Siberia Geography Postdoc wanted

Our colleagues in Vienna have this interesting job opening in a project that combines anthropology and GIS in the area of the East Siberian railway region (BAM, AYAM). Interested?

fuel train going North on the railway AYAM near Berkakit, March 2017 (photo Stammler)
then read on

The University of Vienna seeks to fill the position of a
Project Team Member (post-doc)

at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, starting on 01.09.2017
Reference number: 7853

The Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences. It is the only social and cultural anthropology department at Austrian Universities. The department offers bachelors and masters degree programmes and doctorate studies, in which currently around 2 000 students are enrolled. For further details, see The vacant position is assigned to the ongoing FWF project “Configurations of ‘remoteness’ (CoRe) – Entanglements of Humans and Transportation Infrastructure in the Baykal-Amur Mainline
(BAM) Region” which is situated within the working group of Prof. Dr.
Peter Schweitzer. The project’s research looks into the techno-social entanglement of people and infrastructure, and assesses how changes in remote transportation systems affect human sociality and mobility.
Geographically, it is focussed on North Asia, at the junction of eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East, an area characterised by a long history of isolated industrial development and resource extraction, with many parts little affected by Soviet and post-Soviet modernisation efforts. Current attempts to revitalise, improve and extend the railway network serve as the backdrop for the project. For further details on the project please kindly visit

The successful applicant will work on a “View from Above: Patterns of Sociality and Mobility”, and is expected to add a bird’s eye perspective to the anthropological research carried out “on the ground”, using cartographic and demographic data and tools, and a quantitative survey. This involves developing and applying a mixed methods approach in the manner of a Qualitative GIS (cf. Cope & Elwood, 2009), combining quantitative and qualitative data, and overseeing a questionnaire-based survey, managing its technical implementation and analysing its results. Furthermore, the successful applicant is responsible for the project’s public outreach web page, which issues a magazine-like episode every 3-6 months, as an editor-in-chief and programmer.

Duration of Employment: 1 year
Extent of Employment: 20 hours/week
Job grading in accordance with collective bargaining agreement: §48 VwGr. B1 Grundstufe with relevant work experience determining the assignment to a particular salary grade

Job Description:
* Contribution to publications/scientific articles
* Contribution to organisation of conferences, meetings, symposiums
* Project application and (external) fundraising
* Participation in evaluation activities and in quality assurance

* MA in geography, cartography or other relevant disciplines
* Research interests in mobility, societal transformations, and in
working on a methodological frontier
* Expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and
epistemological interest
* Experience with Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and
quantitative analysis (R, SPSS, or similar)
* Knowledge in web site development (HTML, CSS, JS)
* Experience in Social Network Analysis beneficial
* Excellent command, both written and oral, in English, knowledge of
Russian and/or German beneficial
* Creative and innovative thinking
* Interest in working in an interdisciplinary team, independent and
self-reliant worker
* Conference and publication experience
* Willingness to travel (conferences, field research)
* Advanced PhD candidates might be considered

Your application must include the following documents: Academic curriculum vitae, motivation letter, diplomas and academic transcripts, list of publications

Applications, including a letter of motivation, (German or English) should be submitted via the Job Center to the University of Vienna
( no later than 24.08.2017, mentioning reference number 7853.

For further information please contact Ilja Steffelbauer ilja.steffelbauer(at), Christoph Fink christoph.fink(at)univie, or Peter Schweitzer peter.schweitzer(at)