Looking for Part-Time Research Assistants

You want to better understand how politics affects economics and how economics affects politics? Specifically, you are interested in the Rise of China, Global Politics, and Geopolitics? You love reading the news about what is going on in the world? If yes, then apply for a research assistant position at the Institute for International Political Economy.

The position is part of an externally funded research project on ‘International Coercion, Debt Relief, and Land Transfers.’ The project analyses the implications of increased sovereign borrowing from new creditors, such as China, Brazil, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other emerging economies. However, developing countries now struggle to repay these loans and consider alternative strategies for dealing with mounting debt problems. Besides commonly known strategies such as defaulting on debt, seeking debt relief, or implementing austerity policies to manage debt repayment, a new phenomenon has recently made headlines: Borrowing governments giving land to creditor countries to repay loans. Examples include Sri Lanka, where a Chinese state-owned firm obtained a 99-year lease for Hambantota port in 2017. What explains different debt management strategies by developing countries? We currently cannot answer this question as we lack data on land transactions. Your position addresses this limitation by systematically collecting data on land transactions.

The Job

  • Job Title: Research assistant
  • Time: Part-time, 10 hours a week. Flexible hours.
  • Salary: 552.55 Euro gross per month.
  • Benefits include vacation time, social insurance benefits, etc.
  • Start Date: June 1st, 2022.
  • End Date: The position is initially limited until August 31, 2022, but there is the possibility of extension.
  • Place of Work: Remote, with occasional in-person meetings in Vienna.
  • UPDATE from the legal department of the university: Applicants must have tax residency in Austria.

Job Duties:

  • Conduct data collection (reading and coding newspaper articles) under the supervision and support of the Project Team.

  • Assist in the design and continuous improvement of the data collection process.

  • Conduct desk research to create in-depth case studies of specific transactions.

  • Potentially help apply the data collection process to a different language other than English.

Required Skills and Qualifications:
  • Interest in the research topic

  • Excellent knowledge of both written and verbal English.

  • Strong attention to details

  • Reliability

  • Proven ability to work pro-actively, independently, and efficiently

  • Well-organized hands-on mentality.

  • Excellent skills in analytical thinking

  • Computer literacy

Desired Skills and Qualifications:
  • Previous experience with coding text sources a plus

  • Knowledge of a language other than German and English is an advantage, but not a requirement.

Application process:

To apply, please send the following documents to nikolett.somogyi@wu.ac.at:

  • Cover letter with a short description of your prior experiences and how they relate to the research project. You should also outline what makes you suitable for the project and the position in question.
  • Your CV including prior education, relevant work experience, etc.
  • Please include evidence (such as letters of recommendation or names of references) that demonstrate your reliability, attention to details, and ability to work independently, if available.
  • If applicable, evidence of instances where you coded primary sources.
  • Evidence of English skills.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to participate in further assessment and selection process.

We explicitly recognize the positive value of diversity. We aim to recruit the person who is most suited to the job and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds – people of all ages, gender, sexual orientations, nationalities, religions and beliefs. We particularly encourage applications from women, disabled and minority candidates, as these groups frequently are underrepresented throughout the academic sector. We also want to emphasize that our work environment offers some flexibility to suit your particular life circumstances. This includes schedule (working hours and days, religious holidays, etc.) and location flexibility. In addition, WU offers free training and career development courses to encourage employee career and personal development.