be associated with the Environmental Politics and the Oceans Research Group at the department of Political Sciences at the University of Vienna, as well as the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences.

Your future tasks:

  • Participation in research, publication and communication activities.  

  • Willingness to develop a doctoral research project in line with TwinPolitics, implementing its research objectives.  

  • Develop an exposé for a dissertation project within first 4 month of the project. 

  • Involvement in data collection and analysis, at international negotiation sites, as appropriate to the project. 

  • Take responsibility of own data management to prevent data loss. 

  • Keep up to date with research literature relevant to the project. 

  • Collaborate with members of the research team.  

  • Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications. 

  • Involvement in research administration and the organisation of project related events (e.g. seminar series, workshops, reading group).

This is part of your personal qualifications:

  • University Degree (Diploma, MA) in one of the following fields: Political Science, Marine Social Sciences, Environmental Social Sciences, the Social Study of Science, Sociology, Legal Studies or a related field 
  • Familiarity with at least one of these areas: international negotiations, multilateral environmental agreements, ocean governance/marine biodiversity policy and politics, data science, digital studies  
  • Methodological knowledge 
    • For qualitative methods: ethnography/participant observation, interviewing 
    • For quantitative methods: training in computational social sciences methods, statistics, and previous experience with programming languages such as R or Python are an asset 
  • High-level analytical capability 
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly 
  • Excellent knowledge of English  
  • Other language skills such as German, Chinese or other UN languages are an asset 
  • Computer literacy 
  • Ability to work in teams  
  • Willingness to travel

What we offer:

Work-life balance: Our employees enjoy flexible working hours and can partially work remotely. 

Inspiring working atmosphere: You are a part of an international academic team in a healthy, dynamic and fair working environment.

Good transport connections: Your workplace is easily accessible by public transport, bike or foot.

Internal further training & Coaching: Opportunity to deepen your skills on an ongoing basis. There are over 600 courses to choose from – free of charge.

Fair salary: The basic salary of EUR 3,578,80 (on a full-time basis) increases if we can credit professional experience.

Equal opportunities for everyone: We look forward to diverse personalities in the team!


It is that easy to apply:

  • Cover Letter (max 1 page) 
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • One academic writing sample (e.g., publication, term paper, chapter of master thesis) 
  • 2 References (names and contact details. F.i.: thesis supervisor)  


Selection & Next Steps: 

Following  the  closing  date,  we  will  contact  you  by  email  to  let  you  know  whether  or  not  you  have  been shortlisted to participate in the next stage of the selection process. Interviews will be held between 6th and 9th of August 2024. 


If you have any questions, please contact:

Alice Vadrot


We look forward to new personalities in our team! 
The University of Vienna has an anti-discriminatory employment policy and attaches great importance to equal opportunities and diversity.


University of Vienna. Space for personalities. Since 1365.


Data protection
​Application deadline: 07/24/2024