Call for applications: Field research assistant positions for 2020

04. 11. 2019

Dear Colleagues,

The Centre for German and European Studies of St Petersburg University is seeking to appoint at the earliest opportunity 3 Research Assistants based in Europe to collect ethnographic and social network data in Europe during February-March and October-November 2020 for the project ‘Creation of knowledge on ecological hazards in Russian and European local communities’ (2019-2021), supported by the Russian Science Foundation, PIs Nikita Basov and Kseniia Puzyreva, with contributions by Johan Koskinen, University of Melbourne, Julia Brennecke, University of Liverpool, Iina Hellsten, University of Amsterdam, Camille Roth, Humboldt University Berlin.

The project seeks to understand how flood management knowledge evolves in local communities. The success of struggling with floods depends to a large extent on interaction between local community knowledge and expert knowledge, accumulated by authorities, non-governmental organisations, companies and other stakeholders professionally involved in flood risk management. Today, international and national regulations stress the need to involve local communities into the process of flood risk management. However, the implementation of these regulations is problematic. The way the expert-local dialogue is organized today leaves small room for local communities to contribute to flood management and has unclear effects on local communities’ knowledge. The aim of this project is finding how expert flood risk management knowledge influences local flood-related knowledge of communities that inhabit flood-prone territories, using empirical cases in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Russia, and England. The gathered data will be analyzed using the techniques of mixed-method socio-semantic network analyses, such as the ones described in Basov, de Nooy and Nenko, American Journal of Cultural Sociology, 2019 and Basov, Poetics, 2019 and other, currently developed by the project team.

We have three case-studies that we are seeking research assistants to support:

1. Qualitative data collection in Germany (Saxony)
2. Qualitative data collection in Italy (North-West Italy)
3. Qualitative data collection in the Netherlands (Central/ South Holland)

For each case study the candidate will collect in-depth data on local and expert flood-management knowledge under the guidance of the fieldwork supervisor.

This includes:

  • Doing pre-field research, i.e. collecting necessary data about one of the three cases from the open sources.
  • Getting in touch and appointing interviews with local action group members and flood risk management professionals.
  • Conducting interviews with local action group members and representatives of flood risk management agencies.
  • Candidates are expected to collect a total of 60-80 interviews during the whole 4-month period of fieldwork.
  • Collecting textual data produced by the local action groups and flood risk management professionals.
  • Conducting observations of local action group meetings and public events run by flood risk management professionals.
  • Communicating with the fieldwork supervisor on a daily basis and reporting the results on a weekly basis while in the field.
  • Consolidation and ordering of collected data.
  • Transcripts checking, consultation throughout data processing and analysis.

Successful candidates are expected to conduct fieldwork during February - March and October - November 2020.

Researchers who would like to apply are welcome to send a CV and a cover letter in English to Kseniia Puzyreva to before November 15, 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed at the end of November.

You can find more details and requirements to candidates in the call for applications and on our webpage.

Would you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me using the information below.


Best regards,

Centre for German and European Studies
St. Petersburg University - Bielefeld University
Tel./ Fax: +7 812 324 0885
St. Petersburg - Russia
Universitetskaya nab., 7/9