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PhD Position in Public Management 100 %

Write your PhD thesis as part of an international research team based in Switzerland.

School: School of Management and Law
Starting date: 1 April 2022 or by agreement

Your role

We are seeking a researcher to join our international research team (ZHAW, University of Potsdam and Vienna University of Economics and Business). The focus will be on analyzing the diffusion and pace of digital transformation in European local government. The candidate will pursue a PhD in Public Administration (supervisors: Professor Reto Steiner, ZHAW School of Management and Law and Professor Oliver Neumann, IDHEAP, University of Lausanne). This will include writing an independent scientific thesis consisting of three journal articles, presenting the findings at national and international conferences and disseminating them to the public, and providing support in managing the research project.

Your profile

You have a strong interest in research related to the local tier of government, European-wide comparative research, and digital transformation. You have a Master's degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, Political Science, or Economics. In particular, you have a solid background in quantitative methods and are interested in machine learning techniques. The ability to work independently and the ambition to publish quality research is a given, as is an excellent command of English; a working knowledge of German would also be an advantage. 

We offer a competitive, stimulating, and motivating environment as part of the "Digital Transformation at the Local Tier of Government in Europe: Dynamics and Effects from a Cross-Countries and Over-Time Comparative Perspective (DIGILOG)" project co-funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). As part of this project, we are developing a real-time monitoring platform of digital transformation at the local tier of government in the 47 Council of Europe member states. We use machine learning techniques to analyze the transformation over time.

This is what we stand for

Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW is one of Switzerland's largest multidisciplinary universities of applied sciences, with over 14'000 students and 3'400 faculty and staff.

The School of Management and Law (SML), with its internationally recognized Bachelor's and Master's programs, cooperative PhD programs, range of well-established continuing education programs, as well as innovative research & development projects, is one of the leading business schools in Switzerland. The SML is listed in the prestigious Financial Times rankings: Not only is it among the 90 leading European business schools, but it offers one of the 90 best Master's programs in management worldwide. In addition, it meets the demanding standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the leading international organization for the accreditation of business schools.

The ZHAW Institute of Public Management has close ties to the Swiss public management system and a national and international network consisting of three specialist units: Public Financial Management, Public Performance Management & Digital Transformation, and Local, Regional & Collaborative Governance, where the successful candidate will work.

Das dürfen Sie erwarten

Wir bieten hochschulgerechte Arbeits- und Anstellungsbedingungen und fördern aktiv die Personalentwicklung unserer Mitarbeitenden und Führungspersonen. Eine detaillierte Beschreibung der Vorteile finden Sie auf der Seite «Arbeiten an der ZHAW». Hier die wichtigsten Eckpunkte:


Prof. Dr. Reto Steiner
Dean, ZHAW School of Management and Law


Dagmar Debrunner-Stachl
Recruiting Manager


ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Winterthur Region of Winterthur/Schaffhausen 8401