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PhD fellowship “Strong and weak cities”


Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Lipsia
Application deadline: December 14th 2015

Brief description
: The Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) in Leipzig kindly invites applications from highly qualified and motivated individuals for 1 PhD fellowship to commence as soon as possible. The IfL is a non-university research institute and member of the Leibniz association with currently around 80 employees. It is institutionally financed by the Free State of Saxony and the Federal Republic of Germany in the context of a common research funding agreement.
The fellowship includes:

  • a monthly stipend of 1400 Euro granted for six months
  • access to the academic service infrastructure of the IfL (e.g. the Central Geographical Library, the Geography archives, cartographic and IT services, scientific seminars)
  • individual support in terms of exchange and discussions within the international research network of ira.urban
  • flexible working arrangements in Leipzig

The fellowship will be financed within the framework of the international comparative research project "Urban reconfigurations in post-Soviet space". The project aims at analysing and explaining continuities and discontinuities in the reconfiguration of urban spaces in the light of traditional, reproduced Soviet and newly formed post-Soviet conditions, as well as of changing global economic, political and social orders. On the basis of transnational comparative case study research, the project focuses on the question to what extent urban development has become part of a socially negotiated adjustment processes, and a mirror of a comprehensive modernisation process of urban societies in the republics of the former Soviet Union.
The fellowship relates to the ira.urban umbrella-project on strong and weak cities. It is a matter of fact that although a shared institutional legacy, during the transition period the cities of the FSU countries have differently responded to political and socio-economic changes. The issue is why cities have followed different development paths, what kind of factors and preconditions influences the process of urban transformation and what promotes city's success or downfall (the special attention is given to specific and general paths of urban development; urban responses to the challenges of transformation).
We expect that the candidate supports the analyses of development strategies of post-Soviet cities through the (re)assessment of external interurban links which is realized by means of (re)formation economic and political ties at the local, international and global scales.

How to apply to the PHD Fellowship



The awardee addresses in her/his PhD thesis the aforementioned topic and deploys it empirically and theoretically for an urban development around post-Soviet space. In the context of the ira.urban project, she/he contributes to the organization and analysis of a cross national urban database which comprises both statistical and descriptive indicators as well as further materials about the socio-demographic and economic developments of post-Soviet city regions.
The successful candidate has to be in an advanced stage of her/his PhD project. She/he shows relevant experiences and skills in quantitative and statistical methods, structural analysis, has a good knowledge in economic analysis, cartographic methods as well as in comparative urban research in post-Soviet space.
Furthermore, we expect from the candidate a geographic flexibility, fluency in English and in at least one language of the post-Soviet space, as well as working knowledge in SPSS and social network analysis software (e. g. Gephi, Ucinet). The position requires hard-working individual with analytical strength, communication skills, self-initiative and a strong team spirit.


Application Procedure

Please submit your complete application package in English as one pdf file by e-mail to Yuliana Lazova ( The deadline for applications is December 14th 2015.

Please enclose the following documents:
- CV
- letter of motivation/statement of purpose, including a short display of the links between your project/idea and ira.urban (2 pages max.)
- exposé of your (PhD)-project, including your work schedule and work progress   (3-4 pages max, excluding sources)
- list of your publications and presentations, certificates, references

Should you have any further queries, please contact Isolde Brade ( or Irina Slepukhina (
They are looking forward to your application!


Information & contacts

Dr. Irina Slepukhina
Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde
Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography

address: Schongauerstr. 9, 04328 Leipzig
Tel. +49 341 600 55 - 158
Fax. +49 341 600 55 - 198


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