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PostDoctoral Position: Identifying leverage points to foster pathways towards sustainable coasts
Marseille, France
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher

Identifying leverage points to foster pathways towards sustainable coasts

This position at Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) is linked to a newly approved Future Earth working group (see original proposal call here).

Duration: 17 month

Location: New Caledonia with travel to Germany and Fiji

Salary: Will depend on experience, according to IRD grids starting at 2920€ (0-2yrs experience)

Project description

Our vision is to create an interdisciplinary knowledge hub on ocean changes related to climate change in small island states to substantially develop transformative understandings of sustainable adaptation pathways. Small island states/ large ocean island states are particularly vulnerable to ocean climate change. Based on the results of the Belmont Forum CRA PACPATH, in this project we focus on the thematic areas related with coastal livelihood: coastal erosion, reef health, and governance in relation with sea level rise, marine heatwaves, ocean acidification and deoxygenation. Those have been identified in a transdisciplinary process as the greatest ocean climate change challenges by Pacific stakeholders. Although many of these challenges have been known for a long time, effective interventions leading to greater sustainability are still lacking. Instead of approaching internationally agreed sustainability goals (e.g., SDGs), we are experiencing a growing gap between the desired sustainable and the actual state of the world. To overcome this discrepancy, new research approaches are necessary. To understand sustainable adaptation pathways in new and creative ways, we will combine three concepts: (1) Leverage points for sustainability transformation, (2) Chains of Leverage, and (3) the newly developed Future Earth Coast framework of Circles of Coastal Sustainability.


• Synthesis of knowledge on existing pathways for sustainability regarding climate change adaptation across small island states in the Indo-Pacific to assess where and which pathways approaches have been applied.
• Use the Circles for Coastal Sustainability (CCS) framework for a comparison across different locations by means of the 20 common categories for the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, and the small island development state Fiji,
• Identify, based on the CCS, leverage points that may lead to sustainable adaptation pathways in New Caledonia and Fiji, and
• Identify chains of leverage for sustainability in small island states/large ocean states based on expert interviews and small online workshops.
• Connect with the two other Future Earth funded PostDoc for synthesising


We look for a dynamic, reliable and highly motivated PhD graduate with knowledge in the fields of sustainability science, social-ecological systems and sustainability transformation (and/or related areas). The applicant should have a strong interest in leading/guiding a working group and should like conceptualising complex systems. Good writing skills and experiences with writing academic articles are highly beneficial. English language proficiency is required.

We offer:

A 17-month project, starting summer 2023. We offer an interesting position (100%) in an international, interdisciplinary working group and research groups at the IRD Center in Nouméa, New Caledonia (LEGOS) and the Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries, Rostock, Germany. The PostDoc will have many possibilities to network with expert scientist in the field of sustainability transformation across the world. Salary and social benefits are provided according to IRD rules.

We promote professional equality between all genders and therefore expressly welcome applications from women. We are further committed to inclusion. Applications from people with severe disabilities are therefore expressly welcome. They will be given special consideration in the selection process. 


Applications are to be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before June 8th, 2023 for a start date on July 15th, 2023 in Noumea, New Caledonia.


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