Environmental-social issues of the energy transition

Interdisciplinary college of the doctoral scholarship program of the Deutschen Bundesstiftung Umwelt

The energy turnaround is a major project for society as a whole with the aim of making the transition from the use of fossil and nuclear energy sources to a sustainable climate-neutral energy supply and use. However, the transformation of our energy system poses major challenges, and not only technological ones, because it is being negotiated in terms of both environmental and social science.

Against this background, the German Federal Foundation for the Environment (DBU) is planning to fund a novel, interdisciplinary doctoral program on challenging phenomena in the context of the energy transition as part of its doctoral scholarship program.
The DBU would like to facilitate a discourse on the energy transition in the creative, protected space of a location-independent doctoral program.


The college addresses the environmental and social challenges of the energy transition, as well as directly related scientific and engineering issues. All too often, challenges are lightly categorized as too difficult or unsolvable anyway, or beyond certain competencies or resources. This should not simply be accepted in the doctoral college, but should be the focus of joint research and the communication of results. Applicants are free to choose their individual topics. Interdisciplinarity is a basic requirement here.

Doctoral Scholarships

A total of 10 scholarships have been awarded. At the kick-off event on September 16 for the DBU College “Environmental-Social Issues of the Energy Transition,” the fellows presented their research projects. For the awarding of the scholarships, the general conditions of the DBU doctoral scholarship program apply in principle, with some deviations in the application process. For more information, see both the “Long Version” and “Short Version” documents below or the College’s website.

Information material on the doctoral program