Research Associate with a Focus on Future Risk Trends, Urbanization Modelling and Damage Assessment in Cities (m/f/x)

Faculty of Geosciences - Human-Environment-Relations
Start date
as soon as possible
Application deadline
7 Jun 2022
Remuneration group
TV-L E13
Contract duration
initially for one year

The research group around the chair for human geography (Human-Environment Relations) at the Department of Geography works on risk, adaptation and transformation in the context of environmental hazards, climate change, urbanization and other dimensions of global change. The section develops, tests and imparts inter- and transdisciplinary methods for the assessment of future development paths and risk trends as well as for the multi-criteria evaluation of potential strategies for fostering sustainability and transformation, particularly in cities and newly urbanizing areas. While pursuing a global perspective, the section’s empirical research is particularly focused on Asia, Africa and Europe. Next to fundamental research, the section is keen to deliver scientific knowledge that is of high practical and policy relevance and provides decision support. The section therefore collaborates closely with decision makers and stakeholders from the local to the global level, e.g. urban administrations, United Nations programs and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Research projects:

The research project LIRLAP (Linking Disaster Risk Governance and Land-Use Planning: The case of informal settlements in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) aims to develop, test and apply knowledge-based solutions for the upgrading and, if necessary, resettlement of highly vulnerable, informal settlements in cities with high disaster risk. Metro-Manila will serve as a pilot for the development and testing of approaches and their mainstreaming into concrete planning processes as well as into regulations and practices of disaster management at all political levels. Within the project, the transfer of methods and planning aids to Bangkok and Hanoi will be carried out and further transfer within Southeast Asia will be initiated.

The aim of FloodAdaptVN (Integrating Ecosystem-based Approaches into Flood Risk Management for Adaptive and Sustainable Urban Development in Central Viet Nam) is to reduce current and future flood risks through the implementation of targeted ecosystem-based adaptation strategies into the flood risk management frameworks. The focus study area is the City of Huế and its hinterland in the Thua Thien Huế province. Specific objectives of FloodAdaptVN include the development of a better understanding and assessment of the drivers, spatial patterns (incl. hotspots), as well as dynamics of present-day and future flood risks (2030, 2050, 2100), and the development of a decision support tool for risk-informed (spatial) planning and prioritizing among different DRR, risk transfer and adaptation measures.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Contribute to one or more of the following research fields at the unit: modelling of urban growth and land-use change; development of damage assessment tools adjusted to local contexts; modelling and evaluation of adaptation strategies to environmental risks for several metropolitan regions in South-East Asia;
  • Contribute to scientific publications of the unit;
  • Participation in national and international conferences as well as project events in Germany and globally;
  • Contribute to the development of research grant proposals in the fields of climate change adaptation, environmental risk reduction and sustainability.



  • PhD/Doctorate in geography or a related discipline such as environmental sciences, civil engineering or geoinformatics;
  • Advanced research expertise and experience in the fields of urban growth modelling; damage assessments and/or Bayesian networks;
  • Strong skills in statistical analysis and processing of spatiotemporal time series data;
  • Strong track-record in urban studies;
  • Excellent English language skills.

Desirable additional assets:

  • Knowledge in the programming languages R or Python;
  • Expertise in scenario analysis and/or climate change adaptation;
  • Skills in qualitative as well as quantitative social science research methods;
  • Fieldwork experience, ideally in Asia;
  • Excellent German language skills.


The initial appointment will be for one year. An extension of two years (the full remaining duration of the FloodAdaptVN and LRILAP projects) is envisaged, subject to satisfactory work performance and positive evaluation. Remuneration will be according to the German TV-L scheme, at the E13 level and on a step commensurate with work experience. While this is a full-time position in principle, part time solutions are negotiable. Further career development will be supported. The position allows for pursuing a habilitation. The office is located in the centre of Munich, with excellent public transport links. Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.

People with disabilities who are equally as qualified as other applicants will receive preferential treatment.


Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail to by Wednesday, 7 June 2022. Applications shall be compiled into one PDF document and include a short cover letter (one page max.), CV, list of publications, contact details of two potential references and a writing sample (i.e. most important scientific paper) addressed to Ms. Susan Elsäßer.


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