Dr Viktoria Spaiser

Dr Viktoria Spaiser


I have a background in Sociology (PhD, Bielefeld University, Germany, 2012), Political Science (MA in Conflict, Security and Development, King’s College London, UK, 2008) and Computer Science (German Diploma, University of Applied Sciences Trier, Germany, 2013). I was a visiting researcher in the Computational Social Science Research Group at ETH Zurich in 2012 and a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Futures Studies Stockholm (2012-2014) and at the Department of Mathematics, Uppsala University in Sweden (2014-2015). Between August 2015 and July 2020 I was a University Academic Fellow in Political Science Informatics at the University of Leeds, POLIS. Since July 2020 I am an Associate Professor at POLIS. I am also affiliated with the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures and the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA).


  • Editor for the The British Journal of Politics and International Relations
  • Member of the Fair Energy Futures Steering Committee

Research interests

I am interested in sustainability research and specifically in how societies can make a rapid, fair and empowering transition to zero-emissions / zero-pollution. Currently I am doing full-time research on my UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship on “Understanding normative change to address the climate change emergency”. I apply mathematical and computational approaches to these and other social and political science research questions. I have worked on a wide range of topics, including political participation, e-democracy, protest, polarisation, democratisation, or segregation, using various sources of data, such as register data, cross-country panel data, Twitter data or smartphone data and various methodological approaches such as Bayesian statistics, dynamical systems modelling, agent-based modelling or big data analysis. However, my focus is now on climate change and sustainability research.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Sociology
  • German Diploma in Computer Science
  • MA in Conflict, Security and Development
  • Magister in Cultural Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology

Student education

I am generally involved in research methods teaching at POLIS, with a focus on quantitative and computational methods. Specifically, I have been or am teaching on the following team-taught modules “Approaches to Analysis”, “Analysing Data in Politics, Development and IR "Advanced Statistical Analysis", "Research Methods" and “Global Inequalities and Development”. From 2019/2020 onwards I am also teaching “Introduction to Programming for Social Science”, “Conflict, Cooperation and Strategic Decision Making” and “Technology, Media and Politics: Research and Real World Cases”. Since 2023/2024 I am also involved in teaching on the “Climate Justice” module, which is party of the MSc Cllimate Futures. 

I supervise PhD students in the areas of Climate Politics, Climate Change and Society, Sustainability Research and Advanced Quantitative Research Methods.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Democratic Engagement

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>