Offer 153 out of 417 from 31/05/24, 08:39


Leib­niz-Zen­trum für Agrar­land­schafts­for­schung e.V. - HR

The mission of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) as a nationally and internationally active research institute is to deliver solutions for an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable agriculture – together with society. ZALF is a member of the Leibniz Association and is located in Müncheberg (approx. 35 minutes by regional train from Berlin-Lichtenberg). The institute also maintains locations in Dedelow and Paulinenaue.

PhD Researcher (f/m/d)

The Agroecology4Climate project is co-funded by the Canadian New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF), the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Brazilian FAPESP and will use a novel methodology to test the relationships between personal, political, and practical leverage points driving the (agroecological) transition towards diversified perennial systems (e.g. agroforestry) to support climate adaptation (improving resilience in livelihoods and food security) and mitigation (increasing carbon sequestration). We understand agroecological transitions as the intentional diversification of farming in collaboration with social networks to create landscapes that foster honored work, conservation of biodiversity, and climate resilience.

The Agroecology4Climate project builds on transdisciplinary research on agroecological transitions with climate-vulnerable farming communities in Canada (British Columbia Lower Mainland), Germany (Brandenburg), India (Kerala), and Brazil (São Paulo). The project works directly with farming communities, social movements, and policy makers to improve evidence-based decision-making to assess the potential of agroecological transitions for climate adaptation and mitigation. The project consortium includes as academic partners the University of British Columbia (UBC), University of Hohenheim (UHOH), State University of São Paolo (UNESP), Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) and the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), as well as farming associations and/or cooperatives in all four case study regions.

The project has 3 main objectives: 1) evidence synthesis to test the relationships between personal, political, and practical leverage points driving the adoption of agroforestry and other diversified perennial systems, 2) field studies to test climate mitigation and adaptation outcomes across a diversification gradient, from low-diversity farming systems to perennial and agroforestry-based management systems, 3) scaling transformations through co-production of knowledge both locally within case studies and globally across case studies.

We are offering a PhD position (65% position) for three years, starting August 1st at our location in Müncheberg as PhD Researcher (f/m/d).

Working field:

The PhD researcher will contribute to the project Agroecological Transitions for Climate Adaptation and Mitigation (Agroecology4Climate). The PhD will be co-supervised by project partners at UHOH and will be expected to spend some time at UHOH in Stuttgart, Germany.

The role of the PhD position will be to carry out participatory research with farmer organizations in Brandenburg and sample farms and organizations across a diversification gradient from low-diversity farming systems to highly networked, perennial management systems. The PhD will then use qualitative and quantitative methods to assess climate resilience outcomes and estimate the potential of scaling adoption of perennial practices.

  • independently carry out inter- and transdisciplinary research on agroecological transitions in Brandenburg that will result in a cumulative PhD thesis
  • leading the field study in Brandenburg by conducting transdisciplinary research with project partners from the AbL and Demeter to carry out on-farm research together with farmers
  • develop and deepen stakeholder networks with important actors for agroecological transitions in Brandenburg
  • conduct qualitative interviews, mixed method surveys, and field sampling (e.g. soil carbon, above-ground carbon, creating land cover maps of farms)
  • assess farmers’ management practices, farm productivity, and participation in agroecological movements
  • discussing, integrating, and sharing results with project partners
  • attending regular project meetings and workshops
    Lead the writing of scientific publications, as well as contribute to other research outputs, e.g., reports, and communication/engagement materials for local stakeholders


  • MSc in agroecology, geography, interdisciplinary environmental sciences, agricultural sciences or related field
  • strong interest in sustainability issues as they pertain to the agri-food system
  • good understanding of agri-food and/or socio-environmental systems. Knowledge about the Brandenburg context would be an asset
  • experience with inter- or transdisciplinary sustainability research. Experience in conducting participatory, on-farm research and working with stakeholders would be a strong asset
  • strong analytical skills
  • existing knowledge of comparative and/or interdisciplinary quantitative and qualitative scientific methods, e.g. experimental design, field (soil, plant, biodiversity) sampling, above-ground carbon measurements, farmer surveys, focus groups, text coding and content analysis, statistics, GIS or land cover mapping
  • experience working with agroecological data collection methods (e.g. TAPE) would be an asset
  • knowledge of MAXQDA, Nvivo or similar software as well as experience with the software R is desirable, but not a prerequisite
  • strong interest in working with a transdisciplinary and international project team
  • as an internationally research institution, located in Germany we require good to very good written and spoken English skills and the willingness to take part in further training as part of the language courses in German offered internally
  • commitment to contribute to a positive work environment and group learning processes
  • organizational skills and ability to work independently. Organizational skills and ability to work independently

What we offer:

  • opportunity to work in an international inter- and transdisciplinary research project including collaboration with research and community partners from four case study regions from across four continents
  • opportunity to work in an exciting solutions-oriented research project that aims to contribute new societally relevant knowledge to support sustainability transformations
  • opportunity to gain insights into current research topics and innovative research methods in the field of sustainable agriculture and food systems
  • an opportunity to engage with diverse producers in the countryside surrounding Berlin
  • flexible working time in consultation with the team
  • a pleasant, highly collaborative and inclusive working atmosphere
  • remuneration according to the collective agreement of the federal states (TV-L) up to E13 (including special annual payment); it is a 65% position due to it being for qualification
  • company ticket
  • in-house language courses in German and English

How to apply:

Women are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications from severely disabled persons with equal qualifications are favored. Please enclose the following documents with your application: short letter of motivation, curriculum vitae (CV), current transcripts (proof of qualitation and certificates) and contact information of 2 professional references. Please send your application preferably online (see button online application below). For e-mail applications, create a PDF document (one PDF file, max. 5 MB; packed PDF documents, archive files like zip, rar etc. Word documents cannot be processed and therefore cannot be considered!). Applications should state the reference number 50-2024 until June 21, 2024 to (see button e-mail application below).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: Dr. Maria Lee Kernecker, email:; Tel. +49 (0) 33432/82-448.

For cost reasons, application documents or extensive publications can only be returned if an adequately stamped envelope is attached.

If you apply, we collect and process your personal data in accordance with Articles 5 and 6 of the EU GDPR only for the processing of your application and for purposes that result from possible future employment with the ZALF. Your data will be deleted after six months.