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Post-Doc – Governance of sustainability transformations

The Chair of Societal Transition and Circular Economy invites applications for the position of Post-Doc – Governance of sustainability transformations
  • Bewerbungsfrist: 27.01.2021
  • Veröffentlicht: 12.01.2021
  • Start-date: At the earliest possible date.
  • Fulltime position
  • Kennziffer: 00001385



What makes sustainability transitions last? This is a core question of sustainability scientists around the world. The aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdowns is a propitious moment to understand how impulses for radical change and path dependencies interact – a critical area of future research. This project uses this moment to identify key factors that enable radical change and prevent relapses, using examples of mobility and/or circular economy transformations in cities. As the duration of the current crisis is uncertain and progressing climate change will likely confront us with other crises in the future, it will be critical for human development to determine how such crises can become an opportunity – rather than a threat – for the transition towards a sustainable society.

Task description

  • Development of a research program to further qualify for an advanced academic career, including:
    • Development of empirical research to advance our understanding of transition processes in cities
    • Elaboration of journal and conference papers in collaboration with the transition group and international partners
    • Preparation of research project proposals at national, European and international level (e.g. DFG, BMBF,
  • Collaboration with the transition group’s non-academic partners (i.e. public administration and policy, civil society, business, cultural institutions)
  • Support in communicating and disseminating research outputs and outcomes to diverse audiences inside and outside the academic sector
  • Participate in the supervision of BSc/MSc/PhD theses and teaching at the Faculty

Required competencies/qualifications

  • Excellent university degree (Master, Diploma) in any pertinent field
  • Excellent dissertation (Ph.D.) in social sciences and/or sustainability sciences or transition studies, including any pertinent intersections with other fields
  • Knowledge and experience in sustainability transition studies
  • Knowledge of interpretive research approaches, e.g. narratives or discourses
  • Knowledge of urban mobility is a desirable asset
  • Interest in ecological-economic modeling, ecological footprint accounting, life-cycle assessment
  • Demonstrated experience in publishing in peer-reviewed journals, documented by own publications
  • Ability to attract competitive research grants
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and self-organized
  • Collaboration and leadership skills
  • English language proficiency (CEFR level C1 or higher) and working knowledge of German

We offer

The position presents the chance to be part of an interdisciplinary group committed to cutting-edge research in sustainability science. Your position includes the possibility to acquire further training related to your professional development (https://www.frs.uni-freiburg.de/kurse_postdocs-en/index-en?set_language=en) or teaching and supervision (https://www.hochschuldidaktik.uni-freiburg.de). You will be located in an interdisciplinary department (focusing on environmental and social science research) with renowned staff, excellent research networks and an international, multi-disciplinary student body in the heart of the Black Forest.

Application documents

Please send a cover and motivation letter (in English, 2 pages max.), a CV, an example of your scientific writing, copies of relevant certificates and transcripts, and contact details of at least two references.

The position is to be filled for a 1-year term with the option of a 1-year extension. The salary will be determined in accordance with TV-L E13.

We are particularly pleased to receive applications from women for the position advertised here.


Please send your application in English including supporting documents mentioned above citing the reference number 00001385, by 27.01.2021 at the latest. Please send your application to the following address in written or electronic form:

University of Freiburg
Chair of Societal Transition and Circular Economy
Sina Leipold
Tennenbacher Str. 4
79106 Freiburg
E-Mail (please one PDF file):

For further information, please contact Sina Leipold on the phone number +49 761 203-8678 or E-Mail sina.leipold@transition.uni-freiburg.de.