Munich: Doctoral Students (f/m/d)

Technical University: Doctoral Students (f/m/d) in Behavioral Science/Economics and Health Policy in South and Southeast Asia

Doctoral Students (f/m/d) in Behavioral Science/Economics and Health Policy in South and Southeast Asia

05.10.2021, Wissenschaftliches Personal

We are hiring two doctoral students (f/m/d) to be employed as research assistants (65%) in the newly created Assistant Professorship of Behavioral Science for Disease Prevention and Health Care at the Technical University of Munich. The contract will initially be for 1 year with an extension to 3 years based on performance. The position is physically based in Munich but will require occasional international travel. The position can start as soon as possible.

1 Background

South and Southeast Asia contain some of the world’s largest and most rapidly aging countries. This demographic shift is profoundly changing the health of populations: cardiovascular diseases are now the leading causes of death and are expected to become even more important as these populations continue to age. While cardiovascular diseases are highly preventable, countries in South and Southeast Asia are extremely far away from their prevention potential. Improving prevention, however, is not a biomedical but rather a behavioral and implementation challenge. We already have a lot of medical knowledge on how to prevent cardiovascular disease - we now need to ?gure out ways of encouraging clinicians to consistently provide evidence-based preventive care and individuals to make and adhere to long-term behavioral changes.

2 Research Group Focus

We aim to figure out the behavioral causes of and policy solutions for poor cardiovascular disease prevention in South and Southeast Asia. Our focus is on both the clinicians responsible for providing cardiovascular disease care and the patients responsible for seeking care and adhering to clinician recommendations. Our work is grounded in behavioral science/economics theory and methods and will rely primarily on a combination of randomized ?eld experiments and mixed-methods design-thinking studies based in India, Indonesia, and Cambodia. We work with a wide network of collaborators including researchers at Harvard, Stanford, and Emory University in the United States, Heidelberg and Göttingen University in Germany, LEAD at Krea University in India, Syiah Kuala University in Indonesia, and the Ministry of Health in Cambodia.

2.1 Desired Qualifications and Interests

  1. Master’s degree in Economics, Psychology, Health Policy, or a related quantitative ?eld.
  2. Strong interest in adult health in low- and middle-income countries.
  3. Aspirations for a research-centric career in Global Health Policy (either as an academic or working for a research-focused non-academic institution). We will aim to publish our research in general science, social science and health, and health policy journals so those with aspirations for an academic career in an economics or psychology department won’t be well served.
  4. Strong written and spoken English.
  5. Open-minded and willing to learn new methods, literature, and theories. We don’t expect you to come in knowing everything but do expect that you will be eager and willing to invest time in learning new things.

Individuals with lived experiences in South and Southeast Asia are strongly encouraged to apply.

3 The Doctoral Student Experience

3.1 The Doctoral Student Experience at TUM

TUM works on a semi-structured doctoral program that is designed to be transparent, supportive, and encourage the development of doctoral student skills. Students won’t just work in isolation but be part of a larger centralized graduate school. We encourage interested applicants to read more about being a doctoral student at TUM at:

3.2 The Doctoral Student Experience in the Research Group

Within our research group, you will be expected to participate in a range of academic activities aside from your doctoral research, including collaborating on other research projects in the group, writing grants, teaching, supervising bachelors and masters student theses, and actively participating in group meetings and workshops. As a doctoral student in our group, you will be actively supervised and supported to develop the following skills:

  1. Ability to independently devise, execute, and publish research in top journals.
  2. Ability to self-learn new methods.
  3. Ability to stay up to date with a research area.
  4. Ability to write and present in a concise, precise, and jargon-free way.
  5. Ability to prepare research grants.

To us, a successful doctoral experience should conclude with:

  • First-authored publication(s) in a top journal.
  • Presentations at leading scienti?c conferences.
  • Postdoctoral placement at a top institution/with an active research group/professor (for those interested in the academic track).
  • Placement in a leading research NGO/think-tank/multinational company (for those interested in the non-academic track).

3.3 Other Important Points

Given that our work is based in other countries, there will also be an expectation you spend time in the field abroad.

We strongly believe in supporting work-life balance and your mental and psychosocial health. To this end, we expect that you do not work on the weekends, take your holidays (all of them!), and disconnect when you are not at work (this includes not responding to emails during these times). Occasionally, we will have to work beyond standard hours, but these moments will be rare, and we will be sure to balance that time in the following weeks. (This does mean, however, that you are focused and productive during work days and work hours.)

The salary is in accordance to the Public Sector Collective Agreement on Länder (TV-L E13/65%).

TUM is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified women are therefore particularly encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities are treated with preference given comparable qualification.

4 Application

If you are interested, please send the following documents (in English if possible) to Nikkil Sudharsanan (nikkil.sudharsanan(at) until 5th of November 2021: A brief cover letter that touches on your main reason for wanting to do a PhD and where you see yourself after your doctoral studies. Please also describe any experience you have had with ?eldwork (for example, survey collection, randomized studies, qualitative work). Your CV. Your master’s degree transcripts (with grades).

Hinweis zum Datenschutz:

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Kontakt: nikkil.sudharsanan(at)

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