Post-doctoral position on “Political Economy of Climate Policy” (m/f/d)


The climate needs bright minds. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) addresses crucial scientific questions in the fields of global change, climate impacts, and sustainable development. It is one of the world's leading research institutions in its field and offers natural and social scientists from around the world an inspiring environment for excellent interdisciplinary research.

To strengthen its research capacity in managing the global commons in the FutureLab “CERES: Political Economy for Inclusive Wealth Governance and Sustainability”, PIK is offering a

Post-doctoral position on “Political Economy of Climate Policy” (m/f/d)

 (Position number: 49-2023 PostDoc CERES)

in the field of political economy, climate policy, environmental economics and development economics, starting on 01.06.2024.

The position is funded for 3 years. Remuneration is in accordance with the German public tariff scheme (TV-L Brandenburg), salary group E 13. This is a full-time position with a working time of 40 hours per week.

Key responsibilities:

The successful candidate will be involved in a collaborative research project led by Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer, Prof. Dr. Jan Steckel (also with MCC Berlin and BTU Cottbus) and Prof. Dr. Matthias Kalkuhl (also with MCC and University of Potsdam) that aims to understand political economy realities and barriers to energy transformations. They will work closely with the “Climate and Development” working group at MCC, led by Prof. Steckel. It is expected that the successful candidate will:

  • Conduct academic research on the political economy of climate policy in low- and middle-income countries
  • Use qualitative or quantitative methods to assess political economy barriers to climate policy, including vested interests, corruption, public acceptability, and political backlash.
  • Present results at academic conferences and publish them in leading peer-reviewed journals
  • Support in supervising doctoral students and writing grant proposals


  • PhD degree in political science, sociology, environmental- or development economics
  • Willingness to travel (including field work) to countries outside Europe
  • Experience with data analysis software (e.g. R or Python)
  • Knowledge in discourse analysis using large language models is an asset

We expect:

  • High motivation to work on policy-relevant research topics related to sustainable development in a developing country context
  • High interest in teamwork and collaborative research, including supervising PhD students
  • The ability to work independently and on your own initiative
  • A high level of competence in oral and written English
  • Structured and goal-oriented thinking
  • Creativity and openness to new approaches

We offer:

  • the chance to be part of a creative, interdisciplinary team,
  • a stimulating working environment in an internationally recognised research institute,
  • flexi-time and mobile working (up to 50% of your hours),
  • a collective pay scheme and associated benefits as well as a subsidized travel card

PIK values equality and diversity. We encourage applications without photo. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of ethnic and social origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, care responsibilities, or age. PIK seeks to increase the share of women in scientific positions and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. In cases of equal qualification and within the given legal scope, women will be given preference. PIK also encourages applications by parents returning from parental leave.

Please apply by 04.02.2024 directly using our application form.

If you hold an international higher education qualification, please also submit the Statement of Comparability from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) with your application. In the case that you do not yet have a ZAB Statement of Comparability for your qualification, please be aware that you may need to request this if your application is successful. You can find further information on this website:

For further information or to discuss the position please contact Dr. Jan Christoph Steckel Telephone+49 (0) 30 338 5537 203 or eMail:

Total E-Quality

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