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PhD student position and Research Fellow in an SNF Project on Organizational Attention at USI, Switzerland 2022


PhD student position and Research Fellow in an SNF Project on Organizational Attention is available for master’s degree candidates in business, communication, sociology, anthropology, or related disciplines at Institute of Marketing and Communication Management (IMCA, Istituto di Marketing e Comunicazione Aziendale), Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), Switzerland 2022

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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: Subject to Norms
Salary: According to standard norms

Institute of Marketing and Communication Management (IMCA

Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), Switzerland


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Qualification Details

The ideal candidate for the position should satisfy the following requirements:

  • A Master in business, communication, sociology, anthropology, or related disciplines;
  • An international orientation, some experience in qualitative research methods (e.g. ethnography), and an academic curiosity for developing our understanding of organizational phenomena and publishing in English in high-ranked journals;
  • Be proficient in English and master another national language of Switzerland (ideally Italian or German);
  • Motivation to engage in the elaboration of a PhD dissertation and take ownership of a research project. Ability to work in team and autonomy in ideating, planning and carrying out qualitative research. Interest for teaching and tutoring students and availability to collaborate with colleagues (engage in scientific dialogue, listen and think critically) are required;
  • High personal interest in understanding organizational phenomena through immersive, qualitative (i.e. ethnographic methods) research

Responsibilities/Job Description

The Institute has currently open the following full time PhD position (4 years) for which it invites applications. Research assistant for an SNF-funded research project on organizational attention

Under the joint supervision of profs. Jeanne Mengis (USI) and Davide Nicolini from Warwick Business School, UK (for a brief description of the project, see: The successful candidate will be able to design part of the project as his/her PhD, carry out an ethnographic research in two organizations operating in security and intelligence industries, present emergent findings at international conferences, and publish in academic journals. During the four years of the project, the person will have the unique opportunity to collaborate with a research team combining scholars from USI (Switzerland) and Warwick Business School (UK) and to become a credible member of the academic community of organization and management scholars. The research activities will be carried out predominantly in Switzerland (both in Ticino and in the German part of Switzerland), where the candidate should take residence near Lugano, but can involve also a research stay at Warwick Business School

Ph.D. Position The doctoral student will be enrolled in the Doctoral Program of the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society ( The doctoral students will work under the scientific supervision of Prof. Jeanne Mengis( The successful candidate will be offered the possibility to work in a dynamic research team and in a multidisciplinary and international scientific environment.

The PhD candidate will collaborate in the development of the institute’s research agenda. He or she will have the task of setting up a collection of data for his or her dissertation, while at the same time participating in a variety of tasks related to the research streams in which he/she is involved.

On the teaching side, he/she will work as teaching assistant in courses at either bachelor ormaster level, helping in the preparation of teaching materials and tutoring students.

The PhD candidate is also asked to present papers at scientific conferences, and produce publications for scientific journals.

How to Apply?

Application Method: Send Email
Ref. No.: -

Application Procedure

Applications should contain:

(1) a letter in which the applicant describes his/her research interests and the motivation to apply. The letter should lay out the links between his/her academic and professional preparation and own interests and the topic of the SNF project, for example, by referring to its phenomenological, theoretical or methodological positioning;
(2) a complete CV;
(3) copies of relevant diplomas, certificates as well as the full transcript of records that prove the candidate’s eligibility for doctoral studies in communication studies,
(4) an electronic version of a research work (Master thesis or other scientific publication).The latter must be accompanied by a short summary in English (1 page maximum).

A support letter written by the Master thesis supervisor (or another Professor who knows the candidate well) is equally welcome.

Applications received before 31.07.2022 will be given priority. However, applications will be received until the position is filled.

As an institution that values diversity, USI particularly encourages applications from women and from all individuals from underrepresented groups

Please send your application incl. detailed CV (with 2 references), university grade transcripts, and a letter of motivation electronically to Jeanne Mengis, [email protected]

About the Department/Section/Group

The Institute of Marketing and Communication Management (IMCA, Istituto di Marketing e Comunicazione Aziendale) adds to the discipline of management by addressing how communication processes contribute to the organizing of institutions and markets. It is active in various fields of communication management (e.g. organizational communication,corporate communication) and marketing (e.g. branding, consumer culture theory, strategic marketing).IMCA’s communicative and interdisciplinary approach has allowed the Institute to develop a relational, processual, and cultural reading of organizations, business networks, communities of stakeholders and consumers. IMCA distinguishes itself for its focus on qualitative methodologies, in particular case studies, ethnographies, and visual analysis

About the Employer:

Note or Other details

Admission to the Ph.D. program is highly competitive. Admission decisions are based on the candidate’s background, interests, attitude and potential for academic achievement. Successful enrolment in the Ph.D. program and the position as doctoral researcher are not compatible with a further professional activity.

The successful candidate will work as research assistants at the Institute of Marketing and Communication Management (IMCA), and will have the possibility to interact with an international network of collaborators.

Workplace is USI Università della Svizzera italiana, located in Lugano, Switzerland. Availability to travel to other parts of Switzerland and abroad (for purposes of collaboration and research) is required.

Starting date is 1 September 2022. However, the position will be kept open until a suitable candidate has been found

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Contact details

Jeanne Mengis, [email protected]

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