PhD in Geography – University of Göttingen

PhD in Geography – University of Göttingen



Degree: PhD in Geography

Course Language(s): Courses are held in English (or German). Participants can choose to defend their PhD thesis in German (precondition: he/she can prove German skills (DSH 2 or better).

Admission Semester: Summer and winter semester

Beginning of Programme: Winter and summer semester

Programme Duration: Six semesters (three years)

Application Deadline:

  • 31 July for the following winter semester
  • 31 January for the following summer semester

Description of Content

The PhD programme Geography is based on the research focus “Resources Analysis and Evaluation of the Geosphere”. The research focus is on the area of human-environment research. The general theme associates process mapping and modelling, creation of material balances (water, air, sediment, carbon, nitrogen and pollutants), the reconstruction of past environmental conditions and the analysis and modelling of the consequences of the use of interventions in biogeochemical cycles. The social science methodology is included in the context of human ecology, political ecology, and institutional analysis and resource-use conflicts.
At present, the Institute of Geography is involved in several international collaborative projects. The ongoing project carbiocial (Carbon sequestration, biodiversity and social structures in Southern Amazonia: models and implementation of carbon-optimised land management strategies) was started in August 2011 under the auspices of the Department of Landscape Ecology BMBF. The subject of the comprehensive joint project (with 14 sub-projects), which will be conducted in a German-Brazilian cooperation, is the study of climate and socioeconomic factors with the aim of controlling C-optimised land use strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In order to create decision support systems (DSS), this can be transferred for use in other regions.
The Department of Human Geography is integrated with the project “Political and institutional impacts on cultural landscape transformation in Sumatra, Indonesia” in the socioeconomic programme area of the CRC 990 “Ecological and socioeconomic functions of tropical lowland rainforest transformation systems in Sumatra (EEFFORTS)” (2012 – 2015). Furthermore, the Department of Human Geography is linked with the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) and integrated in the application of a new CRC (CRC 1122 “Agricultural Transition in the Indian Rural-Urban Interface”).
In addition, the Department of Cartography, GIS and Remote Sensing is integrated in the regional project “Bioenergy in Tension”. This cooperative project examines social and natural changes which are associated with the increasing use of biomass for energy recovery.
By participating in these international collaborative projects, doctoral students learn to carry out autonomous scientific work. They also acquire knowledge and skills that go beyond a curricular programme of study, namely, through active participation in the academic affairs of the Faculty and Institute of Geography.

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