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The UFZ

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

The job

The UFZ will establish a Graduate School within its Research Unit “Environment and Society” on the topic: “Governance Monitor – Tracking and assessing governance narratives for sustainability transformations” The Graduate School consists of four PhD researchers. They will participate in a structured training program that facilitates integration and exchange among the different projects involved as well as within the larger UFZ research context. The PhD projects will develop a scientific basis for the comprehensive, long-term monitoring of political developments related to complex environmental issues, including the governance of bioeconomy, chemicals in the circular economy, and climate extremes. The advertised position is part of this Graduate School.

Your tasks

Indicators play a key role in deciding how we view the successes and failures of governance strategies, and in this regard, the successful candidate will track the diverse narratives in Germany and in Europe regarding the establishment of national and regional monitoring systems for the bioeconomy. This work will identify the indicator sets that further align the current state-of-the-art life cycle assessment tools with the future information demand of bioeconomy monitoring systems. To meet these objectives, the successful candidate will:

  • Analyze narratives in the bioeconomy field to identify key impacts and aspects, from the point of view of different stakeholders, that should be considered in sustainability monitoring
  • Help in further developing existing life cycle tools by introducing socio- economic indicators to assess potential impacts on regional and national stakeholders
  • Evaluate the life cyle impacts of prospective bio-based technologies utilizing the updated toolbox of life cycle approaches
  • Lead the development of a joint guideline for building a narrative monitor within the GOVERNANCE MONITOR graduate school
  • Disseminate the results by publishing in scientific journals as well as by participating in national and international conferences
  • The work will be supervised by Prof. Alberto Bezama as first UFZ and University supervisor, as well as by Prof. Sina Leipold, Dr. Christian Dusny and MSc Walther Zeug as second UFZ supervisors.

    We offer
  • Excellent technical facilities which are without parallel
  • The freedom you need to bridge the difficult gap between basic research and close to being ready for application
  • Work in inter-disciplinary, multinational teams
  • Excellent links with national and international research networks
  • Excellent support and optimal subject-specific and general training with our HIGRADE graduate school
  • Remuneration in accordance with the TVöD public-sector pay grade 13
  • Your profile
  • Master's degree in environmental or process engineering, environmental studies, sustainability sciences or comparable field;
  • Experience with life cycle assessment tools. Familiarity with social LCA is beneficial.
  • Motivation to learn and apply tools and methods from the social sciences for complementing the existing toolbox of life cycle approaches
  • Strong interpersonal skills for engaging in stakeholder assessment
  • Proficiency in English
  • Excellent team work capabilities in a multidisciplinary, international team
  • From this employer

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