"I really enjoy the scientific diversity and expertise of the GESS student body. It allows us to work closely together, to present our research to each other and exchange ideas." Hannah M. Gringard, CDSS

our Students

Thomas Grauenhorst

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Social Sciences

Thomas Grauenhorst was born on August 7, 1981 in Speyer, Germany. He studied sociology at the University of Mannheim from 2007 to 2012. In his master thesis, he examined the effects of university quality on labor market performance of graduates in Germany, England and Finland. Thomas gained research experience during an internship at the Mannheim Center of European Research and as a student assistant at GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. After his studies, he worked as a research associate at GESIS and acquired experience in the field of survey methodology and methodological research. 

Research Interests

analysis of social inequality and social stratification in an international comparative perspective

empirical research methods

 Why I chose the University of Mannheim and in particular the GESS

Because of its competent staff and neighbouring institutes such as GESIS and MZES. The University of Mannheim constitutes a perfect environment for my own research. The GESS in particular offers a very inspiring interdisciplinary context, promoting differentiated research based on a broad theoretical and methodical background.

The best part of being a doctoral student here

The interdisciplinary focus is one of the defining aspects of being a doctoral student at the GESS. Even though it can be demanding at times, it is always interesting to get diverse input and defend planned research projects against criticism from different disciplinary backgrounds.

A description of my fellow doctoral students

Even though all students come from different scientific backgrounds, the most common attributes are probably a high motivation to make a significant contribution to the respective fields of research. 

My most challenging experience within the program

Writing a focused research proposal in the first year.

My advice for prospective students

Start early to find a suitable and focused research topic.


Field Methods (Vol. 28, Issue 3)
Authors: Grauenhorst, T. / Blohm, M. / Koch, A.