PhD Researcher: Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) – Leipzig, Germany (possible remote)

Apply to this PhD Researcher: Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) – Leipzig, Germany (possible remote).


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: PhD Researcher: Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) – Leipzig, Germany (possible remote)

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.

PhD Researcher (f/m/x) – Digital humanities in the field of climate change adaptation (Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology)

Working time: 65 % (25,35 hours/week).

Contract duration: The position is initially limited to 36 months.
Earliest start date: July 1, 2023

Your tasks: PhD Researcher: Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) – Leipzig, Germany (possible remote)

Adapting to the impacts of extreme events, such as floods and droughts, is becoming increasingly urgent.

Governments across the globe have set high ambitions to become more climate resilient. In order to understand if these ambitions are being implemented in practice, it is crucial to monitor progress in adaptation efforts.

We are looking for a creative Ph.D. researcher who is enthusiastic about investigating ongoing climate change adaptation developments and discourse. A mixed methods approach, including digital humanities and computational social science tools, will be used. For this position, you will:

  • Apply digital humanities methods such as natural language processing (NLP), social network analysis (SNA), and related methods to track the discourse on climate adaptation
  • Investigate how the occurrence of disasters influences the implementation of adaptation measures by integrating different data types
  • Develop 3 scientific publications which will form the basis for your Ph.D. thesis
  • Share your research findings and insights with the scientific community by presenting your work at national and international conferences

Prof. Christian Kuhlicke (University of Potsdam) will be the University supervisor, and you will work closely with Dr. Mariana Madruga de Brito at UFZ, as well as three other Ph.D. candidates working on similar topics.

We offer

  • A vibrant research community in an open, diverse and international work environment
  • Scientific excellence and extensive professional networking opportunities
  • Excellent support and optimal subject-specific and general training with the UFZ HIGRADE graduate school
  • Remuneration in accordance with the TVöD public-sector pay grade 13
  • We support a good work-life balance with the possibility of part-time employment and flexible working hours
  • Numerous company health management offerings
  • An employer subsidy for the VVO job ticket
  • PhD enrolment at the University of Potsdam

Your profile: PhD Researcher: Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) – Leipzig, Germany (possible remote)

Completed Master’s degree in digital humanities, geography, sociology, computational social sciences, or related discipline

Interest in climate change adaptation dynamics, particularly in the context of floods and droughts

Strong methodological background, including both qualitative and quantitative methods

Programming skills (e.g. R or Python) are beneficial

Ability to collaborate in an interdisciplinary setting as the team consists of scientists from the social and environmental sciences.

Proficiency in English

Apply now

Application deadline: 16.05.2023

Place of work

Leipzig, remote work possible some days of the week

Working time

65% (25,35 hours/week)

The job position is available for full-time or part-time employment.

Contract limitations

limited contract / 36 months


Remuneration according to the TVöD public-sector up to pay grade 13 including attractive public-sector social security benefits.


Your contact for any questions you may have about the job:
Mariana Madruga de Brito ([email protected])
Christian Kuhlicke, ([email protected])




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Simon Tyrus Caine is a solar energy expert with more than 10 years experience in the solar sector. Simon has worked and lived in more than 5 countries. Simon has been involved in solar installations, solar project development, solar financing as well as business development in the solar sector. At SolarEyes International, Simon manages content development and day to day operations of the organisation.

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