GRADE Sustain

Creating an overall concept for the sustainable development of humanity

Research Focus

Sustainability is the thematic focus of GRADE Sustain. The programme is based on an established research focus of the Goethe University including the expertise from the natural sciences, social sciences as well as 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 on biodiversity - there is a drive to actively promote the idea of biodiversity and sustainability among the population. Special emphasis is placed on the work in school settings here.

The primary goal of the Center is to impart knowledge and to integrate into networks that contribute to answering the following questions:

  • How do issues like climate change, the loss of biological diversity and the consumption of non-renewable resources become noticeable at different spatial and temporal scales?
  • How can findings from the past help shape the present and the future in terms of sustainable development?
  • How can the interaction between environment and society be developed so that a secure livelihood and equitable sustainable development is assured?


GRADE Sustain builds upon the master programme "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 but it will soon offer more and more events in different formats:

  • Lecture Days with lecturers from the university and from national and international environments to provide a scientific basis and thus creating a broad knowledge as well as discussion basis
  • Mediating tools for knowledge integration - these include, among other things, languages, moderation and communication competencies, as well as a cross-cultural sensitivity
  • Mediating creativity-building measures and approaches that promote the identification of problem-oriented issues
  • Networking with social actors
  • Identification of quality assurance methods
  • A wide range of career talks

GRADE Sustain intends to promote the exchange at national and international levels. Therefore, GRADE Sustain seeks the role of a network within the network in order to offer young scientists a widest possible variety and best contacts.