The Independent Research Group ‘Space, Contexts, and Crime’ at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law in Freiburg i. Br. (Germany) is looking for a Doctoral Researcher in Economics, Social Sciences, or Related Disciplines (m/f/div)

The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law is a leading European center for research in criminology, public security matters, and criminal law and is part of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science – one of the world’s most distinguished research organizations.

The Independent Research Group ‘Space, Contexts, and Crime’ lead by Prof. Dietrich Oberwittler is affiliated with the Department of Criminology which offers a highly interdisciplinary research environment that includes psychologists, sociologists, mathematicians, criminologists, and computer scientists.

It pushes the boundaries of crime research through the application of innovative methods, theory development, and real-world application. The Institute is located in Freiburg i. Br., a dynamic and green university city with a 900-year history, an international atmosphere, and many recreational opportunities. Freiburg ranks third on Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2022” list of the top ten city destinations.


The successful applicant will work in the project “The Consequences of the Covid-19 Pandemic for Crime in Southwest Germany” and will analyze changes in recorded crime during the pandemic in association with fine-grained anonymized mobility data and a host of spatial socio-demographic and infrastructural data, applying time series analysis and spatiotemporal modeling at different geographic levels.

Most of the data preparation is completed, and the appointee will concentrate on pursuing advanced spatial and time series analyses, participate in the presentation and publication of novel findings, all in close collaboration with the interdisciplinary project team and affiliated scholars.

The doctoral supervision will be provided jointly with the Department of Economics and Behavioral Sciences (Prof. Dirk Neumann at the University of Freiburg.

Your Profile

We are looking for candidates with a Master’s or equivalent degree in economics, social sciences, mathematics, or related subjects. The candidates should have a strong background in econometric/quantitative research methods, advanced knowledge of STATA or R, ideally experience in time series and/or spatial analysis, and interest in crime research. Excellent English language skills are essential.

Our Offer

Our Institute offers excellent conditions for doctoral studies, including exceptional specialist libraries and databases, excellent workspaces and computing facilities, and comprehensive administrative and academic support. Collaboration with other doctoral researchers, postdocs, and international partners at the Institute is a key element of our research. Additionally, there are many opportunities for our researchers to participate in workshops, seminars, and conferences.

The doctoral position is available from July 2023 or later and is limited to three years (with the possibility of renewal for two further periods of six months each in exceptional circumstances). It is a fully funded research position with no teaching obligations. The position is full-time (currently 39 hours/week). Remuneration and social benefits are based on the German Civil Service Collective Agreement (TVöD Bund), pay category 13, 65% of full-time employment.

The salary includes all mandatory social insurance contributions for healthcare, long-term care, unemployment, and retirement. The workplace is Freiburg i. Br. (Germany). We are committed to ensuring a positive work-life balance and offer flexible work options, including remote work, as well as generous opportunities for personal and professional development, including free in-house German language courses.

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer and supports diversity in the workplace. Applications from disabled persons are welcome. We also aim to increase the percentage of female staff in fields in which they are underrepresented and therefore expressly encourage women to apply. Applications are particularly welcome from persons with backgrounds that have so far been underrepresented in science and research with regard to gender, age, professional and cultural background, family situation, sexual orientation, and nationality.

Your application

To apply, please submit a letter of interest and an outline of your previous experience, a CV, academic transcripts, and a writing sample, e.g., your Master’s thesis, via our online application portal (

For further information, please contact Professor Dietrich Oberwittler ( The deadline for application is 30 April, 2023.

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