International workshop on Sustainable agriculture and rural transformation: meeting farmers’ needs in socio-ecological systems


Date: June 10, 2017 - June 15, 2017

Venue: Bonn, Germany

The RLC Campus at ZEF, University of Bonn, Germany, offers scholarships for PhD students from developing and transition countries to participate in the international workshop on “Sustainable agriculture and rural transformation: meeting farmers’ needs in socio-ecological systems”, June 10-15, 2017, in Bonn.


The Right Livelihood College (RLC) is a global education and research initiative of universities and the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize" ( The RLC Campus Bonn is part of the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, and supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). It provides transdisciplinary education and research in fields of environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, and social justice in the Global South (

The Workshop

The workshop will take place from June 10-15, 2017, at ZEF in Bonn. Distinguished scientists, practitioners and PhD students from all over the world will be participating together with Laureates of the “Alternative Nobel Prize”. Workshop language will be English.

Sustainable agriculture has become an ubiquitous notion in development sciences and practice. Beyond aiming to contribute to the conservation of ecosystems, to changing food demands, and to long term economic rentabilities, sustainable agriculture has a high potential as an agent for rural transformation and pro-poor growth in the Global South. However, the prevalent paradigm of rural economic development, often coupled with agricultural industrialization, leads to massive repercussions on the sustainability of agricultural systems and on smallholder farmers’ livelihoods. Hence questions have to be addressed on the current and future role of sustainable agriculture in the context of rural transformation and its potential for pro-poor growth and the conservation of ecosystems in the Global South.

Upon this backdrop, the workshop will thematically focus on local level empirical research and practical development work in rural areas of developing and transition countries. The workshop inputs will be presented, discussed and analysed in a cohesive transdisciplinary way by building on each participants’ expertise and experience.

The workshop will target the following objectives:

  • to strengthen knowledge and understanding of methodological approaches related to sustainable agriculture and rural transformation,
  • to critically assess different pathways of sustainable agriculture and its actual and potential contributions with particular focus on smallholder farmers’ livelihoods and conservation of ecosystems in rural developing contexts,
  • to showcase projects considered successful and to discuss empirical research findings,
  • to promote transmission of expertise and experience as well as networking between “Alternative Nobel Prize” winners, scientists, practitioners, and PhD students working on sustainable agriculture and rural transformation from different aspects.

The workshop scholarships will cover all costs for international and national travel, hotel accommodation, catering, and working materials. The workshop will be embedded in a variety of social and cultural side-events.

Who can apply?

PhD students from developing and transition countries who conduct empirical local level research related to sustainable agriculture and smallholder farming within social, economic and natural sciences. Preferred are PhD students in the middle or end of their studies. Flu-
ent English is mandatory. Applications from women are particularly welcome.

How to apply?

Your application should consist of:

  • the filled-out application form. Download the form here:
  • a 300 word abstract (in English) of your PhD project

The deadline is April 15, 2017. You will be informed about the decision of the selection committee until April 25.

Please send your applications via e-mail to Dr. Till Stellmacher:

RIGHT LIVELIHOOD COLLEGE (RLC), TATA INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES (at the Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation, School of Social Work, TISS, Mumbai) announces call for Applications for Workshop Scholarships for PhD students at Right Livelihood College (RLC), Bonn, Germany. Applications may be sent to Dr. Till Stellmacher at For further information, you may contact Dr. Swati Banerjee, Co-ordinator, Right Livelihood College (RLC), TISS at

Dowload Announcement ]