Postdoc 2 of 3: Conceptual mapping of social-ecological systems worldwide

Applications for this position have now closed.


Leuphana University Lüneburg (foundation under public law), Faculty of Sustainability, is offering a post as

Postdoctoral Research Associate (social/ecological sciences)
– Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in, salary group E 13 TV-L, full time –

starting at the earliest on 1 December 2014, for a duration of up to 4 years. The position is part of a new, interdisciplinary project funded by the European Research Council entitled:

Identifying social-ecological system properties benefiting biodiversity and food security

This position will focus on:

Conceptual mapping of social-ecological systems worldwide

Ensuring food security and halting biodiversity decline are two of the most urgent (and interconnected) challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. Taking a social-ecological systems perspective, this new project seeks to identify synergies between food security and biodiversity conservation. A multi-scale approach will be used to balance the trade-offs between depth and generality. First, we will develop a global database of social-ecological systems, relating their general properties to indicators of food security and biodiversity. Second, we will conduct in-depth workshops on 15-20 social-ecological systems worldwide to reveal in more detail the causal linkages between system properties, food security and biodiversity. Third, we will conduct an in-depth empirical case study on food security and biodiversity in Ethiopia. Further details are available at:

We work within a vibrant, interdisciplinary environment with many links to other research groups around the world.

Tasks and responsibilities for this position will include: (1) organizing and carrying out expert workshops in approximately 15 different (potentially food insecure) locations around the world; (2) eliciting a dynamic social-ecological systems understanding in these workshops, specifically around issues of food security and biodiversity; (3) qualitative data analysis; (4) publication of manuscripts; and (5) co-supervision of PhD students.

Essential selection criteria are: (a) Strong publication record relative to opportunity; (b) Experience with stakeholder engagement in a social science context; (c) Experience with participatory methods eliciting systems dynamics, such as causal loop diagrams or cognitive mapping; (d) Strong organizational skills, e.g. to schedule and adapt workshops to local conditions; (e) Highly developed qualitative data analysis skills; (f) Ability to work, at times, independently and with minimal supervision; (g) Ability and willingness to co-supervise PhD students; (h) Ability and willingness to work collaboratively in a team, including with people of different nationality, religion, gender and ethnicity; (i) Willingness to assist with a moderate amount of teaching; (j) Willingness to travel; and (k) PhD or equivalent doctoral degree.

Additional desirable selection criteria are: (l) Experience in an interdisciplinary context; and (m) Experience in developing countries.

Please address all selection criteria under clearly labeled headings in up to one short paragraph each. Please also send a motivation letter stating why you are interested in the position, a CV (including publications), copies of relevant certificates and transcripts, and the names of up to three academic referees.

Application deadline: 31 July 2014

Please submit all materials in PDF format (preferably as a single merged file) with the subject “Food & Biodiversity PD2” to and cc

You may submit hard copy applications (not preferred!) to Leuphana University Lüneburg, Personalservice, Katrin Severloh, Scharnhorststr. 1, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany.

For questions, please contact Prof. Joern Fischer (

Leuphana University Lüneburg is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering heterogeneity among its employees. Applications by qualified individuals of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged. Disabled applicants with equal qualifications will be given priority consideration.


One thought on “Postdoc 2 of 3: Conceptual mapping of social-ecological systems worldwide

  1. Pingback: New postdoc and PhD positions (food security and biodiversity) | Ideas for Sustainability

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