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Institution Faculty of Social Sciences - Department of Media and Communication
Remuneration group TV-L E13
Full-time / Part-time Part-time (75%)
Start date 2024-12-01 (limited to three years)
Application deadline 2024-09-30

About us:

At the Department of Media and Communication (Faculty of Social Sciences) we are looking for a Ph.D. student in the three-year research project „AWARE: Mental Health Portrayals on Social Media and Implications on Adolescents’ Awareness and Well-being“, funded by the German Research Foundation.

The project:

Mental health is a prevalent topic on social media. While it raises public awareness and promotes individual help-seeking behaviors, it can also lead to overinterpretation and self-diagnosis. To date, little is known about how and by whom mental illnesses like depression and anxiety are portrayed on social media and which implications the portrayal has on the perceptions, beliefs, and well-being of adolescent users. Hence, the AWARE project deals with four research objectives: Investigating …

  1. perceptions: how do adolescents perceive mental health, particularly depression and anxiety, in their daily lives (including social media)?
  2. portrayals: how are topics like depression and anxiety portrayed on social media?
  3. relationships: What are reciprocal relationships between exposure to these portrayals and adolescents’ perceptions, beliefs, and subjective well-being and how do they look like?
  4. context factors: What influence do context factors such as algorithm literacy, parental mediation and perceived peer peer norms have on these relationships?

Project AWARE is a joint project co-coordinated by Dr. Anne-Linda Camerini at USI in Switzerland, Prof. Dr. Kathrin Karsay at University of Vienna in Austria, and Prof. Dr. Ruth Wendt at LMU Munich in Germany. Three Ph.D. students (one at each university) will collaboratively work on the project that foresees data collection in German-speaking Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.

The project uses a mixed-methods approach. At LMU, a focus group study, a validation study adapting a previously developed Algorithm Literacy Scale, and a three-wave longitudinal school survey will be conducted. The research will focus on adolescents aged 12 to 19 as social media use intensifies and peaks during this life stage.

We are looking for you:

Ph.D. student (m/f/x)

in Munich

Your tasks and responsibilities:

The Ph.D. candidate will work under the scientific supervision of Prof. Dr. Ruth Wendt, co-supervised by Prof. Dr. Kathrin Karsay from the University of Vienna.

The Ph.D. candidate will be involved in all phases of the project and closely collaborate with the other two Ph.D. candidates from Austria and Switzerland. Additionally, the Ph.D. candidate will develop his or her own dissertation.

The Ph.D. candidate is also asked to present the research output at national and international scientific conferences and produce publications for national and international scientific journals.

Your qualifications:

Ideal candidates should satisfy the following requirements:

  • Have an excellent Master (or equivalent title) in Communication Science, Psychology, Public Health, or related disciplines
  • Be adept in qualitative and quantitative research methods, including data analysis, with a demonstrated ability to learn new techniques
  • Have excellent skills in oral and written German (data collection in German-speaking schools)
  • Have very good skills in oral and written English
  • Be curious, creative, and interested in learning from different disciplines
  • Be able to work independently, to proactively plan and direct own work, and to manage one’s time and resources efficiently
  • Be motivated to work in an international team with colleagues from Switzerland and Austria


We offer an interesting and responsible position with good opportunities for further training and development and a very cooperative and constructive working atmosphere. Your workplace is centrally located in Munich, directly at the English Garden and is easy to reach by public transport. The payment is according to TV-L, pay group 13. The position is limited to 3 years due to the project funding.

LMU explicitly promotes the compatibility of family and career, for example through opportunities for part-time work (in various models), mobile working, flexible working hours, and childcare support. You can find more information here.

People with disabilities who are equally as qualified as other applicants will receive preferential treatment.


We look forward to your application to Prof. Dr. Ruth Wendt (

  • Starting date is 1st December 2024. Applications received before 30 September 2024 will be given priority. However, applications will be received until the position is filled.
  • Applications should be sent per mail in the form of one single PDF document (max. 10 MB)
  • including standard documentation (informative cover letter, CV, if applicable publications, copy of certificates).

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