Doctoral scholarship “Digitally supported instruments for sustainability and biodiversity management of farms” within the interdisciplinary graduate school “Lever to transform agricultural landscapes” (HABIT)

The doctoral project is about developing digitally supported decision-making tools that allow agricultural practice to easily derive scenarios for evaluating the environmental performance of their management practice and at the same time make possible conflicting goals or synergies with their business performance tangible. For this purpose, the scientific basis for the evaluation of environmental services and biodiversity effects is being developed within the scope of this project.

In cooperation with other projects, measurements are carried out in field trials and on farms, and models for the quantitative assessment of environmental performance are developed. These models are validated on the basis of data sets from empirical biodiversity monitoring. An operationalization of the model in an intuitive software solution is also planned.

Biodiversity crisis as topic of the doctoral college: How can a trend reversal for the progressive loss of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes be achieved? This is the central question of the interdisciplinary doctoral program “Levers for a transformation of agricultural landscapes: from biodiversity loss to biodiversity increase” (HABIT). The college comprises twelve doctoral projects that are embedded in a socio-ecological system perspective and approaches to transformation research.

The spectrum of topics ranges from ecological and agronomic questions to socio-economic analyzes to the agricultural policy level, including the behavior of consumers. With an empirical focus on Baden-Württemberg, internationally transferable insights are to be gained that are both scientifically sound and practically solution-oriented.

Connection to two universities: The doctoral college HABIT is a joint project of the University of Hohenheim (UHOH) and the Nürtingen-Geislingen University for Economics and Environment (HfWU). Envisioned start: 01.05.2023 Workplace based at: HfWU Nürtingen-Geislingen Supervision team: Prof. Dr. Markus Frank (HfWU), Prof. Dr. Iris Lewandowski (UHOH)

Scholarship: The scholarship is granted for a period of three years. It includes a standard rate of €1,200/month (€1,360 with a child or €1,410 for two or more children). There are other funding opportunities through the college, e.g. for attending conferences. The scholarship can be increased by up to 25%, for example through project funds from the chair or an additional scholarship.

What we offer

● Opportunity to do a doctorate in a current research area with high social relevance

● Intensive interdisciplinary networking of the scholarship holders, e.g. by sitting in on a doctoral project that is based at the partner university

● Technical and methodical qualification offers as part of the supporting program of the Graduate School of the University of Hohenheim

● Outstanding supervision by a team of two professors, one from the UHOH and one from the HfWU

● Integration into the scientific and social networks of two universities and their institutions  

What we expect:

● Completed master’s degree in the field of agricultural sciences, environmental sciences, geography or similar, with an above-average result

●  First experiences in quantitative and/or qualitative empirical research

●  Knowledge of methods of analyzing qualitative socio-empirical data and/or relevant statistical methods, or a high level of willingness to familiarize yourself with them

●  Willingness and ability to conduct group discussions/workshops with stakeholders

●  Good German and English language skills

●  Knowledge of business models in urban agriculture and cooperative forms of enterprise is an advantage

●  Willingness to actively participate in the events of the doctoral college with regular presentations of your own research

●  Interdisciplinary interest and commitment

●  Willingness and ability to publish research results at conferences and in the specialist literature

●  We particularly welcome applications from around the world or applicants with international experience.

Application deadline : 12.03.2023

Please attach the following documents to your application: Please summarize in one document (pdf format): cover letter (max. one page); CV; Form for recording personal data and services (as a download from the website:; Letter on motivation and on working on the doctoral project (one to two pages) – please answer the following questions:

Why do you want to write a doctoral thesis? What experiences have you had with scientific writing and working so far? What interests you about the doctoral project you are applying for? What ideas or conceptions do you have for the further development of the topic?

Do you have knowledge and experience that could be important for the success of the doctoral project?; university degrees (Bachelor and Master); University entrance qualification (Abitur certificate); Summary of the master’s thesis; if available: letter of recommendation from university lecturer, job references, references. If you have any questions, please contact: Prof. Dr. Markus Frank ( The University of Hohenheim accepts applications via a secure internet site. To the application

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