Full-time PhD researcher | Social Anthropology at the University of Bern

The Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Bern seeks to appoint a

Full-time PhD researcher

For the project Leaving the Party: Former Kurdish Rebels and the Remaking of Post-Revolutionary Subjectivities in Iraqi Kurdistan and the European Diaspora, for the duration of four years, starting on 1 December 2023.

Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), and led by Dr Isabel Käser, the project explores processes of disengagement, migration, and bordering through the life stories of former Kurdish rebels who left various political and armed movements throughout the history of the Kurdish struggle for self-determination. This project focuses on both women and men, who went from being revolutionaries, to asylum seekers and refugees, and asks how former rebels navigate the gendered processes of demilitarisation, different borders regimes, and questions around deservingness of protection as they disentangle themselves from the armed struggle and rebuild a civilian life.

The PhD candidate is expected to

  • Design and conduct an independent research project, for example on the intersection of masculinity, militarism, migration and “would be”-state-making in the context of Iraqi Kurdistan
  • Conduct ethnographic field work in Europe with potential trips to Iraqi Kurdistan o Contribute to academic publications
  • Support the team with organisational and administrative tasks

Required qualifications

  • MA in Social Anthropology or related fields (Migration and Border Studies, Gender Studies, Middle East Politics, Kurdish Studies)
  • Experience in working with qualitative methods and ethnographic fieldwork
  • Good knowledge of the anthropology of the Middle East and migration
  • Excellent writing skills in English
  • Good communication skills in Kurdish (Soranî or Kurmancî) and German are an advantage
  • Proficient organisational and communication skills
  • Enthusiasm for working in a team

What we offer

  • A fully funded PhD position for four years
  • The opportunity to gain expertise in the fields of masculinity, criticalmilitary, and migration studies
  • Supervision by leading experts on gender, war, migration, and mobility
  • Working in a dynamic and interdisciplinary team at the University of Bern
  • The possibility to gain teaching experience in year three or four

Except during the period of fieldwork the candidate will work at the University of Bern, su- pervised by Prof Sabine Strasser and Dr Isabel Käser. The salary corresponds to the official rates of the SNSF (approx. EUR 48.000 / annum). Additional funding for fieldwork and con- ference participation will be available.


Please send your application including a cover letter, CV, the contact information of two academic references, degree transcripts, publications, or a writing sample (e.g. Master Thesis) relevant to the project as one email attachment to: Isabel Käser, isabel.kaeser@unibe.ch and Sabine Strasser, sabine.strasser@unibe.ch

The deadline for the application is 22 September 2023.
For additional information about the position, please contact: isabel.kaeserunibech


22. August 2023


22. September 2023



Universität Bern