Highly qualified applicants from all over the world are invited to apply for the PhD Program "Human River systems in the 21st century (HR21)".

Information about entry conditions to Austria can be found at the homepage of Austria’s Agency for Education and Internationalisation


Application Guidelines

  • HR21 is a Doctoral School of BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.
    Information about the general admission of foreign students to doctoral programs of BOKU can be found here
  • Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree equivalent to a master which would qualify them to start a PhD thesis in their home country. Candidates who have not yet obtained their degree can be accepted if they finish their studies latest by the end of May 2024. If you will receive your degree later (not later than July 2024), you may be selected conditionally.
  • Applicants with only a bachelor degree or similar are not eligible.
  • PhD students must have a master degree in environmental sciences, natural resource management, environmental studies, environmental economics, sociology or history, interdisciplinary environmental or sustainability sciences or closely related subjects.
  • Applicants must be fluent in both spoken and written English.


Description of the conceptual approach and the three research fields


How to apply

1. Choose PhD project(s)

Currently the following two PhD projects are available to apply for, click on the link to find detailed information on our website:

Topic 2: Material resources demand and flows of hydraulic structures to prevent societal impact of extreme events (social ecology, environmental history)

Topic 14: Integrated modelling of farmers’ climate change impact and adaptation appraisal to inform regional human river nexus management


2. Prepare a letter of motivation (max. 2 pages including a ranking and a rationale if more than one PhD topic is chosen), 2 academic references, and an academic CV including all your research and educational experiences relevant for the PhD project you apply for.

Send all requested documents together with all enclosures by email to recruiting(at) Please indicate which project you apply for by including the PhD topic number in the subject line.


  • Copy of your bachelor, diploma or master’s certificate (if already available)
  • Copy of your certificates obtained for coursework including grades (transcript of records of bachelor and master studies)
  • Copy of your passport

Please send all enclosures as a single pdf file (≤10 MB)!

Please note: Documents in languages other than English or German must be submitted as English translations.

Only fully completed application forms will be considered. Other forms of application will not be accepted.



The deadline for the submission of the completed Application Forms including all enclosures is

June 22nd, 2024


All applications will be pre-screened by the HR21 faculty for formal requirements and completeness. Short-listed candidates will receive invitations for interviews and information exchange. Interviews will be held in person or online. Travel expenses will not be reimbursed.

Offers of admission will be made to the successful candidates at the end of the interview period.

Financial Support

PhD students admitted to the HR21 Doctoral School will have a regular employment with full social security coverage for 4 years. Students will receive funding according to the salary scheme of the Austrian Science Fund (net annual income after deduction of tax and social insurance approx. € 25.500,--). The salary is guaranteed for the proposed 4-year duration of the thesis work.

Additionally, students will receive financial support for participations at international conferences and for research stays abroad in collaborating international institutions.

As a doctoral candidate at BOKU you have to pay the ÖH fee (currently EUR 22.70). Further information on tuition fee can be found on this website: