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Niklas Zierke, M.A.



Research associate CEval

E-Mail: n.zierke(at)
Phone: +49 (0)6 81 - 3 02 - 49 36
Online office hours:
by appointment; via DFNconf
CEval GmbH
Dudweiler Landstrasse 5
66123 Saarbruecken
Areas of responsibility:
Basic and contract research
Project management
Method Training
Teaching in the master program Evaluation
Main areas of emphasis:
Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)
Higher Education
Public Policies & Governance
Methods of Empirical Social Research

Professional Career

Since 05.2020 Lecturer in the Master (Blended Learning) of Evaluation MABLE, Technical University of Kaiserslautern
Since 10.2019 Research Associate at the Department of Sociology, Center for Evaluation, Saarland University, Germany
Since 09.2019 Project Manager CEval GmbH, Saarbrücken
Postgraduate research stay at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Insitituto de Investigaciones Sociales (IIS), Ciudad de México
08.2016-10.2016 Internship in the Department of Research Policy and External Communication of the Helmholtz Association, Berlin, Germany
2012-2019 Various activities as student research assistant at the following institutions: Department of Radiation Oncology and Radiotherapy CBF/CVK, Charité Berlin; International Office, Humboldt University of Berlin; Institute for Romance Studies, University of Mannheim; GESIS-Leibniz-Institute for Social Science, Mannheim


Social Science Master's Programme (M.A.) at the Humboldt University of Berlin; Focus: Social Studies fo Science and Technology
Thesis: "Imagined Impact of Science. On the Legitimization of Research Funding in an international comparison of the Science Policy in Germany and South Africa"
Postgraduate exchange student at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), Stellenbosch University, South Africa, awarded PROMOS grant
2011-2015 Studies in Sociology, History, European Ethnology and Psychology at the Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg and the University of Mannheim with a degree in Sociology (B.A.) at the University of Mannheim



July, 2020
Zierke, Niklas (July, 2020): Evaluation im Spannungsfeld umkämpfter Expertise: Qualitätsansprüche zwischen Lernen und Legitimierung, at the spring conference of the section "Political Sociology" at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg. (online)
September, 2020
Zierke, Niklas (September, 2020): Digital change of methods? - On the methodological chances and risks of digital data in evaluation, at the annual conference of the German Evaluation Society (DeGEval) at the University of Education Upper Austria in Linz. (online)

Former Projects

Evaluation of the "Strategic Communication on Refugee and Migration Abroad" of the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany8/20193/2020Auswärtiges Amt (AA)

Project Manager: Dr. Vera Hennefeld

Contact Person: Dr. Vera Hennefeld

Staff: Felix Stips, M.A. Niklas Zierke, Dr. Hansjörg Gaus


In 2016 the Federal Foreign Office (AA) initiated a new communication strategy on flight and migration abroad. This strategy consists on the one hand of direct communication measures such as a dedicated website and information on social media channels, and on the other hand of indirect communication work through project funding by partner organizations. The aim of these efforts is to contribute to a better information base on flight and migration abroad and to strengthen humanitarian and international law principles. The aim of the evaluation was to assess the achievement of objectives, effectiveness, economic efficiency and sustainability, as well as the impact of the funded projects and the direct communication activities of the Federal Foreign Office, and to use this as a basis for deriving recommendations for future funding and strategy development. At the same time, the funded projects were to be supported in setting up and implementing impact-oriented monitoring of their projects. The evaluation contained summative and formative elements. Thus, the evaluation was intended to support AA-internal learning in the area of communication strategy on the one hand, and to serve transparent accountability on the other. The evaluation followed a theory-based, participatory approach in which a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods of empirical social research were applied and triangulated together. The data collection included document and secondary analysis at project and programme level, guideline-based telephone interviews with persons in charge at the Federal Foreign Office, field studies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Nigeria, expert reports, partially standardised and experimental online surveys with project partners and target groups, and the participatory evaluation of an exchange meeting with representatives of the African diaspora.
Evaluation of refugee projects supported by the Representative of the Federal Government for Migration, Refugees and Integration4/20193/2020Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration

Project Manager: Dr. Vera Hennefeld

Contact Person: Dr. Vera Hennefeld

Staff: M.A. Sandra Bäthge, M.A. Niklas Zierke, M.A. Janis Wicke


In 2019, 25 refugee projects were supported by the Representative of the Federal Government for Migration, Refugees and Integration in three areas, i.e. strengthening volunteers in refugee assistance, empowerment and prevention of violence, and political and social participation. The funding aimed at contributing to an improved integration of refugees in Germany. The goal of the evaluation was to assess the goal achievement, efficacy and efficiency of the funded projects and to develop recommendations for future funding of such projects. At the same time the evaluation was to support the projects in setting up and implementing a results-based monitoring system. The evaluation was designed as an accompanying evaluation with formative and summative elements. It also involved a capacity building component. In terms of methodology, the evaluation relied on a mix of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods. Among others, a document review, guided interviews, focus group discussions as well as an online survey were conducted.