Post-doctoral researcher (Research Associate)

Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
Oldenburg, Germany
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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This major new research project on climate change adaptation is a three-year collaboration between the University of East Anglia, the Dutch Open University and University of Oldenburg (Germany). Each partner is funded by its home country research council, under the Open Research Area in the Social Sciences programme. The project will investigate why societies are currently finding it hard to adapt to climate change. Although adapting to worsening impacts of climate change is one of the biggest global challenges, limited action on the part of public authorities still prevails; institutions, infrastructures, technologies and societal behaviours appear resistant to change. Understanding this gap requires better knowledge of the way societies are governed, going further than current literature's focus on 'barriers to change'. Better explaining what we term 'lock-ins' requires uncovering the dynamics that create and sustain them. That is the aim of this cross-disciplinary study. Taking an empirical, but theoretically reflective, approach, it examines three policy sectors central to climate adaptation - water management, health care, and biodiversity and nature conservation - in three countries: Germany, Netherlands and the UK. Although in principle all three are well equipped to deal with climate adaptation, each is subject to lock-in. The project will use a mixed methods approach to understand why lock-ins arise and persist in each instance, and will employ Qualitative Comparative Analysis to better understand the dynamics of lock-ins as they affect climate adaptation. It will confront observed (in)action with different approaches for explaining lock-ins, advance conceptual and empirical understanding of how lock-ins emerge and endure, and use the findings to provide informed recommendations for the design of more effective adaptation policies.

The successful applicant will be joining the Ecological Economics Group. Within the project, his or her responsibilities include creating a conceptual framework for analysing infra­structural aspects of climate change adaptation, selecting case studies, empirical data gathering for the German cases across water management, health care, and biodiversity and nature conservation sec­tors, data management and preparation for data sharing, synthesising empirical results, and contributing to com­munication, dissemination and transdisciplinary con­ference.

Required skills and experience:

  • Academic university degree (Master or equivalent) in a social science discipline including economics
  • PhD (or equivalent) in a thematically-related discipline
  • Significant previous research experience
  • Knowledge and experience in empirical research methods, preferably including Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)
  • Substantial record of relevant scientific publications including working papers
  • Ability for and willingness to work in a multidisciplinary, international team and to communicate with external partners
  • Very good command of spoken and written English
  • Good IT skills in Microsoft Office Programmes
  • Excellent report writing and presentation skills
  • Good time management and organisational skills

The University of Oldenburg is dedicated to increase the percentage of female employees in the field of science. Therefore, female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. In accordance to § 21 Section 3 NHG, female candidates with equal qualifications will be preferentially considered. The position can also be filled part-time. Applicants with disabilities will be given preference in case of equal qualification.

Applications including a CV, a structured list of publications (including up to three copies of selected publications), a summary of past and present research activities, and copies of academic certificates should be addressed to Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner, Ecological Economics, Department for Economics, Business Administration and Law, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany, Email: Application deadline is 15 February 2019.

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