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Call for participation in a short-term research project in India and Germany:

Increasing Resilience to Climate Change through Adaptive Policies in the Agriculture and Water Sectors – A comparative Perspective based on Approaches in India and Germany

This is a call for applications for a collaborative project on agriculture-water nexus by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, GIZ and Humboldt University (Germany). Motivated researchers with a relevant Master’s degree (details below) may apply.


As part of its yearly post-graduate program the Centre for Rural Development (SLE) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is offering three to four junior accomplished researchers from India a position as tandem research partner to jointly develop and implement an action-oriented research project. They will join an interdisciplinary team of five post-graduates of our centre to conduct a research project in 2022. The whole team is led by a professional team leader. The participants from India will join the project on 1st July 2022. The main field work will take place in rural areas in Germany and India between July/August (Germany), and September until end of October 2022 (India). The project will end after the report writing phase by mid-December (November and December can be managed by digital meetings). The research findings will be presented to the cooperation partner, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), which is also funding the study.

Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, international development objectives no longer refer exclusively to “countries of the so called Global South”, but to all countries worldwide. Countries of both the Global North and South evidently have significant development needs, especially in achieving climate neutrality and effective adaptation policies. However, development efforts do not take place independently of each other but are more or less related and the development challenges can only be solved together. This requires broad awareness, innovative approaches, and joint learning.

Both India and Germany are increasingly struggling with the impact of climate change, the effects thereof aggravated by ongoing loss of vital ecosystems and degradation of natural resources, especially agricultural land, forests, and water. The complex interdependencies of the water-agriculture and climate adaptation nexus are particularly evident in the challenges that both countries are facing in establishing adequate adaptation approaches and policy instruments. Therefore, the research project aims at gaining lessons on adaptation challenges in the agriculture-water nexus in India as well as Germany. It will aim to strengthen interdisciplinary knowledge, cooperation, cross-country governance and policy learnings. The methodological approach will strongly build on joint learning - making use of lessons from the Global North and South - applying mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) action-oriented participatory field research in rural areas in India and Germany.

During the 90-day core fieldwork phase the following activities are scheduled and to be realized by the team:

  • Contributing to building a common, enhanced understanding of the research problem and results; and developing a research team learning agenda
  • Joint planning of research field work and implementing the empirical research phase in interdisciplinary small tandem teams
    • Design and planning of participatory research methods; focus group discussions, interview guidelines, data assessment tools, etc.
    • Conducting the field research including interviews, focus group discussions, data collection
    • Qualitative data analysis (mixed method approach)
  • Presentation of data analysis and write-up of field research results
  • Identification and critical examination of adaptation actions and policies in the agriculture-water nexus
  • Constructive and critical engagement with the research design and field observations
  • Bringing into the teamwork own ideas and experience
  • Substantive field research experience in any of the following areas: Agroecology, rural development, regional planning, development studies, biodiversity conservation, sustainable food systems, land use management, rural water management, climate adaptation/mitigation
  • Completed Master’s degree with a first class in a relevant field of study (Agricultural Sciences, Climate Studies, Development Studies, Economics, Environmental Management, Geography, Global Studies, Social Sciences, Sustainability Studies, Political Sciences, Anthropology, Spatial Planning, Public Policy, or comparable programmes)
  • Personal engagement promoting development efforts along the SDG objectives (e.g. civil society engagement, publication of articles, social media activism, etc.) preferred
  • Citizenship of India
  • Language: Excellent language skills in spoken and written English is essential. Spoken Hindi, Kannada and/or Tamil is desirable. German is an asset.
  • Not more than 35 years of age
  • Proven Skills:
    • Qualitative and/or participatory data collection and analysis
    • Teamwork experience
    • Digital collaboration tools
    • Knowledge of Indian policy frameworks and critical issues of climate, water and agriculture
  • Willingness and ability to travel within India and to and within Germany
  • Capacity to quickly adapt to new contexts


The Indian young researchers selected to participate in the research project between July and December 2022 in India and Germany will receive a monthly living allowance, plus allowances for in-country travel expenses, and reimbursement for flights to and from Berlin.

Please send the following documents in one compiled pdf (max. 20 MB) to Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein! in the following order:

  • Letter of motivation (1 page max)
  • CV (incl. portrait photo)
  • Bachelor's, master's, and any other certificates
  • Additional relevant documents
Deadline for the submission of the application: 12th June 2022, 11:59 pm. Only complete applications will be considered. Selected candidates will be invited to a digital interview via Zoom scheduled for the third quarter of June.

Since there is very little time between the deadline of the application and the interviews, we recommend you to check your emails regularly (incl. the spam folder).

In case of questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Mirjam Steglich by email: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!