PhD Position in Social Science

University of Zurich


Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies (ISEK)

PhD Position in Social Science 
60 %

The vacant PhD position is located at the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies of the University Zurich. The successful PhD student will work in the research project “Saving Brains? Applying Ethnography to Early Childhood Interventions in the Global South” Using ethnographic methods, theories, and findings the project team will examine the science and implementation of early childhood interventions which have become an important field of International Development and Global Health. The research team is headed by Prof Gabriel Scheidecker and includes one postdoc researcher and two PhD researchers.

Your responsibilities

Your main responsibility is to conduct your own ethnographic study about an early childhood intervention in an East-African setting and, on this basis, write a PhD thesis. Furthermore, you are required to contribute to the overall goals of the research project by participating in regular team meetings, organizing workshops, and contributing to joint publications.

Your profile

  • You hold a master's degree in anthropology or a related discipline
  • You have a very good command of German or English
  • You are interested in early childhood, parenting, international development, and East Africa. Ideally your previous work or study program relates to one or several of these areas.
  • You are willing to do a one-year field research in a rural setting of East Africa
  • You enjoy working collaboratively in an international and interdisciplinary team.

What we offer

A dynamic and inspiring research environment, an excellent opportunity for further qualifications, and a motivated and team-minded faculty interested in academic exchange. As a PhD student have also the opportunity to join the „Swiss Graduate Program in Anthropology“.

Place of work

University of Zurich, ISEK – Ethnology, Andreasstrasse 15, 8050 Zurich, Switzerland

Start of employment

1 January 2024, or by mutual agreement
Duration: 4 years

We are looking forward to your application. Please enclose the following documents:
  • Cover letter with an indication of your research interests
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • MA thesis or a publication as a writing example
  • Copies of your degrees
  • Address of two persons who can be contacted for a letter of recommendation

Further information

In your application, please refer to


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