Collaborative Research Group


University of Münster
University of Bonn

Head of research group
(postdoc, 3 years, possibility for further extension of 3 years)

The Institute of Political Science at the University of Muenster, Germany seeks to employ a head of a research group (postdoctoral research fellow) with a focus on governance and sustainable transformations.

The successful candidate leads the political science subgroup of the collaborative research group: “Transformation and Sustainability Governance in South American Bioeconomies”

Salary Level: 100 % E14 TV-L (Salary per month approx. € 4161 - € 5991)

The position is available starting at the earliest date possible for a three-year period ending on 31 December 2022 with a possibility for further extension of 3 years. Currently the regular full employment time is 39 hours and 50 minutes per week.

About the Position and the Project

Founded in 1780, the University of Muenster is one of the leading German universities with tradition. The collaborative research group is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food Agriculture (BMEL) and consists of two subgroups collaborating at the interface between agricultural economics (Subgroup I, University of Bonn, Prof. Dr. Jan Börner) and political science (Subgroup II, University of Münster, Prof. Dr. Thomas Dietz). Together, the two subgroups focus on sustainable bioeconomic transformation processes in South America.

South American countries are currently major producers of globally traded bio-based commodities. At the same time, the region faces major transformation challenges. While many countries seek to expand their dynamic bioeconomic sectors, it has become obvious that the regional and global socio-economic and ecological risks associated with bioeconomic growth require appropriate safeguards and sustainability strategies. Hence, transformation towards sustainable bioeconomies, vis-à-vis the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, represents a complex governance challenge for most South American countries.

Research is organized in three components that run over a period of three (plus three) years:

1. Country case studies: In depth case studies of local and national scale transformation processes and related political strategies.
2. Comparative analyses: Comparative analyses at regional and global scales to identify enabling factors and impact pathways of bioeconomic transformation processes.
3. Scenarios and governance demands: Interdisciplinary scenario development to support policy design.

Main Tasks

  • Development and management of an international research group on the governance of sustainable bioeconomic transformations
  • Conduction of a comparative case study on the governance of sustainable innovations in the bioeconomy
  • Supervision of 3 doctoral students
  • Publication of articles in leading journals
  • Presentation of research at workshops and conferences
  • Takeover of a lead function in the development of research collaborations with local and national partners in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay
  • Active participation in the development and dissemination of research to support policy design
  • Position Requirements


  • PhD in political science or related discipline with a focus on sustainable innovation governance
  • Demonstrable knowledge of comparative case study design. Demonstrable knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Demonstrable knowledge in the field of governance of sustainable innovations and transformations
  • Excellent command of the English and Spanish language


  • Experience in conducting case study research in South America
  • Existing relations to policy makers and research institutions in Argentina, Brazil or Uruguay
  • Command of the Portuguese language

The University of Muenster is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the proportion of women academics. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. Female candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities.

We also welcome applications from candidates with severe disabilities. Physically challenged candidates with equivalent qualifications will be preferentially considered.

If you wish to know more about this role or for an informal discussion please feel free to contact Prof Thomas Dietz, University of Muenster (

Applicants are requested to send a full CV, list of publications, a statement of interest and contact information of two referees as a single PDF. Applications close midnight Monday 25 November 2019 CET.

Please send your application by email to: