Stellenangebot: Wiss. Mitarbeiter*in (Promotionsstelle 100%, 3 Jahre) im Projekt INKleSS, HS Harz, Deadline: 25.03.2024

Stellenangebot: Wiss. Mitarbeiter*in (Promotionsstelle, 100%, 3 Jahre) im Projekt INKleSS, HS Harz, Deadline: 25.3.2024

Sozialwissenschaftliche Stelle im Projekt INKleSS

Description and Announcement of a social science position in the project INKleSS

 PhD position (100%, salary level 13 TV-L, 36 months) for project on non-knowledge in software engineering (f/m/d), University of Applied Science, Harz, Wernigerode

Start date: 1.5.2024

Deadline for application: 25.3.2024

We are looking for a PhD candidate who is intrigued by the ethnographic study of software engineering.

The PhD position is part of the DFG funded research project INKleSS – Understanding the Importance of Non-Knowledge for Software Engineering on Social-Coding Platforms. The project is based at the Faculties of Business Studies and Automation & Computer Science of the University of Applied Science, Harz.

The project aims to gain new insights into the dynamics and processes of non-knowledge and knowledge in software engineering. A challenging aspect of software engineering is dealing with various forms of non-knowledge related to implementing, re-engineering, maintaining, updating, and enhancing increasingly complex pieces of software. Non-knowledge can appear as missing knowledge, intentionally hidden knowledge, tacit knowledge, or strategically used non-knowledge. The project aims to improve understanding of the roles that these forms of non-knowledge plays in social interactions within software development teams. This will enable the development of strategies for better managing non-knowledge in this context, and provide guidance for organizations and open-source communities in their non-knowledge management. The project comprises an engineering component and a social science component.

The PhD candidate will focus on the phenomenon of non-knowledge in software engineering from a social scientific/sociological perspective.

The PhD candidate is expected to

  • Develop a doctoral project in the thematic field of non-knowledge dynamics in software engineering practices,
  • Participation in and contribution to the research project,
  • Collect qualitative data in/related to software engineering projects (semi structured interviews, qualitative text analysis, ethnographic observation),
  • Complete a dissertation for a PhD degree (possible at the Doctoral Center for Social, Health and Economic Sciences (SGW)) within the timeframe of the position,
  • Present research outputs at conferences.

Your profile

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent qualification) in STS, Sociology, Software Engineering, or neighboring disciplines,
  • Documented experience with and/or well described interest in at least on the following fields: Science and Technology Studies, Ignorance Studies, Sociology of Technology, Social Studies of Science, Programming/Software development (as social activity),
  • Technical and methodological knowledge and research experience in ethnography is useful,
  • Fluency in English and German,
  • The ability to work autonomously and collaborate in teams.

We offer

  • Ongoing supervision by Prof. Alena Bleicher (PI) and continuous exchange with the project team: PhD candidate from engineering science and the PIs Prof. Thomas Leich, Prof. Jacob Krüger,
  • Collaborative work in an interdisciplinary project team (software engineers, social scientists),
  • Remote work is possible, regular presence on site for joint research is recommended,
  • Opportunity to conduct research that is both, theoretically innovative and practically relevant,
  • Scientific engagement in national and international networks.



  • Letter of application describing your motivation and experience, also stating first ideas on the intended doctoral project.
  • Usual documents (curriculum vitae, copies of your academic credentials and certificates).
  • A writing sample.


For further information contact Prof. Alena Bleicher ( Inquiries should be sent electronically to

Job interviews: first week of April.