Doctoral Research Group Sustainability Science

Combating poverty, hunger and climate change, sustainable energy supply and cities, education and clean drinking water – these are all examples of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Such goals address societal challenges that need to be tackled through innovative strategies that include science and other relevant actors within society until 2030.

More than 30 professors and their research teams at the faculty of sustainability conduct solution-oriented research on transformation and development processes towards a sustainable society. Among others the inherent complexity of sustainability problems must lead to solutions that require the cooperation of different disciplines as well as the creation of inter- and transdisciplinary approaches that go beyond universities. Hence, sustainability research is been carried out e.g. in collaboration with political decision-makers, farmers, local entrepreneurs and many other actors. All are faced with specific challenges that can only be met successfully on the basis of innovative, theoretically and methodically based sustainability research.

Research projects are conducted on: socio-ecological systems, sustainable chemistry and material resources, energy systems, sustainable cities, sustainable management and learning processes for sustainable development. Within those areas the specific research foci can be on individuals, organizations and systems in order to shape and enable sustainable development on different spatial (regional, national, global) and temporal (short-, mid-, long-term) scales towards sustainability.

Doctoral Degrees

Depending on the subject and method of the dissertation, the respective faculty confers the following doctoral degrees:

  • Dr. phil.
  • Dr. rer. pol.
  • Dr. rer. nat.


  • Prof. Dr. Brigitte Urban

Doctoral Supervisors

  • Prof. Dr. Simone Abels
  • Prof. Dr. Maik Adomßent
  • Prof. Dr. Thorsten Aßmann
  • Prof. Dr. Jelena Bäumler
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart
  • Prof. Dr. Steffen Farny
  • Prof. Dr. Daniel Fischer
  • Prof. Dr. Jörn Fischer
  • Prof. Dr. Sylvia Haider
  • Prof. Dr. Harald Heinrichs
  • Prof. Dr. Jacob Hörisch
  • Prof. Dr. Astrid Kause
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Kümmerer
  • Prof. Dr. Dirk Lehr
  • Prof. Dr. Jacqueline Loos
  • Prof. Dr. Berta Martín-López
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Möller
  • Prof. Dr. Jens Newig
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Nils Ole Oermann
  • Prof. Dr. Daniel Pleissner
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Stefan Schaltegger
  • Prof. Dr. Valentin Schatz
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Schomerus
  • Prof. Dr. Vicky Temperton
  • Prof. Dr. Roman Trötschel
  • Prof. Dr. Sebastian Wallot
  • Prof. Dr. Henrik von Wehrden
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Vânia Zuin Zeidler


Recent Disputations

Friday, 17 March 2023, 4 pm in room C14.006: Disputation date of Ms. Claire Grauer on the topic "Learning time in ESE. Promoting time as a resource for sustainability in formal education."

Doctoral Courses

As a doctoral candidate at Leuphana, you not only write your dissertation, but also participate in the interdisciplinary doctoral courses to the extent of 30 credit points, which include (inter)disciplinary colloquia (Research Forum I and Research Forum II) and furthermore comprises four interdisciplinary modules on research ethics, research methods, scientific practice and current perspectives on science. Please find more information about Leuphana's doctoral courses here.


If you wish to pursue your doctorate at Leuphana, you must be enrolled as doctoral student. Information about admission to the doctorate at Leuphana and the application procedure can be found here.

Leuphana Graduate School offers advice and coaching to academics in the qualification phase. The Graduate School's advisor will be happy to support you in questions of decision-making, challenges in the course of your doctorate, and career planning and development. You can find more information about the counselling and coaching services here.