Four W3 Professorships in Sustainable Development and Transformation
University of Kassel

Four W 3 professorships (m/f/o) in Sustainable Development and Transformation

The University of Kassel is establishing a new and unique interdisciplinary centre in the field of Sustainable Development and Transformation. The centre will bring together top global research and teaching expertise across the entire thematic range of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as defined by the United Nations. The centre aims to become a significant force in developing solutions to inspire and enable social transformations through scholarly research, effective networking and dedicated teaching.

As an innovative and progressive educational institution with 25,000 students located in central Germany, the University of Kassel is undertaking a worldwide search for candidates to staff the new centre. Since its foundation 50 years ago, the University of Kassel has established a strong reputation for engaged interdisciplinary study programs across a wide range of fields pertaining to critical issues of global politics and development.

We are currently looking for four senior scholars with outstanding credentials working in the broad areas of nature, technology, culture, and society. As directors of the new centre, this core group will shape and oversee its further development in the coming years, including definition of research priorities, development of international networks and hiring of additional team members.

Closes: 27.05.2021
Reference: 33937

Please note that only applications received via the application portal of the University of Kassel can be considered. Find the online application:

Nature: W3 Professorship (m/f/o) “Human-environment interactions”

This position will focus on research and teaching on topics related to ecosystemic health in its interactions between the natural environment and social dimensions of well-being, as evidenced in phenomena such as urbanization, nutrition or mobility. Candidates should pursue a sustainability-oriented approach to health issues or a health-oriented approach to sustainability, within which questions of adaptability, resilience and the ability to transform social-ecological systems play a central role.

Fields of research may cover for instance:

  • Interactions between human action and ecosystemic health (‘One Health’ - Planetary Health)
  • Influences of changing biogeochemical cycles on people and the environment
  • Relations between the state of ecosystems, animal health and human well-being

Technology: W3 Professorship (m/f/o) “Sustainable technology design”

This position will focus on research and teaching on topics related to technological sustainability as well as social sustainability in technological fields. Topics include life cycles of technological systems, infrastructures, products and materials with regard to their interactions with the environment and society, also considering long-term effects.

Fields of research may cover for instance:

  • Technology assessment
  • Product as well as system life-cycle assessment
  • Sustainable energy and resource efficiency
  • Sustainable systems planning, product design and construction

Culture: W3 Professorship (m/f/o) “Cultures of sustainability”

This position will focus on research and teaching on topics related to cultural representations, discourses and practices of sustainability. In addition, concepts of sustainability themselves should be subjected to explicit critical reflection.

  • Fields of research may cover various sustainability-related topics and practices, including their historical, creative, philosophical, linguistic-communicative, architectural planning, space-related and cultural anthropological dimensions.
  • Possible approaches could include constructivist, aesthetic, hermeneutic or empirical methodologies to investigate the interaction of social and cultural parameters as well as social and discursive practices.

Society: W3 Professorship (m/f/o) “Just Transitions”

This position will focus on research and teaching in connection with the question of how social transformations can successfully be implemented without creating injustices within and between societies.

  • This may include, for example, inter- and transdisciplinary analysis of the role of economic, social and cultural human rights, negotiation processes in connection with international agreements and global trade, relations between capital and labour and between local economies and the world market, the North-South power gap, as well as the areas of tension related to raw material policies, climate change and sustainability.
  • Research in this domain should consider culturally and historically embedded transformation processes in the context of their social impact, and address educational concepts for future generations.

General qualifications

Potential appointees will have an interdisciplinary research and teaching profile that is relevant to the respective areas. They will have a strong record of highly regarded publications and have excellent international networks at their disposal. They will be experienced in successfully acquiring third party funding. They will have supervised successful doctoral candidates and be interested in developing new courses of study. In their willingness to make a significant contribution to the design of the new centre in both research and teaching, they will have shown the ability to cooperate in larger teams and to lead personnel.

Each professorship will be affiliated with both the centre and one of the University’s existing faculties. Successful candidates will be prepared to commit to research and teaching activities while also contributing to the structured doctoral training programmes in the relevant fields as well as to the academic self-administration of the University.

Prerequisites for employment are excellent relevant doctoral qualifications, university teaching experience and pedagogical aptitude as well as further qualifications towards a professorship, usually through a positively assessed junior professorship, habilitation or equivalent scholarly accomplishments.

The employment and performance requirements apply pursuant to §§ 61, 62 of the Higher Education Act of Hessen.

If you have any questions about one of these vacancies or the application process, please contact Prof. Dr. Reiner Finkeldey, email: praesident(at)

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