ESR8: CWS and labour precariousness in rural places; a comparative study between Austria and Greece

Host: Otelo, Austria, Supervisors: Martin Hollinetz (Otelo), Ulrich Ermann (University of Graz)

1 PhD position, full-time

Duration: September 2021 – August 2024

Labour precariousness is a multifaceted phenomenon that is attached to waged labour as well as to freelance work. Moreover, labour precariousness is distributed unevenly in space, with different levels of working conditions for workers between urban agglomerations and rural places. During the current Coronavirus pandemic these phenomena and its spatial patterns are changing rapidly. This ESR project will look critically at the ways how different precarious conditions can be diminished through creative freelancers and remote workers and various forms of (place) sharing economies with CWS in rural areas. It aims to challenge conventional understandings of “work”, “workplace”, “justice” and “rurality” and contributes in opening up new – scholarly as well as practice-related – perspectives between capitalist markets, public regulation and diverse/alternative economies. Therefore the project will explore case studies in rural Austria and Greece through qualitative methodology.

The fellow will be integrated in the Doctoral School of Geography and Regional Science and the Doctoral Programme “Southeastern Europe” within the Doctoral Academy at the University of Graz.

Secondments are foreseen at Panteion University, Athens, Greece, and the Region of Western Greece.


  • development of theoretical and conceptual framework for the study linked to labour precariousness and uneven development
  • methodological design of case study approach and empirical implementation
  • conduction and comparative analysis of case studies
  • development of conceptual, methodological, empirical and policy implications
  • development of possible suggestions and solutions on different scales 


  • master’s degree in human geography or another discipline corresponding to the topic of the project
  • good knowledge of qualitative
  • fluency in English, preferably good knowledge of German and/or Greek
  • good knowledge of IT-based communication tools
  • readiness to participate in secondments, conferences and workshops
  • excellent communication skills
  • strong interest in interdisciplinary collaboration and in working in a cooperative and flexible team environment

The fellow should contribute to the outreach of the project, especially by:

  • elaborating a PhD thesis
  • active participation in progressing the ITN’s publications (WP monographs, journal articles)
  • active participation in scientific conferences, policy workshops etc. at national and EU level
  • participation in media communication, in the development of a web-based glossary, in creating video clips and podcasts and in disseminating project information at the EU level using the European Commission’s communication tools   

For further information you may contact:

Martin Hollinetz,

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 955907.