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

ZOiS currently offers internships exclusively to students from institutes with which it has relevant cooperation agreements. They are:

  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Friedrich Schiller University Jena
  • University of Georgia, Georgia
  • Harvard University, USA

Any student wishing to complete an internship at ZOiS must be enrolled at one of the aforementioned universities. This should be a compulsory internship of at least six weeks (full-time) up to a maximum of three months (part-time) as part of your training.

Application and contact: 

Please allow for a period of at least three months from the submission of your application to the start of your internship and indicate in your application in which period and in which area of work you would like to complete an internship.

Please send your CV, letter of motivation, certificates and references in a PDF document to: internship(at)zois-berlin(dot)de

ZOiS also advertises and fills positions for research assistants for its research clusters and in the Communications and Research Management departments.

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, assistance with the production of podcasts, website editing, research work, and helping to organise events. In the area of research management, interns gain insights among other things into the process of preparing applications for third-party funding, reporting in the research information system VIVO, and open access publishing.


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.