PhD Position Economics: “Thirsty Cities: Pathways for Water-Resilient Urban Transformation and Agricultural Adaptation.”

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)

Leipzig, Germany 🇩🇪

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

The UFZ will establish a Graduate School within its Research Unit “Environment and Society” on the topic: “Thirsty Cities: Pathways for Water-Resilient Urban Transformation and Agricultural Adaptation.” The Graduate School consists of engaged PhD-researchers who will participate in a structured training-program that facilitates integration and exchange among the different projects involved as well as within the larger UFZ research context. The projects will investigate possible pathways to make cities and adjacent rural areas more resilient to future water scarcity. Within this framework the Department of Economics is now offering a

PhD Position Economics

Part-time 65% (25,35 h per week), limited to 3 years

Your tasks:

The PhD project aims to analyze agricultural adaptation options for future drought conditions in Germany, including investments in irrigation systems, changes in management decisions, and policy interventions. To this end, the PhD project will contribute to the development of a large-scale hydro-economic multi-agent system (MAS) model of German agriculture, expanding it to capture future drought adaptation options.

  • Literature and data review
  • Conceptual formulation of MAS model extensions to capture farmer behavior under drought conditions and potential adaptation options
  • Collection, statistical analysis, and pre-processing of agricultural and economic input data
  • Code implementation of MAS model extensions in Python
  • Integration of existing outputs from remote sensing analyses and hydrologic model runs
  • Economic analysis of MAS model simulation run outputs
  • Publication of results and integration into the project synthesis

Your profile:

  • Master’s degree in agricultural economics, environmental economics, or a related discipline
  • Proficiency in English; proficiency in German would be beneficial
  • Experience in (agro-economic) optimization (e.g. GAMS) or multi-agent modeling, as well as statistical (e.g. R, STATA) or general programming skills (e.g. Python), are beneficial
  • Motivation to work and collaborate in an interdisciplinary environment

We offer:

  • Top level interdisciplinary research at a research centre which enjoys an excellent reputation within Germany as well as internationally
  • Excellent technical facilities
  • Work in inter-disciplinary and multinational teams
  • Excellent links to national and international research networks
  • Support and optimal training courses by our graduate school (HIGRADE)
  • Remuneration in accordance with the TVöD public-sector pay grade up to 13