PhD Position: economics of coastal adaptation and disasters

The Global Climate Forum (GCF) is a non-profit research institute based in Berlin that brings together representatives of different parties concerned with climate change including energy industries, insurances, policy-makers, environmental NGOs, and scientists in order to carry out joint studies that support climate mitigation and adaptation policies. The Research Process Adaptation and Social Learning (ASL) at GCF conducts internationally leading work on the socio-economics of sea-level rise and coastal adaptation from local to global scales. The process is led by PD Dr. habil. Jochen Hinkel, who is Lead Author on the coastal chapter of the Fifth Assessment Report and the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ASL also co-ordinates the development of the DIVA Modelling Framework, which is a global, integrated model of coastal systems co-developed together with a number of other European leading coastal research institutes at the universities of Southampton, Kiel and Cambridge.

Together with a range of leading European climate economics research institutes, ASL has started work on the novel European Research project COACCH (Co-designing the Assessment of Climate Change costs). The project's objective is to produce a downscaled assessment of the risks and costs of climate change in Europe that responds to different needs from the business, investment, and policy making communities. Within COACCH, ASL is responsible for the coastal component of this assessment, for which it is currently seeking applications for a PhD student in economics.

The successful candidate will contribute to the further development of the DIVA model by i) conducting econometric analysis of coastal capital stock dynamics, adaptation and coastal disasters caused by extreme sea-level events (storm surges, tropical cyclones), ii) modelling possible future evolutions of these processes, and iii) finding cost-optimal and robust adaptation strategies. The position has a duration of 3 years, with the possibility of extension. The PhD would be obtained at the Division of Resource Economics at the Thaer Institute of the Humboldt University, Berlin, where Hinkel is an external professor (Privatdozent). A salary will be paid according to German University standards (TV-L13 50%).

The successful candidate is expected to have a Master degree with excellent results in economics or related fields such as econometrics, operations research or environmental economics, a good command of a major programming language (e.g. Java), good understanding of statistical and econometric methods and excellent oral and written command of the English language. Backgrounds in Catastrophe Modelling and the economics of disasters would be a strong assets.

We offer the opportunity to work in a high-profile, internationally recognized research institute within a global network of world-leading researchers on sea-level rise and coastal adaptation, as well as national and international organizations concerned with climate change. The successful candidate will join a young, friendly and highly motivated transdisciplinary working environment in central Berlin within the Mercator Center Berlin, which unites a range of research institutes and NGOs addressing climate change.

Applications should include a cover letter, CV and certificates as a single PDF, as well as a PDF of a single-authored publication of the applicant (e.g., master thesis, journal paper). Applications shall be received no later than 25 February 2018 by e-mail to Daniel Lincke ( The job interviews will take place in the week of 5 March. For further information please contact Daniel Lincke or Jochen Hinkel.

published: 29 January 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.