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Dr. Martina Koch

Dr. Martina Koch

Dr. Martina Koch

Undergraduate and postgraduate education and work experience


  • 2010-2014: Doctoral studies “Organisation and Culture” at the University of St. Gallen, Doctorate: Dr. rer. soc. in September 2014
  • 2012/2013: Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Research Management at the University of Bern
  • 2001-2008: Masters in Sociology, German Language and Literature and Philosophy in Basel, Freiburg i.B. and Bologna; graduated (lic. phil.) in May 2008

Career milestones

  • Since September 2014: Research associate, Institute for Social Planning, Organisational Change and Urban Development ISOS, School of Social Work, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW, Basel; working in research, education and training
  • September 2020 to August 2021: Immersion (internship) at Dependance Mobile Basel, funded by Career2SocialWork; accompanying clients in shopping and cooking, participation in interprofessional site meetings, team meetings, etc., concept work, development of a client survey
  • April 2011 to August 2014: Research assistant for research and development, University Centre, School of Social Work, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW, Olten; research assistant
  • October 2010 to February 2011: Research assistant at the Department of Sociology, University of St. Gallen: Collaboration in the international research project “In the service of public goods: actors, institutions, practices”, funded by SNF, DFG and FWF
  • February 2008 to November 2010: Research assistant at the Institute for Professional Research and Cooperative Knowledge in Education, School of Social Work, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland: Collaboration in the project “Interinstitutional cooperation in the Swiss Welfare State”, funded by the SNSF

Main focus

Martina Koch uses qualitative methods, in particular ethnographic methods to research intervention practices in social work. She is interested in how street-level bureaucracy interferes with the privacy of clients and addressees, primarily in the coercive contexts of adult protection, child protection and social welfare. In a current research project funded by the SNSF, she and her team are investigating how home visits in child and adult protection assessments are intended to make visible (apparently) hidden aspects of the local privacy of the persons concerned. She reconstructs the associated problematisation of autonomous lifestyles as well as the everyday, professional problem work in the organisations studied using practice-analytical approaches.

She is co-editor of the series "Schriften zur Sozialen Frage" at Seismo and is on the board of the research committee "Soziale Probleme" of the Swiss Sociological Association (SSA). She is also a member of the expert committee "Forschung" of the Swiss Social Work Association (SGSA) and a founding member of the expert committee "Wohnen und Soziale Arbeit" of the SGSA. She is also a member of the section "Soziale Probleme und Soziale Kontrolle" and the section "Professionssoziologie" of the German Sociological Association (DGS).

Martina Koch is co-module leader of the modules BA 104 "Philosophy of Science and Introduction to Scientific Work" and BA 273 "Integration and Participation" in the specialisation Migration. Her teaching includes methods of scientific work and writing in education (MA, BA) and in continuing education (CAS). She also supervises student theses (MA Theses, BA Theses, Portfolio) and regularly organises research workshops in the master's programme.

Further information