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Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Economy with a Special Focus on Topics of Trust and Cultural Norms

International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID)

HSE University

Moscow, Russia  


The Higher School of Economics International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) in Moscow, Russia, established in cooperation with the Harriman Institute (Columbia University), invites applications for postdoctoral research positions in Political Economy with a special focus on topics of trust and cultural norms.

A significant body of empirical and theoretical research has demonstrated the importance of trust and norms for economic and institutional development. Much less attention has been devoted to identifying the precise mechanisms that generate and change components of social capital and culture and foster their formation. Moreover, mostly developed countries received attention in the literature.

We study trust and social norms with a focus on countries with weak institutions, Russia in particular. Russia offers a fertile ground for research on trust and norms as it has a vibrant history with economic and political shocks, diverse institutions and populations affected by different types of norms – from Soviet and traditional to quite modern ones. Our work is based on unique datasets that allow us to study current trust and norms and link them with the data from archives. Among them are representative at the regional level surveys of individuals in almost all Russian regions, including the most recent online survey in Russian regions in 2020. We also use other valuable sources of information such as Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), World Values Survey, European Values Study, European Social Survey, and Life in Transition Survey.

Projects focus on a variety of topics including trust and preferences for redistribution, connection between trust, social norms and economic development (in particular, role of obedience for economic outcomes), gender inequality and its origins, role of history and geography for trust and norms. We also study the role of trust and norms during the current pandemics. Candidates are welcome to participate in these or other topics that will be of mutual interest. 


About HSE University

The Higher School of Economics (HSE University) is a young, dynamic and fast-growing Russian research university. Over the past 25 years, HSE University has become a leader in Russian education, while also being recognized globally.

For instance, we were the first state-run university in Russia to begin recruiting on the international academic market. We aim at being a university with a highly attuned approach to training new professionals. Therefore, we are eager to hire people with real experience, as well as basic and applied knowledge. Committed to high-quality research, HSE University now has more than 100 research institutes and centers and over 30 international research laboratories collaborating with international specialists from all over the world.



The general requirements for the postdoctoral fellowship positions are the following:

  • a PhD In Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Public Policy, or Government (got during last 5 years but before the start of the program);
  • a strong interest in the research field of trust and cultural norms;
  • strong quantitative skills, ability to carry out research using Stata/R/similar software to meet standards of academic journals;
  • ability to design lab and/or survey experiments is an asset;
  • peer-reviewed publications, working papers or a job market paper in the fields of social capital or culture will be a strong advantage;
  • ability to work in a team;
  • ability to understand and communicate in Russian is not a requirement but will be a plus.


The position involves:

  • working in a research group with Dr. Ekaterina Borisova, Dr. Denis Ivanov, and Irina Levina;
  • collaboration with other ICSID researchers, including those from foreign Universities;
  • taking part in the ICSID’s research projects/pursuing independent research;
  • publishing papers in peer-reviewed academic journals in economics, political science, regional science, public policy, history or sociology;
  • presenting research results at seminars and conferences;
  • participation in organization of ICSID events and other contribution to the Lab’s development.



Appointments are normally made for one year (from September 2021). Postdoctoral fellows have an opportunity of renewal of the contract (no more than two times).

HSE University offers postdoctoral fellows a competitive salary (150k rubles per month), the standard medical insurance plan, a working space equipped with a computer and free Internet access at the University.


The Center offers access to its unique databases on socio-economic indicators of the Russian regions, political elites and historical roots of institutions in Russia. ICSID also provides all necessary support for research such as up-to-date analytical software, funding for attendance at international conferences and research assistantship. Moreover, the HSE library provides access to a large collection of academic journals.

Application Process

Applications must be submitted online. Please provide a CV, a statement of research interest and a recent research paper submitted via an online application form. At least two letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the International Faculty Recruitment Office at fellowship@hse.ru before the application deadline. Please note that direct applications to the hiring center may not be reviewed.

Read more about the application process here.


The deadline for the applications is February 14, 2021.

Apply Now

For more information:

or contact Valeriya Kotelnikova, a manager of the center directly


If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact the International Faculty Recruitment Office at fellowship@hse.ru


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