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Applications for an ESRC Joint Doctoral Award

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ESRC Joint Doctoral Award on

Learning Democracy – Democratization in Eastern Germany, 1989-1994

Applications are invited for a studentship funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to examine, at a grassroots level, how East Germans adapted to democratic change between 1989-1994; how did they ‘learn’ democracy? How did they adapt to the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany, who were the new political elites, and how did they deal with the practical legacy of communist rule (economic decay, the collapse of the physical infrastructure, and the destruction of the environment) which did not conform neatly to left-right divides. And how did actors deal with the political and moral legacy of communism? This project will examine the particular case of Germany as a lens to examine wider questions of how democratization works in practice; but it will also examine, through its grass-roots perspective, with a fundamental question of recent German politics and history: namely, the extent to which unification was determined ‘top-down’ by the Federal Republic, and East German actors maintained significant room for manoeuvre to realize their own ideals and ambitions.

We welcome applications from candidates with an excellent academic record in History, Modern Languages, or any degree in the Social Sciences. Because this project involves at least six months’ study of primary sources in Germany, candidates must have a good ability to read German.

The successful holder of the studentship will be supervised by Prof. Jan Palmowski (University of Warwick), with Prof. Corey Ross (University of Birmingham) acting as secondary supervisor. S/he will be part of the ESRC Midlands Graduate School, which provides access to some joint training opportunities in the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham. S/he will also engage fully with the training available at the University of Warwick.

Further details regarding the project proposal are available online.

The awardholder, who is expected to start on 1 October 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter, will receive an ESRC studentship covering academic fees along with a tax free maintenance allowance in line with Research Council UK standard stipend (£14,057 for the year 2015/16) (if eligible). The award also includes extensive support for research training, as well as research activity support grants. More information can be found on the ESRC’s website:

Eligibility requirements for an ESRC DTC studentship can be found on our website:

The closing date for applications is 15 May 2015. Please send applications (including a covering letter stating relevant experience and reasons for your interest in this project), a CV, and a statement of up to 500 words outlining how you would carry out the project, to

If you are interested in applying to this studentship, feel free to contact, or