PhD Fellowship on Basic Income for Nature and Climate at the University of Freiburg, Germany – for applicants from Indonesia

The position

A PhD scholarship on “Basic Income for Nature and Climate in Indonesia” for a doctoral position (research associate). It is on a temporary contract for a period of 3 years at 50% on the TV-L 13 salary scale at the University of Freiburg, Germany.

The Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies

The Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies (FRIBIS) is a competence network of six different institutes and faculties at the University of Freiburg, Germany, for research on the universal and unconditional basic income. The interdisciplinary research work takes place in teams composed of researchers and non-academic actors of scientific, political, and civil relevance. They work on theoretical, methodological, and empirical studies covering various themes associated with basic income. In terms of scope, some of the FRIBIS members also work with international focus outside of Germany and Europe. The FRIBIS was established by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Neumärker, a Götz Werner chair for Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory at the University of Freiburg, and his team.

The Background

Novel and drastic measures are needed to restore our social and ecological systems. The joint initiative between the Freiburg Institute for Basic Income Studies (FRIBIS) at the University of Freiburg and the Research Center for Climate Change at the University of Indonesia (RCCC UI), with the support from the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), is interested in investigating the possibility of a basic income scheme linked to conservation objectives as a new and double approach to address current social and ecological challenges. The social and ecological challenges are associated with climate change and biodiversity loss and the potential of countries and jurisdictions to contribute to addressing these challenges. In this relation, it is of particular interest to look at Indonesia and its forest and biodiversity rich areas such as in Papua and West Papua given their roles for climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation through the protection of carbon stocks and biological diversities of global significance in these areas.

In addition to widely growing discussions on basic income in general, there is an emerging critical assessment in the conservation science on the limitation of market-based welfare instruments such as the Payment for Environmental Services (PES) applied in areas of forests and biodiversity conservation. A call for a serious and honest discussion about basic income that is fit for purpose is being advocated – including possibilities and limitations to combine potential social benefits of unconditional, universal basic income (UBI) with anticipated outcomes associated with purposes related to nature and climate.

The Research Project

The PhD project is part of the larger Basic Income research project that studies how basic income is potentially linked with nature protection and tackling climate change, and how these possible linkages can be addressed in an embedded social-ecological context that is highly relevant for climate stabilization and reversing biodiversity loss at planetary scale and, at the same time, enhancing human well-being. A context that is well-represented in jurisdictions that are rich in forest ecosystem and biodiversity yet with poor population as observed in the provinces in Indonesia where tropical rainforests remain intact such as those in Papua.

In the long-term, part of the project aims to explore a multi-year basic income scheme for nature and climate and undertake necessary trial in a pilot jurisdiction at appropriate scale. Rigorous scientific monitoring and evaluation should be in place for this to assess social and ecological impacts and derive lessons for potential upscaling in other jurisdictions. A policy dialogue (at sub-national, national, and international levels) about the scientific results from the intended study on basic income for nature and climate is to be initiated to prepare the grounds to achieve the purpose. Together with the team at FRIBIS, the PhD position is expected to contribute to providing science-informed insights related to a basic income for nature and climate in the target jurisdiction. Under a joint research initiative, the PhD candidate will be supervised by Professor Dr.rer.oec. Bernhard Neumärker at the University of Freiburg and Dr.rer.pol. Sonny Mumbunan at the University of Indonesia and in close collaboration with teams and members at FRIBIS, and at GIZ.

Tasks and Responsibilities

The successful applicant will: (1) Develop method and undertake analysis; (2) Collaborate with researchers in interdisciplinary environment from various competences at FRIBIS; (3) Co-author scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals as well one independently authored scientific paper; (4) Participate in disseminating research in international conferences and policy dialogue events; (5) Coordinate the activities within the “Basic Income for Nature and Climate in Indonesia” project with involved stakeholders (6) Complete further courses to improve substantive and analytical skill set.

The PhD candidate we look for

The PhD candidate that we look for is expected to work on unconditional basic income that links social welfare (especially poverty and unequal access to resources) and environmental (especially nature and climate) contexts and challenges. The PhD candidate will be based in Freiburg, Germany. Applicants should have background from one of the following discipline or areas: social anthropology/ethnology; economics; forestry; conservation biology; climate change mitigation; environmental/natural resource management. The PhD position is for Indonesian candidates only, with qualified applicants from Papua strongly encouraged.

Application and Assessment

A complete application with (1) a short proposal for a PhD research project in the subject area of basic income for nature and climate in Indonesia (no more than 5,000 characters or about 2 pages) including the main objectives, data and methods used for analyses. The application must be accompanied by the following documents: (2) Cover/motivation letter; (3) Curriculum Vitae; (4) Diplomas and transcripts of grades from Bachelor and Master degree; and (5) Master theses. The shortlisting criteria for candidates are: (i) Research qualifications and knowledge in relevant disciplines (as reflected in the project proposal); (ii) Quality and feasibility of the project; (iii) Performance (grades obtained in graduate studies); and (iv) Relevance to FRIBIS and research interest/topic in question. 

The Deadline and Start

The closing date for applications is on 15 July 2021 at 23:59 CEST. Following decision by the selection committee and administrative process the successful candidate will start as soon as possible thereafter.

Contact Information

Please send your application documents as an email to Dr.rer.pol.  Sonny Mumbunan (sonny.mumbunan@ui.ac.id). For further information on the conditions and benefits of the position in Germany, please contact Ms. Gudrun Kaufmann (gudrun.kaufmann@fribis.uni-freiburg.de).

More information on  

Basic Income Lab RCCC UI:  https://basicincomelab.org/

FRIBIS: www.fribis.uni-freiburg.de

RCCC UI: https://rccc.ui.ac.id/

This information can be download here


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