Global Migration Centre
24 July 2020

New Postdoctoral Position at the Global Migration Centre

The Global Migration Centre is opening a postdoctoral position in International History for its project Patchwork Cities: Urban Ethnic Clusters in the Global South during the Age of Steam led by Prof. Michael Goebel, member of the GMC Steering Committee.

Postdoctoral Researcher

PERIOD OF CONTRACT: 12 months - Fixed-term contract
STARTING DATE: October 1st, 2020

The post-doctoral researcher will work on the project Patchwork Cities: Urban Ethnic Clusters in the Global South During the Age of Steam led by Prof. Michael Goebel, funded by a grant of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), and based at the Global Migration Centre.

About the project 

The project investigates the historical reasons for, and the meaning of, ethnic residence patterns in port cities of the Global South, 1850–1930. Drawing on social-science methods developed to study segregation in North American cities, the project redirects scholarly attention to port cities as bridgeheads of uneven globalization and laboratories for the negotiation of ethnicity. With its empirical and historical emphasis on ethnic clustering in such cities, the project adds historical depth to discussions concerning the relationship between globalization and a particular form of inequality.

Based at the Global Migration Centre, Graduate Institute Geneva, the project team will have office space at the heart of International Geneva, within an exciting interdisciplinary and truly global scholarly environment.

Main tasks and responsibilities of the Postdoctoral Researcher

The postdoctoral researcher will work closely with the project leader, Prof. Michael Goebel, to shape the content and direction of the project. His/her main contributions are:

  • Archival and online research of primary sources relating to urban social history.
  • Source digitisation, database curation.
  • Guidance for project-associated Ph.D./M.A. research assistant.
  • Writing of single-authored scholarly texts, present research outputs at academic conferences, and contribute to the organisation of research dissemination events.


To contribute to the accomplishment of a multi-year research project by conducting independent and coordinated research in a team.

The Candidate's profile includes the following elements

  • Completed (or about to be completed) Ph.D. in history, or a neighbouring discipline, ideally with particular interest and expertise in urban history and/or global migration history.
  • Proven capacity for research of highest academic standards.
  • Basic acquaintance with social science methods, with statistics, and corresponding IT skills are an additional asset.
  • Excellent work ethic, communication skills, and self-motivation.
  • Excellent oral and written English; further languages are an asset (esp. languages spoken in the Eastern Mediterranean or around the Indian Ocean).

To apply, please submit a letter of motivation, your complete CV with your publication list, as well as a writing sample (max. 20 pages). The subject heading of the email should read “Patchwork Cities Postdoctoral Researcher Position”. The deadline for applications is August 31, 2020. Interviews will be held as soon as possible thereafter.

For additional information about the position please contact the project director, Prof. Michael Goebel (

We thank all those who apply. However, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.  

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, marital status, disability status, race, national origin, color, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

For more information, candidates are encouraged to consult the Institute's website:

Please note that offers received by post won't be considered.