Job offer : « Junior research group leader for a focus group on marine political ecology (m/f/d) »

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Le Rés-EAUx, association de jeunes chercheur.e.s en sciences sociales sur l’eau, déclare son opposition au projet gouvernemental de réforme des retraites et à celui de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche via la Loi Pluriannuelle de Programmation de la Recherche (LPPR), qui participent à la destruction du service public et à la remise en cause de la protection sociale. Le Rés-EAUx s’associe ainsi à la mobilisation des revues, universités, laboratoires et autres collectifs de l’ESR contre ces projets de réformes gouvernementaux.
The Helmholtz-Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) is a new institute on interdisciplinary marine biodiversity research, established on the campus of the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg. It joins the scientific profiles of the Institute of Chemistry and Biology of Marine Systems (ICBM) Oldenburg and the Alfred Wegener Institute – Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Bremerhaven (AWI). The university is also home to a vibrant Institute of Social Sciences. Within the HIFMB, expertise in marine functional ecology, data science and theory is joined with establishing a strong social science and humanities profile in marine governance.

In this context, we offer a position as a Junior Research Group Leader (f/m/d) for a newly established Focus Group on Marine Political Ecology. The position is open immediately, but a start before July 2020 is welcomed.

Political ecology is the study of the political, economic and social factors under environmental change, with a primary focus on terrestrial, landed, or grounded socio-ecological systems. Marine environmental changes pose a special challenge for this discipline as the socio-political and economic dimension of global change transcend scales of typical governance, from local communities and national contexts to global international bodies beyond state jurisdiction (e.g., with respect to the High Seas and the Area).

With this group, HIFMB intends to establish a research focus on marine political ecology in order to foster the understanding how political environment, economic pressure, and social regulations affect the decisions made about the marine environment as a different space, and at a different scale from regional to national to international levels. A special focus will be on the political context of biodiversity management and conservation, including analysis of ongoing negotiations on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), and critical considerations of other governance tools such as Marine Protected Areas, and Marine Spatial Planning initiatives.

The group contributes to the mission of HIFMB and the Helmholtz program by informing policymakers and organizations of the complexities surrounding marine environmental change and use, thereby contributing to better environmental governance and biodiversity protection.

The group will strongly cooperate with the established professorships at HIFMB (Biodiversity Theory, Marine Conservation, Ecosystem Data Science, and Marine Governance), where especially the Marine Governance group (led by Kimberley Peters) offers potential for joint research. Furthermore, the group will interact with groups at AWI (which) and at the Institute for Social Sciences at UOL. The university and the Northwest Region (including University of Bremen) offer further linkages to foster interdisciplinary and disciplinary collaborations.

The group will be located at HIFMB in Oldenburg and will be equipped with two PhD students and an annual budget. The junior research group leader is further expected to apply for external funding. The teaching obligation is 2 weekly hours (SWS).

  • Academic university degree (Masters or equivalent) and an outstanding PhD in a field related to Political Ecology (Human Geography, Political/Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences, Ecological Economy, Social Sciences, Environmental Humanities or similar).
  • Research experience in marine social sciences or in the connection between social sciences and ecosystem (biodiversity) management, preferentially both.
  • The capacity for independent research conduction, preferentially shown by successful postdoctoral research associated with scientific publications in international journals.
  • Very good English language skills and experience in supervising students.
  • Motivation to work in an interdisciplinary marine research context.
  • We welcome experience in grant applications and an interest to engage in research-stakeholder dialogues.

Further Information
For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Helmut Hillebrand (, +49(471)4831-2542).

This is a full-time position, limited to 5 years. It is also suitable for part-time employment. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 14. The place of employment will be Oldenburg.

This characterizes us
  • our scientific success – excellent research.
  • collaboration and cooperation – intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary.
  • opportunities to develop – on the job, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI.
  • a culture of reconciling work and family – audited, and even more than that.
  • our outstanding research infrastructure – ships, stations, aircraft, laboratories and more.
  • an international environment – everyday contacts with people from all over the world.
  • having an influence – fundamental research with social and political relevance
  • flat hierarchies – freedom and responsibility.
  • exciting topics – also in technology, administration and infrastructure.

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy and we encourage women to apply.

Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present. The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family through various means. Because of our engagement in the area of work-life compatibility we have been awarded the certificate “Career and Family”.

We look forward to your application!
Please forward your application by February 29th, 2020 exclusively online :

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