Full Professor of Social Ecology – University of Life Sciences, Vienna

Position: Full Professorship
Location: Vienna, Austria
Institution: University of Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU)
Deadline: 15 September 2023
Starting date: 1 December 2023
Language skills: Excellent knowledge of written and spoken German and English or willingness to learn German in the first two years.

The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) is currently inviting applications for the position of a Full Professor of Social Ecology

The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Department of Economics and Social Sciences, seeks to appoint a Full Professor of Social Ecology with 1st December 2023. The position is offered in accordance with §98 of the 2002 Universities Act in the form of an ongoing contract.

The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, the “Alma Mater Viridis”, is the University of Sustainability and Life Sciences. It is BOKU’s task to make a key contribution to the conservation and protection of resources for future generations through its wide variety of expertise. Combining natural sciences, engineering plus social and economic sciences, its aim is to increase knowledge of the ecologically and economically sustainable use of natural resources. With 11,000 students and over 2,900 staff members, BOKU is one of Europe’s leading life science universities.

The Department of Economics and Social Sciences (WiSo) accomodates economic, social, political and legal research and teaching at BOKU. Special attention is given to the synthesis of economic, ecological and social sciences, including ethical aspects. Innovation, inter- and transdisciplinarity and transformation research as well as internationality characterize the WiSo Department.

The Institute of Social Ecology (SEC) focuses on society-nature interactions at different spatial and temporal scales, from local to global, and from past to the present and future. At the Institute, natural, cultural, and social science research traditions are integrated into inter- and transdisciplinary, solution-oriented research in the context of sustainability research.


The candidate must have a strong track record in research and teaching on sustainable development and socio-ecological transformation from a social science perspective and will represent the subject of Social Ecology in research and teaching contributing in particular to the BOKU competence field “Resources and Social Dynamics”.

Within the scope of the competence field, future-oriented solutions for a sustainable development of society, politics and economy are developed.

A qualification in social science theories and methods (e.g. from sociology, political science, human geography, social anthropology, economics, etc.) is essential, as well as a high level of motivation and the ability to contribute with these professional competencies to an interdisciplinary cooperation with natural and cultural scientists.

The methodological competence in (empirical) social science research of the successful applicant should be broad and diverse, with connectivity to and complementarity with quantitative and qualitative approaches at the Institute.

The candidate must have relevant and comprehensive teaching experience and be able to offer independent courses at the BOKU on social science aspects of socio-ecological transformation, in particular within the framework of the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in Environmental and Bioresource Management, as well as in other relevant BOKU programs (e.g. in the new Master’s program “Climate Change and Societal Transformation”) and participate in the “Doctoral School Social Ecology (DSSE)”.

Job specifications:

• Venia docendi or foreign equivalent or an equivalent subject-relevant academic qualification.
• Social science qualification with a focus in interdisciplinary sustainability science.
• Relevant experience and competence in teaching, guidance in scientific work, as well as the supervision of junior scientists (PhD students). The candidate is expected to submit a teaching portfolio.
• Subject-specific research experience, national and international reputation, as well as ability to network.
• Relevant experience in empirical research on a broad range of social science issues in sustainability and social-ecological transformation research of national and international reputation.
• Membership in international professional societies and research networks in the field of interdisciplinary sustainability science.
• Excellent publication achievements in the scientific field.
• Sound international research experience.
• Experience in collaboration in interdisciplinary teams.
• Teaching in German and English.
• Experience in the successful acquisition, execution and management of research projects.
• Cooperation with national and international research institutions and with relevant partners from public services and business.
• Management and interpersonal skills including gender and diversity management skills, communication and team skills.
• Participation in public relations.
• Participation in relevant focus and cooperation programs of the University.
• Participation in the self-governance of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.
• Excellent knowledge of written and spoken German and English or willingness to learn German in the first two years.

Contact/Application information:

For more information about this position, please contact the Head of Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Erwin Schmid, phone: +43 1 47654 73002, e-mail: erwin.schmid[at]boku.ac.at.

Please send your application in English by e-mail to rektorat[at]boku.ac.at and one hard copy no later than 15th September 2023 (date on postage stamp) to the Rectorate of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Vienna, Austria.

Please include the following documents with your application:

• Brief explanation of why you believe yourself to be particularly suitable for this position (max. 1 page A4)
• CV including ORCID and details of professional, teaching and research activities (incl. teaching portfolio – further information is available in German at http://short.boku.ac.at/lehrportfolio)
• Draft concept for research and teaching; presentation of planned research priorities (max. 4 pages A4)
• List of publications (referenced / not referenced), presentations and projects
• Copies of 5 recent publications that you consider particularly important

By submitting the application, you also agree to the participation of an external recruitment consultant in the selection process.

Diversity Statement:

The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna is seeking to increase the number of its female faculty members and therefore, qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply. Women are given priority when qualifications are equal, except in cases where there are outweighing factors concerning another candidate.
People with disabilities and appropriate qualifications are specifically encouraged to apply.

Salary/Collective Agreement:

The employment contract is classified as group A1 of the collective agreement for university employees.
Minimum gross yearly salary: € 81,571; the actual annual gross salary is subject to negotiation.


Please read the Position Paper of the Institute of Social Ecology (SEC) related to the open call for applications for a professor in “Social Ecology”.

More information:

More information on this position and about BOKU and this department can be found on the website: https://boku.ac.at/