Research Interests

The influence of institutions on the content of research

In my research, I try to bridge the gap between studies of the social construction of scientific knowledge that habitually neglect macro-structures such as institutions, and science policy studies that neglect how the governance of science changes its content.


  • How do specific governance tools modify the situation in which scientists decide on research problems, objects, and methods?
  • How do researchers adapt to such changes?
  • How is their adaptation affected by field-specific conditions of research?

Empirical Projects:

  • Impact of Evaluation-Based Funding on the Content of Scientific Research
  • The Research Career as interface between science policy and the content of knowledge

Methodology and methods of science studies

The study of research and its products poses special challenges to sociologists. We have to cope with the content of our respondents’ work, and we have to understand the structures of knowledge that constitute an important condition of action for researchers. I have been addressing these challenges in my empirical research projects by developing and testing new methods.


  • To what extent must we understand researchers scientifically in order to explain their practices sociologically?
  • How can epistemic conditions of research action be described in a comparative manner?
  • How can bibliometric methods be integrated in sociological studies to ‘measure’ epistemic aspects of research?

Methodology and qualitative methods in sociology

The methodology of qualitative social research still seems to be in its fledgling stages. We often still don’t know when to use which method, which errors can occur and how to generalise the results. The aim of my contributions to qualitative methodology is to improve the basis on which we select our methods for data collection and analysis.


  • Which qualitative methods are appropriate under which conditions? Which methods can be combined?
  • How can the tension between theoretical ex ante-considerations and openness of qualitative research be coped with?
  • How can theoretical frameworks be translated in qualitative empirical approaches?