Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Applying for a Research Position at the DIW Berlin
Which fields of academic research are pursued at the DIW Berlin?
Scientific research at DIW Berlin focusses on different key aspects and is organized in four research clusters.
In total, about 100 research staff and 80 support staff work at the DIW Berlin. Please refer to our homepage for further details.
How often does the DIW Berlin advertise positions and how often do you hire new staff?
We will publicly advertise all academic positions whenever they fall vacant. We may at times advertise one position in several media for several weeks or months to attract the best candidates possible.
Does the DIW Berlin accept speculative or unsolicited applications?
Yes, we welcome speculative applications from qualified candidates at all times. We like to know if you are looking for a new position and we treat your application with the highest degree of confidentiality.
What type of contract does the DIW Berlin offer to its research staff? May I work part-time? Do I have to live in Berlin?
Contracts are usually for an initial fixed-term of two or three years, with the option of renewal and even tenure subject to a satisfactory performance. All our employees can choose to work part-time or full-time. As we believe in the benefits of a lively research community, we require all our long-term academic staff and our visiting fellows to be based in Berlin.
We do not allow our doctoral students to live and work away from Berlin, except for conducting fieldwork, research visits, participating in exchange programmes etc.
What are visiting fellowships?
Visiting fellows are expected to support and advance basic as well as applied research at the DIW Berlin through independent research pursued in residence at the institute. The research results are published in our discussion papers and in relevant academic journals. The research activities should be conducted in close co-operation with the research staff of the institute. The visiting fellow should furthermore contribute to the academic programmes (e.g. summer schools, weekend schools) for PhD students and post-docs in Berlin-Brandenburg organised by the DIW Berlin.
As the DIW Berlin closely co-operates with universities in Berlin and Brandenburg, it is possible for the visiting fellow to give lectures at these universities.
What type of contract does the DIW Berlin offer to visiting fellows? Do I have to live in Berlin as a visiting fellow?
The research themes and remuneration of a visiting fellowship are arranged on an individual basis. Contracts for visiting fellows have a duration of at least three months. Long-term contracts of up to two or three years are possible.
During the time of her fellowship at the DIW Berlin the visiting fellow is in principle obliged to be present at the institute.
Does the DIW Berlin also hire economists whose first language is not German?
Yes, although a working knowledge of German would be a great advantage, in particular for your participation in economic policy consultancy.
Does the DIW Berlin also hire economists who do not hold a German or EU passport?
Yes. Our research is firmly embedded in the international academic debate and we therefore seek to hire the best applicants, regardless of their nationality.
What is the equal opportunity policy of the DIW Berlin?
The DIW Berlin is fully committed to equal opportunities. We select new staff regardless of age, family status, gender, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation. We would like to increase the share of female researchers working at the institute and therefore encourage women to apply. When choosing between two applicants offering similar academic qualifications, we give preference to disabled applicants.
I am interested and qualified for more than one of the advertised positions. May I apply for more than one position?
Yes. You may apply for more than one position using one application as long as you quote the reference numbers of all relevant positions in your cover letter.
How do I apply for a research position at the DIW Berlin?
If you are interested in working for the DIW Berlin, please send a cover letter, your curriculum vitae, a list of publications (if applicable), one to three published papers, working papers, essays or abstracts (if applicable), and the names of up to three referees. You can also send photocopies of past exam certificates or references if you find this helpful. You do not have to send official or certified translations or transcripts of your documents although we would obviously appreciate informal translations of non-English or non-German transcripts.
As a Diplom student or recent graduate you may arrange for up to three referees to send their confidential references directly to our Legal Department and Human Ressources.
In which language may I submit my application?
You may write your application and, if invited for an interview, present your research in either English or German.
Does the DIW Berlin also accept applications sent by email?
You may send your application by email in pdf- or doc-formats if you prefer. Please send your application to Andrea Jonat.
How long do I have to wait for a response to my application?
We aim to respond to your application within one week with a letter or email acknowledging receipt. We will then carefully review your application internally, which may take some time, depending on the number of departments you apply to and the number of applicants.
We will write to you a second time either inviting you for an interview or returning your original application documents (if applicable). This final decision may be reached between four to twelve weeks of your original application arriving at the DIW Berlin.
I have been invited for an interview. What does this involve?
We ask all applicants to present one of their recent papers or to make an appropriate academic presentation to a small audience including representatives from the managing board, from several academic departments, and from the staff council of the DIW Berlin.
You should allow about 15 minutes for your own presentation and some time for a discussion with the audience. The interview will then involve a discussion of your academic record and future plans before you will have the opportunity time to ask questions. After the interview, you will hear from us within a few days or weeks, depending on the number of interviews we are holding in that round. Generally, we make either a firm offer or send you a rejection after this interview.
Can I claim travel expenses for attending the interview?
You may claim all reasonable travel expenses. Before booking your trip please contact Andrea Jonat for further information.
Does the DIW Berlin also offer work placements or internships?
We offer internships to students who hold a Bachelor degree or a prediploma in Economics or Social Science. If you want apply, please send a cover letter, your CV, transcripts and certificates to Andrea Jonat. Pleas indicate your preferred department(s).
I am an intelligent, Berlin-based economics student with a low opportunity cost and a high marginal productivity of labour. How can I apply for a research assistance job at the DIW Berlin?
The DIW Berlin regularly hires research and administrative assistants on short-term and part-time contracts. If you are interested in such employment, please contact Sabine Schwarz at our Legal Department and Human Ressources and send her a cover letter and your curriculum vitae (address see below).
I have some further questions about my application which you did not address in these FAQs. Who should I contact?
For further questions on applying to and working at the DIW Berlin, please contact: Andrea Jonat, Legal Department and Human Resources.
Contact and who do I send my application to?
Please send your application to:
Legal Department and Human Ressources
Please state in your cover letter the reference number of the position(s) you are applying for.