CFA: Two Early Stage Researcher Positions

Two Early Stage Researcher (Doctoral Researcher) Positions:

1. Transforming the Bavarian Forest: Socio-ecological Crises, Community Resilience, and Sustainability from a Historical Perspective
2. Community Transformation and Ecological Restoration in Portland, Oregon and Munich, Bavaria

The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society is seeking two highly motivated Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to undertake doctoral studies and participate in a broad range of scientific and professional training as part of an H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network in Resourceful and Resilient Community Environmental Practice (RECOMS).


RECOMS is comprised of a transdisciplinary consortium of scientists, practitioners, and change agents from eleven public (universities and government research centers), private, and nonprofit organizations, located in six European Union countries: Austria, Belgium, England, Finland, Germany, and The Netherlands. It is funded by the European Commission (2018–2022). The purpose of RECOMS is to train 15 ESRs (doctoral candidates) in innovative, transdisciplinary, and transformative approaches to promoting and facilitating resourceful and resilient community environmental practice. By delivering an advanced program of training in both scientific and professional skills, RECOMS will enable ESRs to pursue an academic career or high-level professional career in the public, private, or third sector (e.g., government, university, NGO, consultancy, business or charitable body). For further information on RECOMS and for a full list of the 15 ESR doctoral positions currently open for recruitment please see here:



For individual project information, please click on the positions above. All RECOMS ESRs will take part in collaborative research and training activities and will receive full funding and comprehensive academic support and supervision for their doctoral research project. If you are highly motivated, prepared to think and learn across disciplines, institutional boundaries, and wider society, and wish to be part of an international network specializing in resourceful and resilient community environmental practice, then one of these ESR vacancies could be the ideal appointment for you.

RECOMS ESRs will be supervised both by academic and nonacademic partners and will be encouraged to critically, practically, and creatively explore the contribution of and relationships between their individual doctoral study projects across three interconnecting research themes:
• Empowering and unlocking the potential of vulnerable communities to become more resourceful.
• Strengthening the adaptive and transformative capacity of local groups through resourceful environmental practice as critical to building community resilience.
• Encouraging a more just and inclusive approach to stimulating community resourcefulness by nurturing broader participation in resourceful environmental practices.

A core feature of the RECOMS program—both with respect to informing the design and delivery of all the training, as well as enabling and maximizing opportunities for knowledge exchange through research and associated outputs—will be the incorporation of a broad range of visual and creative research methods and modes of communication.



Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich
Two ESRs will be recruited by Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) at LMU Munich. The RCC is an international, interdisciplinary center for research and education in the environmental humanities and social sciences. A nonprofit institution, the RCC was founded in 2009 as a joint initiative of Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Deutsches Museum, with the generous support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The RCC’s mission is to advance research and discussion concerning the interrelationship between humans and nature. We contribute to public and scholarly debates about past transformations and future challenges in environment and society. Our work harnesses the interpretative power of the humanities and social sciences to contextualize technologies, economies, and policies. By bringing together scholars who work in various disciplines and national contexts, and communicating the results of their research, the RCC aims to internationalize the environmental humanities and to raise its profile as a globally significant and growing field.

The two ESRs will be fully integrated into the RCC’s Doctoral Program in Environment and Society, which is home to around 30 doctoral students from a range of different disciplines. The doctoral program schedules regular colloquiua and academic events and provides workspaces and institutional infrastructure, as well as numerous opportunities for students to network with each other, with RCC fellows, and with academic and nonacademic partners in Munich and beyond.



– Applicants MUST—as of 1 September 2018—be an “early stage researcher”: they must be within the first four years of their research career and NOT already hold a doctoral degree.
– Applicants MAY NOT have resided in or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to their recruitment. (Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.)

– A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline with final marks that correspond to the 2,0 (Magna Cum Laude / “Good”) in the German system.
– Excellent English language proficiency both orally and in writing.

Knowledge and Experience
– Degree-level knowledge of contemporary issues and theories in environmental history, human geography, sociology, politics, planning, or a related social science discipline.
– Research experience in the field of the specific ESR position.
– Knowledge and/or experience of collaborative approaches to sustainable resource management.
– Knowledge and experience of qualitative research methods.

