PhD program

Diversity Turn in Sustainability Research

Overall objectives of the structured doctoral program

The doctoral program of the “Diversity Turn in Land Use Science” project is sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation and the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, Germany. Not limited to its scientific objective which seeks to emphasize the importance of social diversity for sustainable land use innovations using the example of vanilla cultivation in Madagascar, cooperation with stakeholders in the value chain, academic and civil society organizations is also a core element of the project.
Here, the participating graduate students from the various disciplines are to reflect their disciplinary location by means of the interdisciplinary fields, methods and theories, and to gain an in-depth understanding of their (specialist) knowledge. The transdisciplinary character of the research project is to be established, strengthened and reflected by joint discussions of different problem areas in the context of their own research questions.
The doctoral program has two objectives: Firstly, to ensure an excellent support of the individual doctoral students in their sub-projects and, in conjunction with this, to promote their specialist competences. On the other hand, the potential of a transdisciplinary project must be used to enable scientifically innovative results. In order to achieve both objectives, the program has developed its own compulsory content-related components. However, it also offers the possibility for the graduate students to use the offers of the Graduate School of Forestry and Agricultural Sciences (GFA). Offers from the faculties as well as the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GGG) can also be accepted with the consent of the Graduate Committee. This ensures both the internal exchange of the doctoral students as well as the transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary dialogue.

Module directory

A German version of the module directory is available here.

Exemplary course of studies


Doing Research in Transdisciplinary 

Research Networks

2 C


Transdisciplinary Field Research

2 C


Transformative Land Use Science

2 C



3 C

Diversity Sensitive Research

2 C

Situated Research - International Research Collaboration and the Postcolonial Perspectives 

2 C

Key competencies 

4 C

Report to Thesis Committee 

6 C

elective compulsory module "expert knowledge" 2 C 

elective compulsory module "subject methodology" 2 C


Total: 27 C