Posted on: 19 September, 2019
Application deadline: September 23, 2019

Postgraduate Research Associate, Institute of Social Ecology (SEC), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria

Extent of employment: 30 Hours per Week Duration of employment: 1st of December 2019, limited to 30th of November 2022

Gross monthly salary and pay grade in terms of collective Agreement for university staff (payable 14 times per year): B1, € 2.096,00


The institute of Social Ecology Vienna (SEC) is part of the Department of Economic and Social Sciences of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). Research and teaching at the Institute of Social Ecology deal with the interrelationship of social and natural systems in the context of sustainable development. Researchers come from different disciplinary backgrounds such as biology, ecology, sociology, anthropology, political and technical sciences and usually work in interdisciplinary teams. SECs methodological spectrum includes material and energy flow analysis (MEFA), geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing methods, systemic actor-oriented and organizational analyses, and the use of historical sources. SEC offers a doctoral program on Social Ecology and a master program on Social and Human Ecology.


The thesis is part of Module 5 (M5) of the ERC Advanced Grant MAT_STOCKS, which focuses on the Stock-Flow-Service-(SFS)-nexus of infrastructure development. The SFS-nexus approach broadens the scope of social metabolism studies, traditionally focusing on energy or material flows through socioeconomic systems, by adding two key components:

(1) information on material stocks. For example buildings, infrastructure, machinery etc. and (2) the services societies derive from specific stock-flow combinations, e.g. mobility, housing, workspace, nutrition and many more (Haberl et al. 2017).

Within this project, M5 analyses the implications for sustainability transformations, asking: how can the build-up of stocks be shaped towards a lower resource use level while providing similar services for societies? (Görg et al. 2017)

Haberl H. et al. 2017: Sustainability, 9, 1049; doi:10.3390/su9071049 Görg, C. et al. 2017: Sustainability, 9, 1045; doi:10.3390/su9071045

PhD Project

Conducting a PhD thesis on urban and regional development of the Vienna-Bratislava metropolitan region with a focus on infrastructure development and resource use. As case study, the PhD-thesis shall analyse the twin-city region Vienna-Bratislava with a focus on infrastructure development and its implications for urban and regional development in a multi-scale perspective. It will focus on the driving forces of regional development under the conditions of European integration and neoliberal globalisation, but with a link to conflicts at regional and local scale.

Different regional development strategies and planning policies will be analysed by scrutinising the contested reasoning behind these strategies, identifying the actors involved and their interests, and distinguishing alternative development options. The results will be linked to analyses of the material stock sand resource flows involved in these alternative options (build-up and use phase), provided by other researchers in MAT_STOCKS Particular emphasis should be given to important infrastructure conflicts like the third runway at Schwechat Airport or the Lobau highway, focusing in particular on the different actors involved an their interests and power relations.


Univ. Prof. Dr. Christoph Görg

Required skills and qualifications

Excellent MA (or equivalent degree) in social sciences (Political sciences, sociology, human geography, political economy or planning sciences or related fields) Familiarity with conceptual approaches from critical urban and regional studies and their conceptual foundations in political economy and human geography Experience in qualitative methods (e.g. policy or institutional analysis) Excellent communication skills in German and English (orally and in writing) Experiences in interdisciplinary research and willingness to cooperate with quantitatively oriented natural sciences

Desirable skills and qualifications

Familiarity with approaches from social or political ecology and their conceptual foundations Experience in research projects and academic publishing are beneficial Knowledge in Slovak is beneficial but not compulsory

Applications can be submitted until: 23rd of September 2019

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna seeks to increase the number of its female faculty and staff members. Therefore qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply. In case of equal qualification, female candidates will be given preference unless reasons specific to an individual male candidate tilt the balance in his favour.

Please send your job application to Personnel department, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1190 Vienna, Peter-Jordan-Straße 70; E-Mail: (Reference code: 153)

We regret that we cannot reimburse applicants travel and lodging expenses incurred as part of the selection and hiring process.