Germany Netherlands Sweden
The Postdoc Academy for Transformational Leadership is designed to develop the next generation of leaders in sustainability and transformation research.
The call for applications for the Postdoc Academy 2022-2024 will be out in December 2021.
About the Project
The Postdoc Academy for Transformational Leadership is an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and a joint project of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the four academic centres Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT) in Rotterdam. It provides an intensive high-end training with four seminars in two years that broaden the research competencies of postdocs and promote their qualifications towards transdisciplinary leadership. The program also offers seed funding (e.g. for stakeholder meetings or proposal writing activities) to small groups of participants, who plan to initiate research collaborations. Furthermore, an active network of current and former participants of the program will be established.
Why are we running the Postdoc Academy?
The transformation towards a sustainable society requires researchers to contribute scientific knowledge and integrate knowledge from society in order to transfer knowledge into action. Therefore, the Robert Bosch Stiftung and its partners see the need for:
- more and better integration of natural sciences, social sciences and humanities in sustainability research,
- a better recognition of inter- and transdisciplinary research in academia and
- excellent, highly competitive researchers who are able to lead inter- and transdisciplinary teams and academic institutions.
Thus, it is important to prepare early career researchers for leadership positions in inter- and transdisciplinary contexts.
What are our goals?
For the Postdoc Academy for Transformational Leadership, the Robert Bosch Stiftung collaborates with four leading academic research centers to unite expert knowledge and educate the next generation of leading sustainability and transformation scholars.
How does the project work?
The Postdoc Academy for Transformational Leadership is an intensive high-end program with four seminars in two years that broaden inter- and transdisciplinary research competencies of early career sustainability researchers and promote their qualifications towards transdisciplinary leadership. The program also offers seed funding (e.g. for stakeholder meetings or proposal writing activities) to small groups of participants, who plan to initiate research collaborations. In addition, an active network of current and former participants of the program will be established.
What are the contents of the program?
The program consists of four seminars (three full days each) over a period of two years. Each seminar will take place at one of the four academic centers and focuses on their respective expertise.
The seminars build on each other and are complementary.
- Transformations in human-environment research: Mode and logics
- Transdisciplinary Research Environments and Transdisciplinary Learning
- Transformative capacity and agency for people and planet
- Social Innovation & Local Experimentation for Transformative Change
The seminars are linked by four thematic modules that create an overarching framework.
- Module 1 engages with sustainability science as a research field and presents resulting challenges for theory and methodology according to this year’s focus topic “Pathways for Regenerative Development”.
- Module 2 aims to increase the understanding of how complex systems thinking is used in transformation and sustainability research. It will be discussed how change can be navigated in this development.
- Module 3 deals with theoretical, methodological and process-oriented questions revolving around transdisciplinary research, such as quality criteria, mutual learning and differentiation/ integration. It also addresses challenges of the role of the researcher in these processes as well as “undisciplined“ career pathways.
- Module 4 deals with issues of career development. It discusses how participants can develop individual and coherent research profiles that will help them to develop their capabilities towards transformational leadership.
Opportunity is About:
Candidates should be from:
Description of Ideal Candidate:
Who is the target audience?
The program aims at postdocs from across Europe who want to make an impact on the transformation towards a sustainable society and advance the complementarity of natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities by means of their research. They should consider themselves as intrapreneurs, who act responsibly and initiate positive changes and innovation within their institutions and strive for an academic leadership position. In addition to excellent English language skills and experience with inter- and transdisciplinary collaborative research, their research topic must align with this year’s focus topic “Pathways for Regenerative Development”.
Who can apply?
Per intake, 20 researchers will be selected. To be eligible for the Postdoc Academy for Transformational Leadership you should be an early career researcher with sustainability focus and
- be affiliated with a European research institution that is your major place of work,
- have funds for your research for the majority of the programme (at least until September 2023),
- have obtained your doctorate no more than four years prior to applying (family and caring times excluded),
- have a research topic relevant to this year's focus topic " Pathways for regenerative development",
- have a strong interest and experience in doing inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability research, and
- conduct research that asks for the complementarity of natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities,
- be an excellent researcher with a vision (societal impact),
- be on the way to professorship or other academic leadership positions,
- be an academic intrapreneur, who acts responsibly and initiates positive changes and innovation within his/ her institution,
- be a shaper, a shaker and a mover,
- have excellent English language skills (equivalent to CEFR Level C2) and
- be committed to attending all seminars and relevant networking activities.