2xPhD: Contribution to Coral Commons ( Ethnography & Field Experiments)

The Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology GmbH (ZMT) in Bremen, Germany, offers 2 PhD positions in the interdisciplinary project “Triple C: Contribution to Coral Commons”, one in ethnography and one in field experiments.

The project is funded through the Leibniz Association, and involves collaboration between the ZMT and Jacobs University Bremen. Starting date for the three-year doctoral student position is May 1th, 2014 or shortly thereafter. The deadline for applications is the March 1th, 2014.


One goal of this research is to ethnographically map the perspectives of, and interactions between, the individuals and organisations involved in the use and protection of coral reefs in Sulawesi. Another goal is to investigate whether so-called ‘clumsy’ or ‘polyrational’ solutions exist for the management of coral reefs. Applicants should therefore have intimate knowledge of qualitative research methods, a willingness to engage in fieldwork, knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia, and familiarity with the notion of ‘clumsy solutions’ and related concepts. They should hold an MSc or equivalent degree in political science, social anthropology, development studies or a related field, and be open to interdisciplinary research involving both the social and natural sciences. Other important prerequisites for applicants are the ability to work in a team, good communication and writing skills in English, commitment to the project, and willingness to work in an interdisciplinary and international context. The PhD student will be part of the ZMT’s Department of Social Sciences, and will also be able to become affiliated to the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences.

Field experiments:

Within this interdisciplinary project involving economists, other social scientists and ecologists, we want to find out in a cross cultural perspective, what determines the willingness to contribute to the coral commons dilemma: Corals are currently under severe stress due to human impact. This sub-project will run a web or app based donation experiment in various countries, where we raise money together with an international NGO. We are looking for a candidate with a degree in Economics or any other Social Science. She or he should have knowledge or be very interested in running behavioral experiments. In our case this also requires a certain affinity towards web or app production (with professional help) and the ability to deal with huge amounts of data. Theoretically you should be interested in the question of what motivates people to donate for a collective cause, might it be from a commons or environmental or behavioural economics perspective, might it be from environmental psychology or marketing perspective. Regardless of the discipline you come from, you should be interested in and accept the knowledge production of other disciplines, as the success of the whole project relies on working together.

Please see also: http://www.zmt-bremen.de/Binaries/Binary9733/PhD_Ethnography.pdf and: http://www.zmt-bremen.de/Binaries/Binary9732/PhD_Field_Experiments_.pdf

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