Job Announcement: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow – Transdisciplinary approaches and participatory action research to improve food security

Call for Applications

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Transdisciplinary approaches and participatory action research to improve food security in Tanzania with a focus on gender and other socio-cultural factors

Review of applications will begin December 15th, 2013. Open until filled.


The German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL) is a non-profit limited liability company (GmbH), at the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences of the University of Kassel, Witzenhausen. DITSL conducts research on agricultural systems as human activity systems following an inter- and transdisciplinary social-ecological approach. Our emphasis is on the facilitation of knowledge transformation through collaborative processes.

We are looking for a dynamic, highly motivated and innovative scientist for a Post-Doctoral research position with DITSL. The position is part of a German-Tanzanian research partnership, ‘Innovating strategies to safeguard food security using technology and knowledge transfer: A people-centred approach (Trans-SEC)’. The goal of Trans-SEC is to identify promising innovations along local and regional food value chains, test and adjust them to site-specific, sustainable settings and tailor these concepts for national outreach. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through the initiative,Securing the Global Food Supply – GlobE’.

In the frame of Trans-SEC, DITSL leads the analysis of social, political, cultural and gender-specific factors influencing smallholder farmers’ decision-making regarding adoption of innovations in different agro-ecological zones in Tanzania. The aim is to develop a methodology that allows for transdisciplinary knowledge integration through a participatory research process in order to identify feasible innovations to enhance food security. This may include scenario analysis with role-playing games, semi-quantitative actor-based modeling, and other approaches.


The Post Doc will:

          lead research activities in Tanzania and is expected to conduct field research for about 3-4 months per year,

          advance methodology relevant to the project (participatory action research, transdisciplinary research)

          contribute to capacity building through training of PhD and MSc students,

          support project management (financial, logistic, etc.),

          coordinate research activities with other partners in the Trans-SEC project,

          write reports on gender and social differentiation in food value chains,

          present outcomes of the research at international conferences,

          contribute to and write scholarly publications.

This is a 2.5 year position with possibility of extension. It is 80% time, in the TV_L 13 pay group. The start date is February 1st, 2014 (negotiable). The project contains research funds to pursue extended empirical research abroad.

Qualifications of the applicant:

          PhD in agricultural/rural -sociology, -economics, -development or -system science, human geography, organizational behavior, anthropology or related discipline.

          Strong interest in methodology with experience in one of the following: community based action research, participatory research, actor network analysis, stakeholder analysis.

          Interest and experience in working with societal stakeholders in Tanzania and with scientists of other disciplines.

          Fluency in spoken and written English. Knowledge of German and/or Kiswahili is an asset.

          Very good writing skills, team work orientation and good communication skills.


DITSL is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, disability or age.

Application documents:

          Letter of motivation

          Curriculum Vitae

          Publication list

          Summary of PhD dissertation

          Copies of relevant certificates

          Contact details of 2-3 referees


Please submit these documents attached as a single PDF file by email with the subject line ‘Trans-SEC Post Doc Application’ to PD Dr. Brigitte Kaufmann (


If you have questions regarding the position, contact:

PD Dr. Brigitte Kaufmann,

DITSL GmbH Witzenhausen, Faculty of Organic Agriculture, University of Kassel

Steinstrasse 19, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany

+49 (0)55426070,


DITSL website:

Trans-SEC Project website:

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