Open postdoc position in new project on biocultural diversity

By Jan Hanspach

I am looking for a postdoc in a new interdisciplinary research project called “Biocultural diversity in farming landscapes of the Global South”. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within their Research for Sustainable Development program. The project will study the connection between biocultural diversity and sustainable development through (I) a literature review, (II) empirical fieldwork in Bolivia and (III) workshops in a range of different farming landscapes in the Global South. The postdoc would mainly be responsible for field work in Bolivia, which will be realized together with two PhD students.

Below is a a copy of the job advertisement. The original can be found on the Leuphana website here. Please note that the application deadline is March 13 – so only three weeks from now.

Bolivia is a country with a high biocultural diversity, i.e. a large diversity of ecological and cultural conditions that have co-evolved during a long history of interactions. This project will study the characteristics of this biocultural diversity and how it can contribute a sustainable development.

And here is the full advert:

Leuphana University of Lüneburg stands for innovation in education and scholarship based on the values of a humanistic, sustainable and entrepreneurial university. The collaborative search for knowledge and viable solutions in the areas of education, culture, sustainability as well as management and entrepreneurship defines the university model with its award-winning College, Graduate School and Professional School. Methodological diversity and interdisciplinary cooperation characterize our academic understanding.

Leuphana University of Lüneburg (foundation under public law), Faculty of Sustainability, has a vacancy for a full-time (100 %)
Research Associate (m/f/d)
salary group EG 13 TV-L

starting 1 June 2019 for a fixed term of 5 years.

The position is part of a new interdisciplinary research project funded by German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) entitled “Biocultural diversity in farming landscapes of the Global South”. The project will systematically assess how biocultural diversity is linked with indicators of sustainability and how fostering biocultural diversity can contribute to a sustainable development. A key component of the project will be empirical research in a case study area in Bolivia. This will be realized through ecological and social science field work on values, knowledge and practices as well as the corresponding formal and informal institutional settings.

Your tasks:
• Coordinate and conduct field work in the case study area;
• Conduct a governance and actor analysis around biocultural diversity in the Bolivia case study
• Identify development priorities in the Bolivia case study;
• Conduct a study on informal institutions and the role of gender in the maintenance of biocultural diversity in the Bolivia case study;
• Support PhD students and supervise master and bachelor students;
• Engage with local communities and experts in the case study area;
• Organize and conduct interviews and workshops in close collaboration with local NGOs and universities in Bolivia.

Your profile:
• Completed academic university degree (Master or equivalent) in environmental science, the social sciences or another relevant field;
• PhD or equivalent doctoral degree in a topic relevant to the project (e.g. biocultural diversity, governance, actor analysis);
• Strong qualitative analysis skills;
• Ability and enthusiasm to work in an intercultural and interdisciplinary group;
• Experience with field work in Latin America;
• Willingness to spend extended periods of time for field work in Bolivia;
• Excellent communication skills in Spanish (native speakers preferred);
• Strong communication and writing skills in English; and
• Strong research track record.

We offer:
• Flexible and family-friendly working hours
• Internal and external CPD courses
• University sports and health promotion measures for employees
• Employer-funded pension

Leuphana University of Lüneburg is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering heterogeneity among its staff. Disabled applicants with equal qualifications will be given priority consideration. We are looking forward to receiving your application.

Your application:
Please address all selection criteria under clearly labeled headings in up to one short paragraph each. Please also send a CV (including publications), copies of relevant certificates and transcripts, and the names of up to three academic referees. For questions, please contact Dr. Jan Hanspach (

Please send your application by March 13, 2019 preferably electronically (as a single merged pdf file) or by mail to:

Leuphana University of Lüneburg
Personalservice, Corinna Schmidt
Subject: Postdoc-BioKultDiv
Universitätsallee 1
21335 Lüneburg

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