CfA: Pre-doctoral position, Department of East Asian Studies/Sinology, University of Wien, 2 years, 30h (deadline: 2021-09-22)


The Department of East Asian Studies/Sinology at the University of Vienna is hiring a predoctoral project researcher. The position is part of the ERC-funded research project „Engineering a Trustworthy Society: The Evolution, Perception and Impact of China’s Social Credit System (ENGINEERING),“ led by Prof. H. Christoph Steinhardt. The ENGINEERING project ( seeks to understand the Social Credit System’s evolution and regional variation, its perception by the Chinese public, and its social, political and cultural impacts. It draws on survey research, quantitative and qualitative text/document analysis as well as fieldwork.

We offer being part of a research team, access to the team’s infrastructure and data, supervision for your doctoral studies, a collegial working environment within the department, funding for conference and research travel, 14 monthly salaries, and the resources of Austria’s leading university. The position also entails living in an international city with a highly developed public infrastructure and health care system, 15 public and private universities, and one of the highest qualities of life in the world.

The application deadline is September 22, 2021. Please submit your application only through the University job portal at: For questions, please refer to:

Job description

  • 30 hours/week
  • The initial appointment will be for 24 months (extendable to 48 months)
  • Salary in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, job group B1 (basic level, adjusted to 30 hours, paid 14 times per year):
  • Development of a scholarly profile through a Ph.D. thesis, which is situated within the realm of the research project
  • Expected defence of the dissertation proposal within 12-18 months
  • Support of data collection, project administration, conference or meeting organisation

Your profile

  • MA degree in social scientific China studies, political science, sociology, or a related discipline (with a track record of research on China) by the time of appointment
  • Strong desire to obtain a doctoral degree
  • Training in social scientific research methods
  • Willingness to undertake research trips to China
  • Very good Chinese and excellent English (knowledge of German is not required)

Desirable attributes

  • A track record of research on the Social Credit System or a closely related issue
  • Applied skills in quantitative research methods, or fieldwork experience
  • A peer-reviewed publication or a manuscript under review
  • Participation in international academic conferences

Application documents (ideally in one pdf file)

  • Application letter, max. 3 pages (including a brief outline of how your profile and research could contribute to the project)
  • Academic CV (including education, list of publications [with URLs], contact details of two referees)
  • A writing sample (thesis chapter, manuscript under review or published article/chapter)