Job Announcement: Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/d) at the Interdisciplinary Center for East Asian Studies at the Faculty of Linguistics, Cultures, and Arts - Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt

25 November 2022

The Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main is one of the largest universities in Germany with around 44,000 students and with about 5,700 employees. Founded in 1914 by Frankfurt citizens and since 2008 once again proud of its foundation status Goethe University possesses a high degree of autonomy, modernity and professional diversity. As a comprehensive university, the Goethe University offers a total of 16 departments on five campuses and 154 degree programs along with an outstanding research reputation. Furthermore the Goethe University is part of the Group of Rhine-Main-Universities (RMU).

At the Interdisciplinary Center for East Asian Studies at the Faculty of Linguistics, Cultures, and Arts we are seeking to fill the position of one Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/d) (E 13 TV-G-U). 

from 01.01.2023 for the duration of the project until 31.12.2025. The salary grade is based on the job characteristics of the collective agreement applicable to Goethe University (TV-G-U).

You are expected to do your own research on migration decisions of Japanese migrants in Germany within the joint EU-funded project AspirE (Decision Making of Aspiring (Re)Migrants to/within the EU: The Case of Labour Market-Leading Migrations from Asia).

Your tasks include working on a qualitative research project in collaboration with the PI (and supported by a research assistant), including:

  • researching the socio-legal context of Japanese migration to Germany (policy analysis)
  • conducting and analyzing expert interviews, group discussions and semi-structured interviews
  • carrying out social network mapping using an open access platform
  • collecting video diaries among selected study participants
  • working with the project partners in the EU as well as
  • publishing the results

Requirements are successfully completed university studies (master degree) and a successfully completed doctorate in social sciences or area studies. You also need to show a proven interest in the field of migration studies in the German and/or Japanese context (e.g. through publications) as well as interdisciplinary studies and excellent methodological skills in qualitative research. In addition, background knowledge on, experience or interest in the psychological, emotional or affective dimensions of migration are required. We further require Japanese language skills.

The Goethe University is committed to a policy of providing equal employment opportunities for both men and women alike, and therefore encourages particularly women to apply for the position/s offered. Individuals with severe disability will be prioritized in case of equal aptitude.

Please submit your application, which must contain the usual documents (cover letter, detailed CV, copies of certificates), via email to Dr. Ruth Achenbach, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 11.12.2022.

Project AspirE:

Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, Europe continues to be a major destination for transnational migrants, notably from Asia and Africa. The way in which this phenomenon has been unfolding underlines the urgent need to further conceptualise transnational migration by analysing the decision-making of aspiring (re)migrants. This scholarly enterprise is critically important as mainstream migration theories put more of a focus on broader social processes and dynamics, thereby overlooking the human aspects of migration. Basing itself on several migration theories in various disciplines, this proposal adopts a framework that humanises research on (non-)migration decision-making, i.e. highlighting its human aspects in three ways: engendering, decolonising and situating the analysis in temporal, psychological, relational and social contexts. As a case study, this research project will examine the decision-making of aspiring (re)migrants from selected Southeast and East Asian countries (China, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam) to and within selected EU member countries (Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Finland). These migrants are oriented towards the EU labour markets where they are concentrated in ethnic niches. Employing qualitative and participatory research methodologies, the study will map the extent to which spatial mobility policies at the EU and national levels take into account aspiring (re)migrants’ behaviour, identify the micro- and meso-level drivers of (re)migration aspiration and/or intention and determine the temporality of aspiring (re)migrants’ decision-making. The results of this project will provide concrete information as to how individuals’ migration decisions change over time and on the specific stage at which mobility policies are more likely to play a role in shaping migration outcomes, which will enhance EU migration policies.

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