GRADE Sustain

Creating an overall concept for the sustainable development of humanity

Research Focus

Sustainability is the thematic focus of GRADE Sustain. The program is based on an established research focus of Goethe University including the expertise from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities and follows a problem-oriented inter- to transdisciplinary approach to training for PhD students and postdocs. GRADE Sustain is part of a tradition in Frankfurt that already started in 1972 with the Procter&Gamble Sustainability Award. Furthermore, with BioFrankfurt - a highly renowned network for biodiversity research – and collaborations with, for example, the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) and the Senckenberg museum, platforms exist that promote the idea of biodiversity and sustainability among the population, from school children to decision makers in policy and business.

The Center encourages inter- and transdisciplinary research to address grant societal challenges, such as the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, climate change and environmental pollutants. Key research questions include:

  • How do the loss of biodiversity and anthropogenic transformations of ecosystems influence the supply of ecosystem services and human well-being?
  • How can the various interactions between environment and society be developed in order to secure livelihoods and equitable sustainable development?
  • Which new transdisciplinary research approaches need to be developed to address societal challenges?
  • How can scientific findings be effectively disseminated to stakeholders and decision makers? (From theory to practice)


GRADE Sustain builds upon several master programs, such as »Environmental Sciences« of the faculties Social Sciences, Geosciences/Geography, Chemistry/Biochemistry/Pharmacy and Biological Sciences, and represents a platform for training and further education of graduate students and postdocs interested in issues relating to transdisciplinary sciences of sustainability. GRADE Sustain recommends courses from the list of regular GRADE offers. Further specific activities provide opportunities to meet practitioners working with sustainability issues in society and business, as well as networking opportunities among researchers in the broad field of sustainability.

GRADE Sustain intends to promote knowledge and the exchange of ideas at national and international levels, both scientifically and in practice. It supports young scientists in preparing for careers within and outside of academia.