Lea Ellwardt

Heisenberg Professor of Sociology at the University of Cologne. Main research areas include healthy aging, social networks and organizations.


Professor of Sociology

I am researching and teaching at the Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology (ISS) at the University of Cologne (UoC) in Germany. Since October 2021, I hold a tenured appointment that is funded by the Heisenberg Programme of the German Research Foundation (DFG) for up to five years.

What I do

My research focuses on the relationship between social networks and well-being. Within this framework, I pursue two research lines: personal networks and health of older adults, and informal networks in organizations. Much of this work involves the application of advanced quantitative methods and has been published in high-ranking international journals.

I am chair of the German research board on social networks (DGS Sektion Soziologische Netzwerkforschung), and member of the Center for Health Services Research Cologne (ZVFK).

Past experiences

Before my current position as Heisenberg Professor, I was appointed as Assistant Professor in the same department, from 2014 to 2021 (including maternity leaves). Prior to that, from 2006 to 2014, I spent eight years at the Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS) at the University of Groningen (RUG) in the Netherlands. My positions there included doctoral researcher, postdoctoral researcher and lecturer. I received my PhD in Sociology from the University of Groningen in 2011.