Job advertisement : 2 (Senior) Researchers (f/m/diverse) Megatrends Afrika

The German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) is one of the world’s leading research institutions and think tanks for global sustainable development. It contributes, through research, policy advice and training, to finding answers to global questions affecting our future.


IDOS Research Programme “Inter- and Transnational Cooperation” is looking for two


(Senior) Researchers (f/m/diverse) - Position No. 2023-A01-01

80% - 100% (31.2 - 39 hours/week)

for the “Megatrends Afrika” research and advisory project.

German public sector tariff TVöD Bund, up to EG 14 depending on qualifications


The positions may be filled as soon as possible and are currently limited until the end of December 2025.  


You will be part of the research project “Megatrends Afrika: Strukturelle Transformation und internationale Zeitenwende” that IDOS is conducting in cooperation with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel). The project conducts theory-driven, policy-relevant, empirical research and advises German and international policy-makers on contemporary political, socioeconomic and societal developments in Africa and Africa’s international relations. The project analyses the impact of relevant regional and global megatrends such as climate change, digitalisation, urbanisation or demographic transition on politics, the economy and society in Africa and interdependencies with developments in Europe. The project contains several working packages. One working package deals with the impacts and effects of megatrends on political regimes, democratisation and autocratisation processes in Africa (WP 2). Another working package deals with China’s and other external actors’ political, economic and societal influence in Africa (WP 3).

WP 2 Megatrends and political regimes: As a (Senior) Researcher, you will be conducting independent research on the effects and impact of megatrends on political regimes in Africa as well as on the implications of these dynamics for German and European cooperation with Africa (especially in the field of development policy). You are an expert on the development of political regimes in Africa and on one (or several) megatrends (i.e. digitalisation, the youth bulge or urbanisation). You are interested to work on the relationship between megatrends and political regimes and the implications for international cooperation

WP 3 China’s influence in Africa: As a (Senior) Researcher, you will be conducting independent research on the effects and impact of China’s engagement on African political regimes and you will analyse implications of China’s presence for German and European cooperation with Africa. You are an expert on China’s engagement in Africa with a profound understanding of China’s foreign policy, development policy, (development) finance, or China’s engagement on digitalisation. You are interested to also work more generally on the role of external actors in Africa and African agency in international relations.

We are looking for one (senior) researcher for each of these two working packages. Please specify in your application for which working package you apply. In your application, please demonstrate why your professional experience qualifies you for the thematic focus of this position and what your motivation is for applying to this position.


Qualifications and requirements:

  • A PhD degree with excellent grades in one of the following areas: political science, sociology or related fields;
  • Applications for WP 2: profound academic expertise and knowledge in at least one of the following areas: democratisation and autocratisation processes in Africa; inter- and transnational cooperation; the relevance of one or several megatrends for African politics and international cooperation (digitalisation, population dynamics; urbanisation);
  • Applications for WP 3: China’s engagement in Africa (with a special focus on China’s influence on politics, China’s foreign policy, development policy, (development) finance or digitalisation)
  • proven knowledge in and experience with quantitative or/and qualitative research methodologies in social sciences;
  • proven experience in providing policy advice (required for EG 14); willingness to work in an interdisciplinary, geographically dispersed team;
  • proven organisational and communication skills;
  • fluent written and spoken English, fluent spoken and written German is a strong asset;
  • research or work experience in African countries is an asset;
  • willingness and aptness to travel abroad, including countries with a tropical climate („Tropentauglichkeit“).


We offer:

  • Flexible working hours with a weekly working time between 31.2 hours (80%) and 39 hours (100%);
  • possibility of remote work (“Homeoffice”) of up to three days per week;
  • possibility to use a job ticket and a good connection to public transport;
  • trainings for further professional development;
  • company pension scheme with the VBLU;
  • a modern and interesting workplace with a good working atmosphere.


IDOS offers an inspiring, family-friendly working environment at the interface of research and policy advice, with ample opportunities to engage in international discussions, political processes and scientific debates.


In the case of equal qualification, physically challenged persons will be given preference. We want to promote the diversity of our employees and would like applications from women, men and diverse people.


For further questions, please contact Dr. Benedikt Erforth or Dr. Christine Hackenesch. You may also consult the project’s website:


Applications with the position number 2023-A01-01 with detailed documents (cover letter, curriculum vitae, relevant certificates) must be submitted exclusively via application portal by 10 April 2023.

German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)
Tulpenfeld 6, 53113 Bonn
Telefon +49 (0)228 94927-0, Telefax +49 (0)228 94927-130