PhD in Environmental Humanities

Research in the Environmental Sciences and Humanities domain is based on an interdisciplinary, interfaculty and humanistic approach. The objective of the Environmental Humanities doctoral programme at the UniFR_ESH Institute is to scrutinize environmental challenges and methods for resolving problems in the fields of the environment, sustainability and climate change from a humanistic perspective. It therefore places a particular emphasis on ethical issues and the challenges of normative justice.

We are welcoming innovative research proposals linked to our research projects. Please consult the following information before contacting us at

  • Content and areas of research

    The doctoral programme focusses on an individual research project carried out with in three to four years, supervised by the chair for Environmental Humanities. At the end of their PhD, students must produce a thesis. Research by doctoral students can be part of an ongoing research project or an independent study relevant to the research conducted in the Environmental Sciences and Humanities domain.

    Current research in the Environmental Sciences and Humanities domain is geared to issues of justice and conceptual questions about the differentiation of responsibilities in dealing with environmental challenges. The overarching objective of this research is to devise ethically viable and interdisciplinary implementable solutions to environmental challenges from a wide range of policy domains, spheres of life and scientific disciplines. The research areas are listed here.

  • Skills aquired

    A doctorate in Environmental Humanities further developes your capacity in analytical thinking, precise reasoning and detecting the normative implications of measures for implementing policy or social requirements in environmental practice. In addition, you will acquire in-depth scientific, social and legal knowledge in the context of your research subject.

    Wherever possible, the research projects are carried out in cooperation with researchers from other disciplines, or with staff from government institutions. In addition, doctoral students can attend lecture series and take part in vocational training courses, publication projects, and national and international conferences. Where possible they will be involved in teaching.

  • Funding and salary

    Doctoral research is financed either through assistant positions in the Environmental Sciences and Humanites domain or through third-party funding acquired by the supervisor or the doctoral candidate her- or himself. Salaries of employed doctoral candidates correspond to the standards of the Faculty of Science and Medicine. Vacancies for doctoral candidates are published here.

  • Supervisors

    PhD theses in Environmental Humanities are supervised by Prof. Ivo Wallimann-Helmer.

  • Studies Organization

    No ECTS can be earned.

  • Admission

    In order to be admitted to a doctorate the candidate must have been awarded an academic Bachelor's and Master's degree or an equivalent qualification by a university recognised by the University of Fribourg.

    Before applying for a doctorate the candidate must contact a professor who would be willing to supervise the thesis work.

    There is no general right to be admitted to a doctorate.

    The respective conditions of admission for each doctoral study programme are reserved.

  • Application

    Please send your application to 

  • Current PhD Students