The thematic focus of GRADE Sustain is sustainability. GRADE Sustain integrates a broad range of disciplines, which provide theoretical and methodological approaches to the research of sustainable human-environment relationships. Among those are the geosciences, geography and biology as well as humanities and social sciences. This integration of disciplines encourages inter- and transdisciplinary research to address major societal challenges such as the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, climate change and environmental pollutants. Key research questions include:
- To what extend do the loss of biodiversity and the anthropogenic transformations of ecosystems influence the supply of ecosystem services and human well-being?
- How can we process the complexity of environment and society in order to secure livelihoods and equitable sustainable development?
- Which new transdisciplinary research approaches need to be developed to address societal challenges?
- How can we effectively disseminate scientific findings to stakeholders and decision makers (from theory to practice)?
GRADE Sustain represents a platform for training and further education of PhD candidates and postdocs interested in issues relating to the transdisciplinary sciences of sustainability.
GRADE Sustain recommends courses from the regular GRADE training program. Further specific activities provide opportunities to meet practitioners working on sustainability issues in society and business as well as networking opportunities among researchers in the broad field of sustainability:
- A series of career talks and company visits, taking place every second month
- Networking activities among researchers working within the broad field of sustainability of Goethe-University in order to encourage the exchange of ideas and implementation of collaborations
- Inclusion of interested PhD candidates and postdocs in the development of the center program as well as the identification of suitable instruments for quality assurance
GRADE Sustain considers itself a network within a network to promote knowledge and the exchange of ideas at national and international levels, both scientifically and in practice, and to support young scientists preparing for careers within and outside of academia.