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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



Call for Applications: Ecosystems and human wellbeing in the green economy

Deadline: 7 January 2014

DFG/ICSU/ISSC Young Scientists Networking Conference on Integrated Science

A key theme of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in June 2012, was the promotion of a “green economy”. Future Earth, launched during Rio+20, is an ambitious new 10-year research programme which will provide the knowledge we need to tackle the most urgent challenges of the 21st century related to global sustainability, and that includes issues relating to transformations towards green economies.

The green economy is portrayed as part of the solution to the global economic crisis and as an innovative and efficient way of advancing the environmental change agenda. A central tenant in the transition towards green economies is determining how to maximise human outcome within planetary constraints and boundaries, with the goal to make economic stability and global markets compatible with sustainable development. Green economies are expected to ensure the maintenance of ecosystem services, the promotion of human wellbeing, and social equity. These goals may facilitate each other or appear to be in conflict in global issues such as public health, food production, biofuels, forestry, nature conservation, water management, climate change, human conflicts and urbanization.

To this end, we may rely upon a wide set of tools including improved valuation and forecasts of services, as well as political and socio-economic innovation in governance, regulatory systems and authorities, markets, institutions, community, and payment scheme instruments.

The extent to which there are genuine synergies rather than trade-offs between these economic, social and environmental objectives is a particular gap in knowledge. A major challenge for the 21st century is the harmonization of these interlinked aims.

The current global challenges require interdisciplinary collaboration, trans-disciplinary involvement, and regional perspective.

The International Social Science Council (ISSC) and the International Council for Science (ICSU), in collaboration with the International Network of Next Generation Ecologists (INNGE) and Institute for New Economic Thinking’s Young Scholars Initiative (INET YSI), are planning to assemble a group of early career researchers with diverse backgrounds and research perspectives to reflect on ecosystems and human wellbeing in the transition towards green economies and debate relevant issues as part of a series of conferences on Integrated Science that are funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

The aim is to bring together creative multidimensional, interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary perspectives to address the complex topic of how future societies deal with ecosystems and human wellbeing. Young scientists will debate issues relating to the topic, questioning key assumptions, theories and models underlying the current research on ecosystems, human wellbeing, and the transformation towards green economies; dynamics of governance, justice, authority at global and local levels; and the development of research methodologies to assess change in the transformations towards sustainability.

They are expected to devise the next generation of research programmes and projects, looking for solutions that help the transformations to reach global sustainability.

Young scientists are invited to submit applications for participation in a Networking Conference on Integrated Science.

The DFG/ICSU/ISSC Young Scientists Networking Conference on Integrated Science discussing the theme of Ecosystems and human wellbeing in the green economy will take place in Villa Vigoni, the German-Italian Centre for Cultural and Scientific Exchange at Lake Como in Italy, from 25-31 May, 2014. The International Council for Science (ICSU), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) are inviting applications for participation by young scientists. The conference is kindly funded by the German Research Foundation.

Closing date for applications: 7 January 2014.

The Networking Conference is open to post-doctoral researchers interested in the collaboration between the social and the natural sciences. The conference will bring together senior and leading scientists and researchers with a diversity of perspectives to identify top priority questions for future research on the topic.

The meeting is designed to become the starting point for new international integrated science research spearheaded by Future Earth. They will provide not only a chance to fully realise the overview of the state of the art in the topic/field, but also to interact and network with leading thinkers – forging new collaborations, and fostering new compelling integrated science.

Travel expenses (economy trip) as well as cost for the stay at Villa Vigoni will be covered for successful applicants for the duration of the conference.

Please note that the seminar will be held in English only. Candidates should indicate if this would be a problem for them.

Selection criteria

1. General eligibility of Candidates
- Post-doctoral researchers with no more than 10 years work experience following their PhD; or individuals with equivalent qualifications (preferably under the age of 40)
- Interest in international, trans-disciplinary, intercultural research cooperation

2. Application requirements
- A full (no more than 1 page) CV to include:
o Education
o Current position
o Other relevant experiences or academic
o Candidate’s current research topic(s)

- List of up to 5 of the candidates publications, which he/she values highest of which the best paper should be included as a reprint
- A brief outline (1 page) of how the candidate’s work is relevant to the seminar topic
- A half page outlining why she/he should be participating in the meeting
- A half page abstract for candidate’s proposed poster

All documents should be included in a single pdf file.
Eligible, interested candidates are welcome to apply by emailing the requested documents to the email address below:

Successful applicants will be notified in February.

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