PhD-position (m/f/d) (TV-L E13, 65%) in the field of transformation of agriculture: In the context of the Horizon Europe project trans4num (Transformation for sustainable nutrient supply and management), the Department for Communication and Advisory Services in Rural Areas and the Hohenheim Research Center for Global Food Security and Ecosystems are setting up a dedicated team to implement the Euro-Sino research project. The project will be funded by the European Commission under Horizon Europe for the duration of 48 months, starting 1 Dec 2022.

The research project trans4num aspires to substantiate and broadly promote Nature-based solution innovations (NBS) for sustainable agriculture in Europe and China. In particular, trans4num will focus on nutrient management (bio-based nutrient sources, sustainable crop rotations, optimization of nutrient flows) and will 1) develop a differentiated understanding of NBS potentials for achieving sustainable agricultural practices, 2) study the complexities of applying NBS, 3) develop a dynamic and smart nutrient management tool to support regional decision making for optimum nutrient supply, and 4) assess the (net) impact of technological and social innovations as well as policies related to NBS.

The partners will be organized in 2 parallel consortia in Europe and China, with University of Hohenheim as coordinator of the European consortium. The PhD position is expected to start in March 2023, running for a period of 36 months.


In the team of social scientists, you will work on conceptual and empirical parts that support the transformation of agricultural towards an increased implementation of NBS. In particular, you will

  • Identify transformation pathways, hindering and fostering factors for applying innovative NBS with the SET approach based on a comprehensive literature review;
  • map actors, institutions and interactions that matter for promising NBS innovation processes by using the agricultural knowledge and innovation system (AKIS) perspective through desk research and empirical field work and
  • support the assessment of NBS as social innovations and their transformational potentials in participatory scenario studies with stakeholder panels across the study sites.  


Excellent completion of a Master in Rural Sociology, Agricultural Socioeconomics or a related field;

  • Experiences with empirical field work, a good command of social science research methods and, the analysis of qualitative and quantitative social data;
  • Excellent oral and written communication as well as team work skill;
  • Experiences with participatory, inter- and/or transdisciplinary research approaches are an advantage;
  • First publication experiences with an international peer-reviewed journal is another advantage.

Application deadline: 3 October 2022

  • Funding is available 36 months, expected start in March 2023.
  • Please attach the following documents to your application: Letter of motivation, your curriculum vitae, a current list of publications, as well as references and certificates.
  • The interviews will be scheduled for calendar week 41 (10-14 Oct 2022).
  • The University of Hohenheim seeks to increase the proportion of women in research and teaching, and strongly encourages qualified female candidates to apply. With equal qualifications, preference will be given to candidates with disabilities.  

The University of Hohenheim is a campus university located in the south of Stuttgart, Germany. Its primary areas of specialization had traditionally been agricultural and natural sciences. The University of Hohenheim has been ranked on Agricultural Research, Nutritional Science, and Food Science #1 in Germany and is among the best in Europe.

Application deadline : 03.10.2022

The University of Hohenheim accepts applications via a secure internet site. To the application

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