PhD scholarship within the research group “Levers for the Transformation of Agricultural Landscapes” (HABIT): Project ” Agricultural policy scenarios for biodiversity-friendly land use options in peripheral areas and their socio-economic analysis”.

PhD scholarship within the interdisciplinary research group “Levers for the Transformation of Agricultural Landscapes” (HABIT): Project ” Agricultural policy scenarios for biodiversity-friendly land use options in peripheral areas and their socio-economic analysis” Biodiversity crisis as a topic of the doctoral program How can a turnaround be achieved for the progressive loss of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes?

This is the central question of the interdisciplinary doctoral college “Levers for a Transformation of Agricultural Landscapes: from Biodiversity Loss to Biodiversity Enhancement” (HABIT). The Research Training Group comprises twelve doctoral projects embedded in a socio-ecological systems perspective and approaches to transformation research.

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

Connection to two universities The doctoral program HABIT is a joint project of the University of Hohenheim (UHOH) and the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Sciences (HfWU). The two universities combine expertise in the fields of agricultural research, landscape ecology and planning, nature and environmental protection, and consumer research in Baden-Württemberg and beyond. The UHOH is characterized by scientific excellence and regularly achieves top positions in international rankings for the field of agricultural research.

The Hohenheim Research Centre for Global Food Security and Ecosystems (GFE) as well as the Competence Centre for Biodiversity and Integrative Taxonomy (KomBioTa) offer excellent connection opportunities for the scholarship holders of the college. The HfWU conducts applied research and teaching. It sees itself as a model university for sustainable development and, with the Centre for Sustainable Development (ZNE), has a central scientific institution that promotes and networks research, teaching and transfer into practice in the field of sustainable development.

The scholarship holders are each supervised by a professor from the UHOH and the HfWU and thus benefit from the expertise and networks of both universities. This is further developped through a qualification program jointly supported by the universities for the scholarship holders and an obligatory observation period at the university at which the scholarship holder is not primarily based.  

PhD project “Agricultural policy scenarios for biodiversity-friendly land use options in peripheral areas and their socio-economic analysis”. The aim of this research project is to link existing (small-scale) vegetation dynamics computer simulations for extensive grazing areas with socio-economic and agricultural policy modelling at higher spatial scales. Various methodological forms of model coupling or aggregation are possible here, which are to be analyzed and tested within the framework of this project. The focus here is on extensive pastures in peripheral areas such as those found in the low mountain ranges and the Alps.

They are regionally of varying importance both as a direct source of income and indirectly through the preservation of the landscape and its biodiversity. However, the agricultural interest in such areas has declined, so that their preservation is endangered. Therefore, an embedding in the socio-economic context and the agricultural policy support landscape is necessary.

Adaptation reactions in peripheral regions and, in particular, the ecological-socio-economic dynamics of extensive pastures is an aspect of research that has not yet been sufficiently addressed in agricultural policy modelling. This is where the research project comes in. Planned start: 01.10.2023 Workplace located at: University of Hohenheim, Department of Agricultural and Food Policy (420a) Supervision team: Prof. Dr. Christine Wieck (UHOH), JProf. Dr. Arndt Feuerbacher (UHOH), Prof. Dr. Alexander Peringer (HfWU)

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 € with two or more children). There are further funding opportunities through the Kolleg, e.g. for conference visits. The scholarship can be topped up by up to 25%, for example through project funds from the chair or a supplementary scholarship.

What we offer PhD opportunity 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 at the partner university. Professional and methodological qualification offers as part of the accompanying program of the Graduate School of the University of Hohenheim Excellent 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 Participation in selected and professionally appropriate courses of the Germany-wide doctoral college “Agricultural Economics”.

What we expect

  1. ● Completed Master’s degree with above-average results
  2. ● Willingness to actively participate in the events of the doctoral college with regular presentations of the own research status
  3. ● Interdisciplinary interest and commitment
  4. ● Willingness and ability to publish research results at conferences and in the specialist literature
  5. ● Very good English language skills; German language skills are an “asset” for integration in the team at the department
  6. ● Good knowledge of agricultural practices
  7. ● Very good knowledge of econometrics/statistics, policy modelling and agricultural and biodiversity policy (preferably with a country focus on the European Union)
  8. ● Very good software knowledge of R, Stata and GAMS is necessary.
  9. ● To strengthen the internationality of the research group, a second country focus for agricultural and biodiversity policy on e.g. an African country is desirable
  10. We particularly welcome applications from international countries or applicants with international experience.

Please attach the following documents to your application:

Please apply by 24.06.2023 via the portal of the University of Hohenheim: Please enclose the following documents with your application, summarized in one document (pdf format):

  1. ● Cover letter (max. one page) Curriculum vitae
  2. ● Form for recording personal data and achievements
  3. ● Letter on motivation and processing of the doctoral project (one to two pages):

Please be guided by the following questions: Why do you want to write a doctoral thesis? What experience have you had so far with scientific writing and working? 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 any knowledge or experience that could be important for the success of the doctoral project? University degree certificates (Bachelor’s and Master’s) Summary of the Master’s thesis (maximum 2 pages) Name of two persons as references. If you have any questions, please contact: Prof. Dr. Christine Wieck. The University of Hohenheim accepts applications via a secure internet site. To the application

Application deadline : 24.06.2023

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