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UNIL-FORS JOB : Research Associate in Sociology with a focus on quantitative methods

The Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lausanne covers the main branches of social and political sciences, constituting the bases of an interdisciplinary knowledge of the interactions between the collective and individual dimensions. The faculty supports a joint research program with the Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS) to foster synergies between the two institutions.

FORS enhances and supports empirical and methodological work in the social sciences by conducting survey as well as substantive research based on the data they produce, in collaboration with members of the faculty. It produces important longitudinal datasets like the Swiss Household Panel and the Swiss part of cutting edge international comparative surveys like SHARE, the ESS, the EVS, and the ISSP. FORS places significant emphasis on the study of how to improve data quality, including methodological research on non-response, language and translation in surveys, and modes of data collection. FORS is hosted by the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and works closely with the university-based Life Course and Inequality Research Centre (LINES).

The Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) invites applications for a position of a Research Associate in Sociology with a focus on quantitative methods.

Job information

Starting date: 01.10.2021
Duration of contract: 24 months, with a possible extension of 12 months
Employment rate: 80%
Workplace: Lausanne Mouline, Géopolis


Your responsibilities

The UNIL, in collaboration with FORS, offers a postdoctoral researcher position in the area of sociology with a strong focus on quantitative methods and survey methodology. The post-doc will be strongly involved in the International Social Survey programme (ISSP) which collects annually data across 42 countries worldwide on several topics. The post-doc will have the opportunity to work on methodological issues around a global data collection, considering a broad line of topics ranging from the monitoring of data quality and comparability to issues such as non-response, attrition and measurement quality. The post-doc should also contribute to the development and implementation of new, innovative projects in this area collaboratively with colleagues from LINES and FORS.

The post-doc position will structurally be part of the LINES research centre and the person appointed will be expected to collaborate with members of the survey teams at FORS. The position will also offer the opportunity to develop a personal research agenda using FORS (ideally ISSP) data (50% of working time).

For more information please visit our websites: and


Your qualifications

  • An advanced academic degree in the social sciences (Dr., Ph.D);
  • A strong research experience in the field of quantitative sociology (social stratification/social inequality);
  • A scientific publication record in the field of quantitative sociology;
  • Excellent knowledge current challenges in survey methodology, as well as advanced skills and experience of data management and statistical analysis of survey data
  • A fluent command of English (spoken and written) is essential in our multilingual scientific setting. Familiarity with French and/or German are desirable.


Contact for further information

Stephanie Steinmetz, Associate Professor

Prof. Boris Wernli, Head of the FORS survey unit


Your application

Your application (in English, French or German) should include:

(1) a cover letter (1 page)
(2) CV, listing the names of two referees
(3) A piece of academic writing as example (journal article, chapter of PhD dissertation etc.)
(4) A project proposal of a potential research topic (based on FORS data) which can be conducted during the post-doc time and which fits the thematic focus of the position (max. 4 pages)

Please send your application in one single pdf-document.


Application deadline: September 17, 2021

Only applications through the University of Lausanne website will be considered.


Job description





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