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Youth Policy Labs: Researcher (d/f/m) with a focus on research instrument development, 19.7.

IN A NUTSHELL // You are enthusiastic about research methodology, love developing research instruments, care about the quality of data, and enjoy creating evidence for policy and practice? You love tinkering with words until a question is perfect? You deeply care about decoding the meaning and impact of language in different contexts? You (can) live in or near Berlin, and are able to legally work in Germany? You might just be who we are looking for to join our team later this summer!


THE LABORATORY // We are a small, creative, slightly rascally research agency in the youth sector. We have a tiny, punchy international team of participatory research, public policy and open data aficionados at our headquarters in Berlin – and are looking for one more to join in all the fun. We believe in the power of openness, and work for and with open source data, knowledge and software.

THE EXPERIMENT // We think, we do, and if necessary we disrupt – right where journalism, policy, research and practice meet. We don’t bite our lips when there is something to be said, and we don’t twiddle our thumbs when there is something to be done. We try and recreate the diversity of the world, as much as that’s possible in a small team, and do our best to make everyone feel welcome.

THE GRIND // We develop, use, critique and refine quantitative and qualitative research instruments in the youth field. We dive into, dissect and assemble data sets – small or big, clean or messy. We scrutinise, discuss and describe the meaning of data – brief or sweeping, inconspicuous or controversial. We draft, critique and edit articles, factsheets and reports – short or cheeky, long or thoughtful.


YOUR BACKGROUND // Your life, your studies, your work, your engagement, and/or your curiosity – in whichever combination – have equipped you with a robust understanding of and sincere appreciation for the scientific method. Your know how to combine logical thinking and perceptive empathy. You do not blindly worship your own analytical mind and are able to identify and constructively deal with different biases. You appreciate academic vigour – and don’t confuse it with rigour.

YOUR STRENGTHS // You embrace diverse ways of gathering, analysing, interpreting and presenting data. You are able to consider different perspectives, but more importantly you realise that walking in someone else’s shoes can never replace letting people speak for themselves. You are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance – or wouldn’t mind learning how to get there.

YOUR WEAKNESSES // You love chocolate and dogs – though not chocolate in dogs. You respect biscuits and tea – including biscuits in tea. You dislike the status quo of our world – though do not despair too often (at least not when there are biscuits, chocolates, dogs and teas around). You dislike being micromanaged – though will always ask when you need guidance and advice.


OUR SEARCH // We are looking for a fresh or soon-to-be graduate to join our English-speaking team. We do not expect you to have done a dozen internships while you studied, or to have studied fast while you needed to work. Don’t worry if your CV is not perfect, we don’t care much about that – in fact, we don’t even want to see it. What matters much more than an impeccable CV is your mindset, your values, your curiosity, your personality. It is not essential to have experience in the youth field. As long as you understand the basic principles, and key challenges, of a cross-sectorial policy field, you will be fine.

OUR OFFER // We offer a permanent contract for 4 days/week (32 hours), starting later this summer or in early autumn, with a probationary period until the end of 2020. We will equip you with a laptop and a permanent workspace with keyboard, trackpad and a second screen.[1] Payment is aligned with TV-L and the salary level applicable to your degree and/or qualification[2]. We will support your learning on and for the job, and will always be open to accommodate changes in life. If you want to do crazy things like working for half a year from New Zealand, or not working for half a year at all and go sailing, we will try our best to make that possible – well, once, you know, this pandemic is over.

OUR PLEA // Again and again, research shows that women of all ages underestimate the strength of their own competences. Here is a recent example of a study with students of biology – just one study of many. Our own recruitment experience shows the same pattern, especially when it comes to analytical thinking. What we are trying to say: Stop doubting yourself! We will teach you what you need to know, and what we cannot teach you, we will learn together.[3]


TEMPTED? // We look forward to receiving your application – without a photo, in one concise pdf with up to four pages – by July 19, 2020 to workwithus@youthpolicy.org. To start with, we only need a letter of motivation.[4] In your letter, we would like you to answer two out of these four questions:

  • What is the best survey question you have ever seen? What makes it so great?
  • What is the worst survey question you have ever seen? What makes it so terrible?
  • What is the best interview question you have ever seen? What makes it so great?
  • What is the worst interview question you have ever seen? What makes it so terrible?

Beyond that, tell us what you’d like! If you think it’s important we know what you studied, let us know. If you think it’s more relevant to tell us about your activism, do that instead. Or do both. It’s your choice. Don’t be shy – be humorous, ironic, reflective, cheeky! Make this letter yours, and have fun writing it.

Feel free to not reveal your real/chosen name, your place of origin, your biological sex and/or gender identity, your family/marital status – or anything else that you fear, or have made the experience of, contributing to bias or discrimination in a selection process. We don’t need that information, and will decide who to invite to the next stage of the application process on the merit of your letter alone.

We will conduct first-round conversations with selected candidates in the first half of August, and ask a shortlist of candidates to complete a job-related task in a second round in the second half of August.[5]


[1] Our office is almost fully accessible, and we are happy to improve its accessibility further.

[2] Here is a some information about TV-L in general as well as the current payment scheme. If all of this is a mystery to you, don’t hesitate to ask – we will be happy to explain!

[3] Also, in case you are wondering: we have one young parent on our team, and one soon-to-be young parent. Kids are always welcome in our office, and working from home is *never* an issue. Neither is working part-time!

[4] Yes, that’s right, we really don’t want your CV at this stage 😉

[5] If necessary, we will work around your vacation plans in that process, so no worries there.


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Veröffentlicht in Analyse / Forschung Konzeption Berlin und Umgebung NGO / Stiftung / Sozialunternehmen Teilzeit