Robert L. Hellpap

Methods of Empirical Social Research

Research Associate


Institute of Sociology
Building: 1830
Room: 009
Eilfschornsteinstr. 7
​52062 Aachen


Phone: +49 241 80 96229

About me

Currently, I am a research associate at the Institute of Sociology for chair of methods of empirical social research, held by Prof. Thomas Grund. My research focus is on the intersection of social science research questions and quantitative methods, having a strong interest in statistical network models and multilevel analysis. While my expertise is strongest in topics relating to ethnic segregation of friendship networks in school classrooms, my greatest interest is working on exciting applications of statistical methods. Thus, I have been allowed to participate in research projects from a wide variety of topics such as criminology, socio-genomics, ethnic labor market discrimination, relational economics and others.

Since the beginning of my studies I have put a lot of emphasis on teaching basic and advanced statistical methods, and have gained a lot of experience as a tutor as well as a lecturer. Thus, I have developed my teaching to provide a useful toolbox by focusing on examples of application for statistical analysis of real world problems.

In addition to my work in research and teaching, I am responsible for subject advising in the Bachelor's subject Sociology (or Social Sciences with a focus on Sociology).


Academic Positions

Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Germany
Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin (LEIZ)
Research Fellowship

- Analysis of regio-global social networks
- Analysis of corporate communication networks
- Effects of external events on social networks

Since 01/2023

RWTH Aachen Uniersity, Germany
Chair for methods in social science research, Prof. Dr. Thomas Grund

- Research in applied quantitative social network analysis

- Applied quantitative network analysis in R (B.A. – Level)
- Module research practical (M.A.-Level)

Since 01/2022

Zeppelin Universität Friedrichshafen, Germany
Chair for Institutional Economics & Transcultural Leadership, Prof. Josef Wieland

- Involvement in research projects at LEIZ (Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin) on relational economics

- Introduction to social network analysis (B.A. – Level)
- Statistics (B.A – Level)​
Applied social network analysis in R (PhD – Level)

- Organization and administration of the chair


Zeppelin Universität Friedrichshafen, Germany
Methoden-Center for Economic-, Cultural- and Social Sciences
Project staff and teaching substitute

- Lecturer for Statistic and Applied statistics in R with up to 150 students per year
- Project management of the method workshop of the project Forschendes Lernen 2.0
- Deputy Equal Opportunities Officer
- Participation in expert committees


USI Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland
IT Faculty of Economics, Social Network Analysis Research (SONAR) Center
Research Fellow

- Analysis of knowledge transfer networks within a hospital for Prof. Alessandro Lomi

01/2018 – 10/2018

Institute for Futurestudies, Stockholm, Sweden
Research Fellow

- Statistical analysis of the “Children of immigrants longitudinal study (CILS4EU)” for Prof. Carina Mood

01/2017 – 07/2017


Educational Background

Nuffield College scholarship, Oxford University, UK
Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology
Thesis: The role of endogenous network effects for ethnic segregation in classrooms

10/2013 – 10/2019

Utrecht University , Netherlands
Master of Science: Sociology and Social Research
Thesis: Explaining ethnic inequalities in academic achievement with parental capital

09/2011 – 06/2013

Universität Bremen, Germany
Bachelor of Arts: Soziologie
Thesis: Der Effekt von Bildungsidealen auf die Wahrnehmung der Studienbedingungen.

10/2008 – 07/2011



Journal Articles

Thijssen L, van Tubergen F, Coenders M, Hellpap R, Jak S. Discrimination of Black and Muslim Minority Groups in Western Societies: Evidence From a Meta-Analysis of Field Experiments. International Migration Review. November 2021.

Tropf, F. C., Lee, S. H., Verweij, R. M., Stulp, G., van der Most, P. J., de Vlaming, R., Bakshi, A., Briley, D. A., Rahal, C., Hellpap, R., Iliadou, A. N., Esko, T., Metspalu, A., Medland, S. E., Martin, N. G., Barban, N., Snieder, H., Robinson, M. R., & Mills, M. C. (2017). Hidden heritability due to heterogeneity across seven populations. Nature human behaviour, 1(10), 757-765.