Vacancy: PhD Research Position – The Institute for Environmental Systems Research (IUSF)

The Institute for Environmental Systems Research (IUSF) of the University of Osnabrück has an opening for a PhD Research Position (salary scale 13 TV-L, 65%) for the duration of three years, starting 01.06.2017.

The position is embedded in a 3-year research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF): Erhöhung der STEuerungskompetenz zur ERreichung der Ziele eine integrierten Wassermanagement (STEER). STEER has partners from science and practice and is part of a series of projects funded by the BMBF under the umbrella of the program “Global Resource Water”. The goal of STEER is to identify, together with stakeholders, approaches to increase governance capacity with respect to dealing with complex water resource problems and systemic challenges with a focus on improving coordination and cooperation. A diagnostic toolbox will be developed, which is suitable for application in different institutional and environmental contexts. Case studies are conducted in Germany, Spain, South Africa and Mongolia. The Toolbox, together with an interactive, expandable case study database, supports an international learning process and exchange of experience. STEER aims at making a major contribution to the implementation of the integrated water management target of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Your tasks:

  • Empirical comparative analysis of coordination structures and governance gaps in case studies in Germany (Weser-Ems) and South Africa (Umgeni (case study
  • Participatory assessment of governance deficits and development of solutions in close co-operation with stakeholders in the case studies; and
  • Collaboration in the development of a diagnostic toolbox.

Required Qualifications:

  • Academic degree in Applied System Sciences, Resources Management, Environmental Sciences, Geography or related interdisciplinary programs; and
  • Very good command of German and English.

Ideally, you have experience in:

  • Experience in the analysis of water governance and management systems
  • Combining quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Participatory modelling with stakeholders
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration

We offer:

  • an excellent scientific and interdisciplinary research environment, the opportunity to work in a dynamic team and to combine basic with applied research and implementation on policy relevant themes in the national and international context.
  • exchange in interdisciplinary networks, in particular the Sustainable Water Future Programme, a core project of Future Earth.

As a certified family-friendly institution, Osnabrück University is committed to furthering the compatibility between work/studies and family life. As an employer, Osnabrück University is
particularly concerned with creating equality opportunities for women and men. Women with relevant qualifications are therefore strongly encouraged to apply for the position.
Furthermore, qualified applicants with disabilities will be favoured.


  • Please email Ms. Elke Altekruse with a statement of interest, CV, transcripts, and the names and contact addresses of three academic references (in one pdf file) by April 09. 2017.
  • For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Claudia Pahl-Wostl.
  • Download PhD Research Position Information (PDF, 89kb)