Stellenangebot: Postdoctoral researcher (TV-L E13, 100%, 3 years (1+2), fixed term) + Doctoral researcher (TV-L E13, 65%, 3 years, fixed term) at the Technische Universität München

as part of the research project “Hidden Regions, Lost Futures: Exploring Innovation in the Periphery.”

Applicants should commence work as soon as possible.

Project description

This project investigates how regions outside the well-known metropolitan areas and innovation hubs are dealing with mounting pressures to (re-)position themselves as innovation leaders, and how in the eyes of policy-makers their future is increasingly tied to their perceived innovation capacity and competitiveness. This applies to small and medium-sized towns of relative prosperity that might feature “hidden champion” industries and strong social cohesion and institutions. It also applies to regions shaped by industrial decline, political polarization, and growing disillusionment about the promises of innovation to deliver growth and better living for all citizens. Both face increasingly pressing questions how this “innovation imperative” for regions (Pfotenhauer et al., 2018) and related forces of globalization can being brought into alignment with local identities, culture, history, and politics.

The project “Hidden Regions, Lost Futures: Exploring Innovation in the Periphery” aims to study such “hidden” and “lost” innovation regions through a variety of case studies and theoretical work grounded in Science and Technology Studies (STS) – especially its co-productionist branch (Jasanoff 2004) – with close connections to Innovation Studies as well as Economic and Political Geography. The project has comparative ambitions, both within Germany and internationally. The exact case selection and distribution between the postdoctoral and doctoral researcher will be decided based on the candidate profiles (with slight a preference for the post-doc to focus on “hidden regions” and the doctoral researcher on “lost regions” aspects). The project builds on prior research by the PIs conducted in the projects “Regional Innovation Cultures” (DFG project, 2017-2021) and “Traveling Imaginaries of Innovation” (NSF project, 2014-18), and will be partly funded by the Dieter Schwarz Foundation as part of a collaborative project with the TUM School of Management. For additional information on the conceptual and empirical orientation, please consult:

  • Pfotenhauer S and Jasanoff S (2017) Panacea or diagnosis? Imaginaries of innovation and the ‘MIT model’ in three political cultures. Social Studies of Science 47(6): 783–810. DOI: 10.1177/0306312717706110.
  • Pfotenhauer SM, Juhl J and Aarden E (2019) Challenging the “deficit model” of innovation: Framing policy issues under the innovation imperative. Research Policy 48(4). DOI: 1016/j.respol.2018.10.015.
  • Pfotenhauer SM and Jasanoff S (2017) Traveling imaginaries: The ‘practice turn’ in Innovation Policy and the global circulation of innovation models. In: Tyfield D, Randalls S, Lave R, et al. (eds) The Routledge Handbook of the Political Economy of Science. Routledge, pp. 416–428.
  • Engels F, Wentland A and Pfotenhauer SM (2019) Testing future societies? Developing a framework for test beds and living labs as instruments of innovation governance. Research Policy 48(9): 103826. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2019.103826.

Job description

  • Perform qualitative social science (STS) research on the regional innovation cultures, discourses, firm activities, and policy initiatives, esp. with a view towards the unique ways in which regional innovation initiatives and technology developments (their goals, meanings, material organization, and actors) are being brought into alignment with local identity, socio-economic legacies, and unique political
  • Contribute to the comparative, cross-cutting research agenda of the project and its collaborative environment with two colleagues at the TUM School of Management;
  • Participate in project organization and administration, including the organization of team meetings, project maintenance, project events, workshops, conferences ;
  • Publish in recognized international journals, including co-authored papers with other senior group members;
  • Postdoc: (Co-)Supervise Master’s students and PhD candidates;
  • Doctoral position: (Co-)Supervise Master’s students;
  • Write synergistic grant applications to raise external funding;
  • Support the work of the ISPP research group at MCTS at an administrative level;
  • Teach graduate-level courses in STS (optional);
  • Active engagement with the community at MCTS, TUM, and in the international STS

More information can be found here. Application deadline is the Dec 1, 2020.