Project Overview

In October 2017 Leuphana University of Lüneburg – together with the Robert Bosch foundation – started an exciting new research group “Processes of Sustainability Transformation”. Within this interdisciplinary research group 12 PhD students are conducting research on drivers and barriers of transformation processes towards sustainability: What can we learn from successful examples of such processes? What can we learn from failures? What can we learn about transformation from different disciplines and perspectives? And how does transformation take place in different places and across time scales? In answering these questions, the research group is systematically analysing processes of transformation towards sustainability in different contexts, regions and perspectives. The aims of this research are threefold:

  1. to produce high-quality contributions to further research on transformation processes in sustainability science,
  2. to create a better conceptual, theoretical and methodological understanding of drivers, barriers and opportunities for sustainability transformations, and
  3. to offer a tailored PhD programme for excellent students in sustainability science.

The innovative character of the project is also reflected in the structure of the PhD programme to best serve the students’ needs. Together with our partners from research institutes and universities both in Germany and globally PhDs have been offered the opportunity to conduct an internship of up to 12 months either at one of our international partner universities or at one of our national research institutes. This allows students to deepen their academic experience as well as their international and interdisciplinary research practice.

Research Approach

The following six perspectives reflect the different areas of expertise of the faculty and are represented with two PhD scholarships and supervisors each:


Key Features

The innovative features of the research group “Processes of Sustainability Transformation” include:

  • Thematic focus on food and textiles sectors
  • Combination of disciplinary and transdisciplinary research methods and knowledge integration approaches within formative accompanying research
  • Internship opportunity (up to 12 months) in a national research institution or an international partner university
  • Foundation of a “Community of Practice” fueled by two guest professorships per year
  • Development of intercultural and transdisciplinary competencies
  • Focus on both academic and personal development of the PhD students
  • Career building as sustainability change agents

Further Information

This research project runs until September 2020. If you are interested be sure to sign up to receive updates, check out our blog or contact us directly . We´d love to hear back from you!

For further information, please contact the spokesperson, Matthias Barth or Ioana Duse.

To find out more about each individual doctoral project, please click here or contact the students and our PIs and senior researchers by clicking on People.

General information on studying for a doctoral degree at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg can be found under:

Further information on applying for the doctoral degree programme at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg can be found under: