Young Researchers

Cooperation with the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences

ZOiS has concluded an agreement with the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin on the provision of intensive training for postgraduate students from all disciplines with a focus on Eastern Europe. Doctoral candidates can apply for the methodology training programme at BGSS by submitting details of their PhD project. Successful candidates work in one of ZOiS’s research clusters in parallel to their studies.

ZOiS Research Colloquium

Organised in cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), the colloquium takes place every second Wednesday of the month during the semester and serves as a forum for discussion of work in progress by PhD students, postdocs and established researchers working in the social sciences on topics connected to Eastern Europe. The aim is to establish a permanent meeting point in the Berlin-Brandenburg area for those engaged in research on Eastern Europe.



Schule@ZOiS (School@ZOiS) seeks to strengthen knowledge transfer from ZOiS and spark young people’s interest in social science research and Eastern Europe. To that end, ZOiS invites pupils and teachers to take part in discussions with researchers on a variety of issues connected with the post-Soviet space. The events are aimed at students from the ninth grade onwards, particularly those studying history, politics and Russian. The format consists of a presentation about a selected topic and work being undertaken at ZOiS, followed by a discussion and interactive exercises. In addition, pupils have the opportunity to work in small groups in order to delve deeper into aspects that particularly interest them. 


Interns and research assistants

The Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) offers full-time or part-time internships for a period of up to three months. The role entails work on research projects as well as the possibility of contributing to the communications department. ZOiS also advertises and fills positions for research assistants for its research clusters and the communications department.

The tasks undertaken in the research clusters include literature and background research, the compilation, evaluation and preparation of research data, as well as editorial work. In the area of communications, interns and assistants are mainly entrusted with editorial work for ZOiS publications, website editing, research work, and helping to organise events.

In addition, there are internship programmes at ZOiS for students of the Double Master's Degree in East European Studies/Sociology of the Freie Universität Berlin and the Government Department of Harvard University. These interns work on individual projects within the institute's research clusters.


ZOiS researchers act as mentors in various programmes, including the mentoring programme of the German Association for East European Studies, which brings together young researchers and experienced DGO members. The aim is to support the personal and professional development of the former and identify career prospects within and outside of academia. Gwendolyn Sasse also advises young researchers on further career planning after their PhD as part of the Leibniz Mentoring Programme.

Teaching and supervision

ZOiS researchers regularly teach courses at universities in the Berlin-Brandenburg region, including the Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the University of Potsdam. They also supervise bachelor's and master's theses as well as doctoral dissertations.

Young researchers

ZOiS’s growing network of contacts is reflected in the increasing number of guest academics, whose research projects are supported over a residency of two to nine months at ZOiS. As visiting researchers, they are invited to participate in all ZOiS events and contribute to its various publications. With their research topics and insights, guest scholars enrich the work undertaken at ZOiS and enhance interdisciplinary dialogue. These research visits by academics from other countries also play a key role in raising ZOiS’s international profile.