SDG Graduate Program

In order to further strengthen the topic of sustainability as one of two central research foci at the university, the founding directorate of the new scientific center for "Sustainable Development and Transformations" has decided, with the approval of the presidium, to establish a graduate program along the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The establishment of this SDG graduate program serves to promote young scientists and aims to further develop doctoral environments into structured graduate programs. Eligible for funding are subject area consortia on an innovative research topic in the spectrum of the Sustainable Development Goals with the potential to become permanent, e.g. as a DFG Research Training Group. The establishment of up to two graduate groups is envisaged.

Target group and program description

Individuals with the right to pursue a doctoral degree are eligible to apply. The interdisciplinary research project should address content-related interfaces between at least two SDGs. It should also be evident how and in which steps external funding will be obtained for a larger collaborative project. Applicants should be employed at the University of Kassel, be eligible for a PhD throughout the duration of the project, and come from at least two different clusters (technology, nature, society, culture) within the team. Formats of structured and joint doctoral supervision are planned. In addition, contributions to graduate support at the new Science Center will be made.

Application Instructions

1. Applicant details (CV, five major publications related to the research topic, externally funded projects from the last five years attached).

2. Project description:

  • Content-related description of the research and organizational concept as well as the preliminary work,
  • Planning for the participation of doctoral students,
  • Outline of a qualification offer,
  • planned third-party funding, prospects for continuation and explanation of why the application to this funding institution is relevant and promising,
  • Time and work plan for the funding,
  • if applicable, references to existing graduate centers and
  • Cost plan, if applicable, including own funds/property resources of the participating departments; distribution of funding in the consortium.

The length of the proposal is limited to ten pages (without appendix).

Expected deliverables during the grant

  • Establishment of a structured PhD environment along an innovative research question related to at least two Sustainable Development Goals,
  • Multiple supervision of the doctoral student by at least two doctoral-eligible persons,
  • Contribution to SDG graduate funding,
  • Provision of a structured professional qualification program with a timetable for the duration of the program the duration of the program supplemented by the use of interdisciplinary structured offerings,
  • evelopment of a connectable external funding proposal within the funding period,
    First draft of proposal and publication strategy after approx. 12 months, revised draft after approx. draft after approx. 24 months; submission after 36 months at the latest and
  • Accountability.

Duration and Decision Procedure

The funding period is 3.5 years between 2022 and 2025.

The application deadline is Sept. 30, 2021; funding is scheduled to begin Feb. 1, 2022. Funding up to two groups will be funded.

For the preparation of the corresponding presidium decision, a commission consisting of three members of the founding directorate (applicants are excluded) and three external members from other universities, selects consortia for funding. On an distribution of expertise within the commission across the various clusters is ensured. across the different clusters. In addition, by decision of the selection committee, a by other experts is also possible.

Scope of funding

The selected consortia will each receive four (or three plus more extensive 0.66 FTE EG 13 TV-H positions for the employment of doctoral students over a period of 3.5 years. term of 3.5 years.

Employment of doctoral candidates is possible. The positions are positions are divisible, provided they are supplemented by own funds to appropriate contract appropriate contract volumes. Funding is available for up to two projects in total.

In addition, funding for office equipment can be requested. Any additional must be compensated by lower personnel costs (compare consortium with three 0.66 FTE EG 13 TV-H positions plus more extensive equipment funds).

Responsible for the procedure and application

Department for Development Planning

Contact for questions:
Dr. Malte Lassen

Applications should be sent to the Founding Director at with "SDG Graduate Program Application" in the subject line.