PhD position (EG 13 TV-L, 65 %, 4 years) starting on 01.08.2024.

The Chair of Cultural and Social Anthropology at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg is inviting applications for a

Ihre Aufgaben

The position is part of the International Max Planck Research School „Global Multiplicity: A Social Anthropology for the Now“ (IMPRS-GM, and serves to produce a dissertation that will be developed in the framework of the Chair’s research group initiative called “LawTech Ethnographies”. The student will be a member of the IMPRS-GM and of the LawTech Ethnographies group.

Established in 2022, the “LawTech Ethnographies” initiative aims at developing a long-term research agenda exploring changing legal technologies and related transformations of legal practices – an anthropological “praxeology” of law and technology, with studies from and across various world regions, in an explorative bottom-up manner (“Grundlagenforschung”). Presently, the group – still in its formative phase – is comprising first MA and PhD-level student projects, with fieldwork having been conducted in Malaysia, China, Dubai, Canada and the United States. Members develop their projects collaboratively and participate in various formats of intense group work.

Your doctoral project must apply ethnographic methods, position its conceptual framing clearly in Anthropology, and centrally focus on contemporary legal technological transformations and how they play out at the micro-level in the practices and everyday lifeworlds of specific social actors, groups and/or institutions. Applicants are welcome to offer projects from a wide variety of thematic directions of their own choice and interests/expertise. The following information is meant to indicate some options but should not restrict your proposal in any way. Some current student projects focus on criminal justice systems (e.g. consequences of digitalization for structurally disadvantaged actors in North America, experiments with A.I. in criminal sentencing in Malaysia, …) A project related to criminal law would hence offer potential for group-internal collaboration, but proposals may also address any other type of law and legal institutions/practices. Beyond criminal justice and beyond the mostly secular contexts that the group is currently covering, the Chair would also strongly welcome proposals related to religious legal institutions (e.g. Islamic, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish). Yet another possibility would be a project addressing LawTech transformations in the context of human rights law and practices.Membership in the IMPRS-GM implies participation in an intense structured teaching and work program. The doctoral student will conduct long-term fieldwork for approximately one year, supported by the IMPRS-GM. Within the IMRPS, the position will have its primary affiliation with the thematic group “Legal Complexity and Justice” ( working on the dissertation and participating in the activities of the IMPRS-GM, the LawTech Ethnographies group and the Institute of Sociology, the candidate will also support the Chair’s everyday work, including logistic/administrative tasks. Based on FAU regulations, the position includes limited teaching duties, but it is planned that the doctoral student will be freed from this during certain phases, especially during the fieldwork period(s) and in the final writing phase.The doctoral student is expected to be present at the Chair’s office (Glückstr. 10, Erlangen) throughout the contract duration, except during fieldwork, stays at IMPRS-GM partnering institutions (including a planned mobility semester at the MPI for Social Anthropology in Halle) and during semester breaks. It is therefore strictly necessary to take up residency in the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region (, see also e.g. Chair of Cultural and Social Anthropology belongs to FAU’s Institute of Sociology ( at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Theology ( and has a secondary affiliation with FAU’s Law School ( doctoral student may benefit from the Chair’s integration in these institutional frameworks. Relevant collaborating neighboring institutions at FAU also include the Centre for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg (CHREN, and the Research Centre for Islam and Law in Europe (EZIRE,, which, depending on the doctoral project’s chosen specialization, may provide additional valuable networks.Notwithstanding its cross- and interdisciplinary orientation, the doctoral project must be conducted in the discipline (Promotionsfach) of Anthropology (Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie / Ethnologie) and is expected to situate itself succinctly within that discipline.

Ihr Profil

Notwendige Qualifikationen:


Completed or near-completed MA degree in Anthropology or an interdisciplinary study program with strong anthropological components

Excellent knowledge of the discipline of Socio-Cultural Anthropology (Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie / Ethnologie, B.A. and/or M.A. level) and its theories, methods and history

Preferably good knowledge in Legal Anthropology, ideally including specialized coursework or even first research experience

Preferably first fieldwork experience

Ability/interest to work in a research team (including peer-instruction, intense regular group work etc.)

Willingness to integrate the LawTech Ethnographies Group’s research focus and questions (as they develop) into your PhD project and contribute to the Group’s shared research agenda

Excellent proficiency in academic English (working language of IMPRS-GM and LawTech Ethnographies group) and proficiency in required fieldwork language(s), depending on your proposed project


Befristetes Forschungsvorhaben

In its pursuit of academic excellence, FAU is committed to equality of opportunity and to a proactive and inclusive approach, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture and values diversity. FAU promotes professional equality for women. Female applicants are therefore particularly encouraged to apply. International applicants and applicants who received their undergraduate training, or parts of it, in an academic system outside of Europe, such as in the Global South/East, are also especially encouraged to apply.


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Veröffentlichungsdatum: 26.02.2024