Call For Applications

Call for Applications 2020

The Environmental Sciences and Policy Doctoral Program is inviting applications for Doctor of Philosophy studies starting from 2020 at CEU in Vienna.*

Financial assistance is available including tuition waivers and full CEU fellowships that cover all tuition fees and include a generous living allowance for up to three years. Please read our Doctoral Program Handbook for detailed programmatic information. 

We welcome all applications that fit within the department's research profile. We are particularly interested in applications in the following areas:

  • Environmental and Resource Governance /ERG/
    Despite a high level of awareness, current trends in environmental and resource governance continue to lead to environmentally unsustainable and socially inequitable outcomes in which the global and local environments and the prospects for human flourishing continue to deteriorate. The study of environmental and resource governance includes the study of environmental regimes, environmental law, the integration of environmental policy into other policy sectors, the science/policy interface and the processes of integrating environmental information into policy, comparative environmental policy, and the politics of the environment. Furthermore, many environmental problems are inherited from the past, therefore studying the environmental history of contemporary debates brings a better understanding of the current state of events and provides more balanced recommendations for the future. Current state of the environment in countries of Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.
    Cluster leader: Alexios Antypas

  • Environmental Justice, Politics, and Humanities /JPH/ 
    JPH is a platform for critical inquiry and deliberative analysis that addresses environmental challenges through collaborative research, politically engaged approaches, and commitment to fostering a world that is socially just and sustainable. We take a critical and complex stand on the conceptualizations of nature and culture, and how they structure social wellbeing, scientific inquiry, and environmental problem-solving, particularly in light of diverse environmental values and ethics, power dynamics, and conceptions of environmental justice. Toward these ends, we engage a diversity of research methods across socio-ecological and political scales ranging from participatory action research and ethnographic field work to textual and content analyses that respect and reflect different ways of knowing. Thematic foci include environmental and social justice issues surrounding extractive industries; the political ecology of food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture; and environmental philosophy. 
    (It also covers: Environmental sociology and anthropology; political ecology of farmer seed systems, agro-biodiversity, and alternative agricultural paradigms; resource conflicts; global environmental movements)
    Cluster leader: Alan Watt
    ACT JUST: Environmental & Social Justice Action Research Group
    Environmental Arts and Humanitives Initiative
    Urban Arena for Sustainable and Equitable Solutions (URBANA) project

  • Energy Transitions and Climate Change /ETC/ 
    The Energy Transitions and Climate Change area focuses on the changes in energy production, transformation and use which are needed to avoid dangerous climate change while meeting other sustainability and development challenges. We are researching the change in energy systems at the corporate, sectoral, urban, national and global scales. Our scholarship is connected to such disciplines as energy economics, engineering economics, energy systems analysis, urban studies, innovation and organizational studies, socio-technical transition studies and political science. We use a variety of methods ranging from quantitative modeling to qualitative comparative analysis of cases and discourse analysis. Our specific topics and themes include energy security, national energy transitions, urban systems, energy systems innovations, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and multiple impacts of climate change mitigation.  
    Cluster leader: Aleh Cherp
    Sustainable Energy Transitions Laboratory (SENTINEL) project
    The Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG)

  • Sustainable Management of Socio-Ecological Systems /SES/ 
    For the purposes of this collaborative area, socio-ecological systems (SES) are defined as spatial and/or functional units with closely integrated ecological, economic, socio-cultural, and governance components. The area covers and studies systemic properties and management of SES in diverse place-based contexts to understand their complex structures and functions, non-linear and emergent behavior and ability to maintain resilience and integrity while delivering goods and services necessary to meet both human and non-human needs. SES are studied on multiple scales in diverse geographic, political, and ecosystem contexts using quantitative and qualitative, including participatory, methods and with an emphasis on using multiple lines of evidence to support decision-making. Thematic foci include biodiversity conservation, environmental monitoring, SDG implementation, adaptive management and resilience, and agroecology. 
    (It also covers: human-wildlife conflicts and their mitigation; protected area management; governance of global environmental assessment systems; sustainable cities and communities; sustainable development goals)
    Cluster leader: László Pintér
    Call in protected areas management effectiveness (PAME) evaluation
    NATURVATION: NATure based Urban innoVATION project

  • Resource and Disaster Management and Pollution Control /RMP/ 
    Extraction and use of mineral and organic resources have always been essential for human survival, but increased scale and speed of resource extraction today has made human intervention a major force, comparable to major geological transformations. Human activity not only interferes with biogeochemical cycles of many elements and compounds, it also creates huge amounts of pollution and waste which transform natural habitats and living conditions for all living creatures including humans around the world, endangering food and water security. In order to get a clear picture of resource use, pollution control and effects, we need proper and adequate methods of monitoring the present state of the environment, which can also lead to proper predictions of future developments.  In this modern and changing environment, and in the face of global climate change, the probability of extreme events and disasters is also growing, and various innovative tools and applications relevant to disaster risk reduction and the enhancement of community resilience become ever more important.  Researchers associated with RMP study these issues using methods such as environmental modeling, spatial analysis, and information and communication technologies (ICTs). Thematic foci include river basins and water security, watershed management, flood resilience, disaster risk reduction, and food security, Geographic Information Systems and sustainable transport.
    Cluster leader: Zoltán Illés
    Environmental Systems Laboratory (Syslab) 
    Spatial Mapping and Analysis Research Group (SMARG)

These areas are not isolated, as interaction among them is an essential feature of the departmental structure and our common understanding of environment and society as a co-evolving, integrated whole - as shown in the figure below. 

Please see the faculty research priorities here. Many faculty members contribute to more than one area.

The scholarship in these areas is supported by the Department’s strong cross-cutting methodological expertise in quantitative data analysis and processing including remote sensing, geographic information systems, environmental modeling and geospatial data analysis (Viktor Lagutov); advanced statistical methods, simulation, and modelling (Brandon Anthony, Aleh Cherp, Diana Ürge-Vorsatz); and qualitative social science methods (Guntra Aistara, Alexios Antypas, Tamara Steger). 

Should you be interested in the Network Science field, please indicate that in your research proposal. 

Please note that we do not have laboratory facilities. 

Eligibility Requirements:

1) Master's degree or equivalent in an environment-related field, such as natural or social sciences, engineering, economics, law or management.
2) English language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, etc.).
3) Intellectual excellence and demonstrated potential for making an original contribution to knowledge in the field through rigorous research as aligned with faculty research profiles.

Required Application Materials:

Please note that in addition to the standard CEU admissions requirements (Completed online CEU Application Form, Two letters of recommendation, Academic records, A curriculum vitae or resume, Proof of English proficiency), the department requires applicants to submit:

1) a statement of purpose (maximum 500 words) describing their intellectual history and motivation for applying, explaining how these relate to future career goals and plans and the name of the potential supervisor; and

2) a detailed research proposal (maximum 2,000 words), in which applicants demonstrate ability to conduct PhD-level research and complementarity with the department's research profile.

Applicants may also include a copy of a published journal article, book chapter or other publication.

All application materials must be submitted with the online application form of CEU. Materials sent by postal mail, electronic mail or fax are not considered.

Application Deadline:

January 30, 2020 (23:59 CET, Central European Time):

Scholarship application deadline for doctoral programs. All applications must be complete with relevant standard test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.).

*CEU will welcome all incoming students at its new Vienna campus in September 2020.