PD Dr. habil. Christian Imdorf

Research Director


I graduated from the University of Fribourg with a major in social work and a minor in special education in the year 2000. I received my Ph.D. in educational sciences as a member of the doctorate program "Shifting Gender Culture" at the Universities of Bern and Fribourg in 2005. My dissertation thesis focused on school qualifications and vocational integration in Switzerland.

From 2006 to 2009 I conducted postdoctoral studies at research facilities in Frankfurt, Aix-en-Provence and Glasgow doing research on selection mechanisms of the education system in general and of the vocational training system in particular. This and other research resulted in my Habilitation (postdoctoral qualification) in Sociology at the University of Basel

I joined the The Social Research and Methodology Group at the University of Basel in 2010 where I held a SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation) Professorship from 2011 to 2015. From June 2015 until May 2017 I held a two-year SNSF Professorship at the University of Bern where I'm still a member of the TREE (Transitions from Education to Employment) survey management team at the Institute of Sociology.


My current research projects focus on education systems and gendered school-to-work transitions from a comparative perspective, vocational pathways to higher education, school-to-work transitions in Bulgaria, specialized middle schools in Switzerland, and the consequences of experiencing job insecurity for labour market integration in Europe.


I have initiated and established the Sociology of Education Research Network of the Swiss Sociological Association


I am currently a Privatdozent in Sociology at the University of Basel, and an International Associate Member of the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. 



My academic trajectory

2015-2017 SNSF Professorship for Sociology, University of Bern

2011-2015 SNSF Professorship for Educational Sociology, University of Basel

2014-2016 Visiting fellow at the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia

2014 Visiting fellow at the IREDU, University of Burgundy, Dijon

2013 Visiting fellow at the Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo

2013 Visiting fellow at the Research Data Centre at BIBB, Bonn

2013 Invited researcher MSHS at the GRESCO, University of Poitiers

2012/14 Visiting fellow at the Norwegian Social Research Institute NOVA, Oslo

2012 Visiting professor at the Quebec Inter-University Centre for Social Statistics, Montreal

2010-2011 Assistant lecturer & Co-investigator of the Swiss youth panel study TREE, University of Basel

2008-2009 Post-doctoral research fellow, Adam Smith Research Foundation, University of Glasgow

2007-2008 Post-doctoral research fellow, Laboratoire d'Economie et de Sociologie du Travail LEST, Aix en Provence

2007 Post-doctoral research fellow, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a. Main, Fachbereich für Erziehungswissenschaften

2002-2005 Doctoral School « Shifting Gender Culture » Universities Berne and Fribourg

2004 Dissertation on the issue of School Qualifications and occupational orientation, University of Fribourg, Institute of Special Education

1993-2000 Licentiate (Masters) and Diploma in Social Work, Department of Social Work and Social Policy, University of Fribourg


Sociology of Education

School-to-Work Transitions

Gender and Education

Sociology of Discrimination

New French Pragmatic Sociology

Case Study Method



Swiss Sociological Association

Sektion Bildung und Erziehung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie

Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Geschlechterforschung

Swiss Society for Research in Education

Society for Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies



christian.imdorf at unibas.ch