Stellenangebot: PhD position (3 years, 100%) in politics, digital technologies and governance in developing countries, Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), Potsdam, Deadline: 17.12.2023

The Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) is Germany’s university excellence center for digital engineering ( The joint digital engineering faculty of the University of Potsdam and the HPI offers a unique and particularly practical engineering degree in computer science. The HPI conducts internationally recognized university research. Originally focusing on the basics and applications of large, highly complex and networked IT systems, the HPI is expanding its teaching and research into the social sciences (as they intersect with digital technologies).

In the course of its strong growth, the Hasso Plattner Institute is looking to recruit



Funded PhD position in politics, digital technologies and governance in developing countries (m/f/x) 


The position is fixed-term and full time for the period of three years.

Are you dreaming of finding funding to pursue a PhD at the exciting intersection of politics and technology? Do you want to contribute to the development of a new and rapidly growing social science research cluster within a digital engineering faculty? Does your proposed doctoral research focus on issues of digital technologies and governance in one or more developing countries? If so, we invite your application to join the politics, digital technology and governance research team at the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) of the University of Potsdam.


Your future tasks 

  • Undertake a doctoral research project in the area of politics, digital technologies and governance, with a focus on one or more developing countries (according to the OECD DAC list). We are particularly interested in doctoral research proposals that sit within or are similar to the following research themes
    • political communication as it intersects with digital technologies, for instance, misinformation and online opinion manipulation
    • digital and technological data collection and surveillance by states and/or corporations
    • information power, computational propaganda and information warfare
    • technology governance and policy, either from a state or a corporate perspective
    • the changing nature of citizenship in the Internet age, including online social movements and the drivers of political activity
  • Participate in research group, HPI and wider scholarly activities


Your skills 

  • An outstanding master’s degree (or an equivalent university degree)
  • Academic or professional background in a relevant social science field
  • A level of technical understanding that enables communication with colleagues and students with a computer science or digital engineering background
  • Excellent proficiency in both academic and professional English
  • Independent worker, motivated to pursue their proposed project and happy working in hybrid and remote teams
  • Confident processing and implementing constructive written and oral feedback
  • Ability to manage own working time and set internal milestones in order to adhere to deadlines
  • Ability and focus to synthesise large amounts of written, oral and numeric data into meaningful insights
  • Emotional and cultural sensitivity to interact with individuals with different backgrounds and life experiences


What we offer

  • A first-class, active and inspiring research environment
  • Expert research supervision
  • Generous budget for research expenses, travel, conferences etc.
  • An international and dynamic working environment
  • Free drinks (coffee, tea, water)
  • Possibility of mobile working
  • Discounted lunch at Campus Kitchen One
  • A workplace at the HPI campus in Potsdam-Babelsberg (S-Bhf. Griebnitzsee) with excellent commuting possibilities to Berlin


Are you ready to join us? We are flexible with start dates but would prefer a candidate who could start in Spring 2024.
Mature students and candidates with non-traditional career trajectories are warmly welcomed. The HPI is an equal opportunity employer and, further, we seek to build a project that is flexible enough to allow people with different working needs, life paths, (dis)abilities and caring responsibilities to thrive.


Please send us the following documents for your application:

  • A CV and cover letter
  • A 2,000-word research proposal (excluding references)
  • One writing sample
  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • And contact details of three reference


We look forward to receiving your application documents by December 17, 2023. Please apply exclusively via our career page.


Antonia Bigun
+49 331 5509-428

Hasso-Plattner-Institut für Digital Engineering gGmbH
Prof.-Dr.-Helmert-Str. 2-3

14482 Potsdam

The offer can be found here.