Additional Requirements
– In accordance with the mobility goals of Marie Curie Innovative Training Networks, appointed candidates will be required to visit other network partners for secondments and attend research and training events for the network. Whilst the individual training events will require short-stay travel only (1–2 weeks), the secondments (which will be hosted by the consortium institutions) will each require a residence of three months. The costs of travel and secondments will be met by the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions program.
– Candidates should possess a strong affinity with the RECOMS topic, be keen to develop multi- and transdisciplinary forms of research, and be motivated to gain a broad and advanced range of academic and professional skills.
– Candidates should understand the aims, rules, and procedures of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks.
– Candidates should have an interest in visual and creative methods and forms of communication. Whilst evidence of direct prior experience of this is desirable, it is not essential.
– Both the ability to work as part of a team and the ambition to engage in participatory and collaborative forms of research and learning are essential.
– Candidates will be expected both to work under supervision, and also to take full responsibility for individual tasks.



Benefits and Salary
The annual gross salary is approximately 36,830 Euros. All ESRS are full-time staff members of LMU Munich and will receive standard benefits, which are deducted from the gross salary. The average annual net salary is 22,800 Euros.

ESRs with a family (legal spouse and/or children) at the start of their term (i.e., 1 September 2018) are also eligible for the family allowance, which is 500 Euros per month (gross and also subject to taxes, etc.).

In addition to being enrolled for doctoral study, appointed candidates will benefit from research collaboration within the RECOMS network, extensive joint training opportunities, and collaboration with nonacademic organizations. For further general information on the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions 2018–2020 program please see here.



Deadline for Applications
23:59 Central European Time 1 March 2018. Please ensure your application is submitted to the host institution before this deadline. Late applications will not be considered.

Application Process
Applicants are permitted to apply for a maximum of three positions from across the total 15 RECOMS ESR vacancies. For information on the ESR positions other than the two hosted at LMU Munich, please see here.

Applicants for the Munich positions are required to submit
– a full CV
– a motivation letter (maximum 2 pages)
– the names of two referees (to be called upon should you be shortlisted)
– proof of eligibility as an annex where relevant, including a) proof that you have no more than four years’ experience as a postgraduate researcher; b) proof that you did not spend more than 12 months in the last three years in Germany; and c) further information on English language proficiency.
Please upload all parts of the application as a single PDF and send this via email to

If you are applying for more than one ESR position: please make a separate application for each position, whether in Germany or elsewhere. Multiple applications are welcome and will not influence the selection chance in any particular project. Please mention on each application which ESR project you are applying for and indicate whether you have parallel applications for other RECOMS projects.

Please submit your application in English.

By submitting an application, the candidate is consenting to their application being shared with the Selection Committee and the RECOMS coordinator. If you are shortlisted for interview, please note the interview panel will consist of the host and non-host institution RECOMS partners. Your application will be available to all panel members from submission for the purpose of assessing your suitability for the post.

NB: Please take care to ensure that applications for individual ESR positions are submitted directly to the respective host institutions—only applications for the positions hosted by LMU Munich should be submitted to the RCC. For submission details for the other positions, please follow the link to the main website and proceed from there.

Additional Information: Note: Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview during April or May 2018. Those candidates who are invited for interview will be required to submit a copy of their Master’s thesis and prepare a short doctoral study project research plan. If you are shortlisted for interview, please note the interview panel will consist of the host and non-host institution RECOMS partners. Your application will be available to all panel members from submission for the purpose of assessing your suitability for the post. Further information will be provided to shortlisted candidates directly.

Start Date: 1 September 2018

Duration: 36 months (fixed term)


Most information about RECOMS should be available on the pages listed:

– General information about the RECOMS program and the 15 ESR Fellow vacancies
– Overview of RECOMS Training Program
– Frequently Asked Questions
– General information about the Marie Sklodowska Curie (MSCA) Innovative Training Network program

For further information on the two ESR positions hosted in Munich, please contact For more on the RECOMS program in general, please contact

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