Research assistant/PhD student (all genders welcome)Department für Agrarökonomie und Rurale Entwicklung

Updated: 3 months ago

Research assistant/PhD student (all genders welcome)
Stellen-ID: 74079
Facility: Department für Agrarökonomie und Rurale Entwicklung
Contact person: Laura Marlene Kmoch
Date of filling: 02.10.2023
Application deadline: 20.06.2023
Application: Link
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At the University of Göttingen -Public Law Foundation-, Department für Agrarökonomie und Rurale Entwicklung, there is a position as

Research assistant/PhD student (all genders welcome)
Entgeltgruppe 13 TV-L/65%

to be filled. Starting date is 10/2/2023. The position is limited to October, 1st, 2027 (48 months).

The research group of Prof. Dr. Tobias Plieninger ‘Social-ecological Interactions in Agricultural Systems’ conducts inter- and transdisciplinary research at the social-ecological interface. Our collaborative research draws on concepts from the sustainability and land system sciences, with a focus on rural landscape change processes, ecosystem services, and sustainability transformations. This broad thematic scope enables the analysis of synergies and trade-offs between diverse production objectives in the agricultural and forestry sectors as well as the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services. The group is involved in teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our department is jointly supported by the University of Kassel and the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

The DFG Research Unit and advertised position
The advertised position is part of the new DFG Research Unit ‘A social-ecological systems approach to inform ecosystem restoration in rural Africa’. Ecosystem restoration has become a global priority. Yet, despite a surge in international attention, the ecological, social, and interlinked social-ecological consequences of restoration activities remain poorly understood. The research unit will approach ecosystem restoration from a social-ecological systems perspective to better understand the mechanisms involved in generating different restoration outcomes. We will integrate diverse disciplines to provide a comprehensive understanding of the past, present and future of ecosystem restoration in our study area in western Rwanda while also generating valuable transferable knowledge for restoration of degraded ecosystems worldwide.

The PhD student will be part of the Research Unit’s sub-project six: ‘Nature’s contributions to people in restoration landscapes in western Rwanda’. The overarching goal of this sub-project is to assess the multiple tangible and intangible benefits that people attribute to ecosystems in restoration landscapes, and to appraise in how far local and distant actor’s plural values, rules and knowledge (VRK) shape and govern nature’s contributions to people (NCP) outcomes. To meet the objective of work package two, the PhD student will combine participatory spatial survey techniques, qualitative interviews, and focus group discussions to map local people’s NCP-related values, rules and knowledge in landscapes where ecosystem restoration takes place.

Your tasks
•  Performance of qualitative interviews, focus group discussions, and participatory mapping with residents of western Rwanda
•  Identification of VRK hotspots and coldspots and development of NCP assessment approaches at landscape scale
•  Contribution to the synthesis of research findings from sub-project six and the DFG research unit
•  Preparation of a cumulative PhD thesis, and publication of project insights in scientific journals and other outlets

Your profile
•  A good or very good University degree (Master or equivalent) in agriculture, forestry, natural resource management, environmental social science or related fields
•  Knowledge of social-ecological research concepts and relevant research methods (as outlined above)
•  First experiences in academic publishing and stakeholder engagement
•  Excellent written and oral command of English
•  Experience working in an interdisciplinary team environment within sustainability science

The position is based in Göttingen (Germany) but requires traveling and extended research stays in Rwanda. Knowledge of Rwandan society, culture and rural landscapes as well as Kinyarwanda, Swahili, French or German language skills are desirable but not required for this position. The position is intended to qualify young scientists and offers the opportunity to prepare a PhD thesis.

The University of Göttingen is an equal opportunities employer and places particular emphasis on fostering career opportunities for women. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply in fields in which they are underrepresented. The university has committed itself to being a family-friendly institution and supports their employees in balancing work and family life. The University is particularly committed to the professional participation of severely disabled employees and therefore welcomes applications from severely disabled people. In the case of equal qualifications, applications from people with severe disabilities will be given preference. A disability or equality is to be included in the application in order to protect the interests of the applicant.

Please upload your application in one pdf file including the usual documents until 6/20/2023 on the application portal of the university using this link: . For more information get in touch with Laura Marlene Kmoch directly via E-Mail:, Tel. 05513924883 .

Please note:
With submission of your application, you accept the processing of your applicant data in terms of data-protection law. Further information on the legal basis and data usage is provided in the Information General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

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