Mission and Goals

IOER Research Areas

  • Research Area: Transformative Capacities
  • Research Area: Landscape, Ecosystems and Biodiversity
  • Research Area: Built Environment - Resources and Environmental Risks
  • Research Area: Spatial Information and Modelling


The DLGS aims to prepare the next generation of transformative leaders in spatial sustainability sciences, providing a high quality interdisciplinary environment for developing the academic and professional skills required to meet the diverse challenges related to spatial change dynamics and the global human-ecological crisis. DLGS graduates are trained to take up early career positions in academic, governmental, business or civil society organizations where they can contribute to foster spatial sustainability transformations.

The 3 core goals of the DLGS are therefore:

  • Scientific excellence: Guide fellows to develop doctoral theses well beyond the current scientific state-of-the-art;
  • Sustainability impact: Enable fellows to produce results of significant practical relevance and impact on spatial sustainability transformations;
  • Professional qualification: Enable fellows to take a sustainability leadership role in the future.

These goals are further underpinned by 7 operational objectives

  • Deepen theoretical and methodological knowledge in one scientific core discipline;
  • Promote engagement with other scientific disciplines and develop interdisciplinary competence within the wider field of sustainability science;
  • Develop management- and organizational capabilities for doing efficient and effective research;
  • Convey key skills and techniques for scientific research, writing, publishing and networking;
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer exchange and knowledge co-creation between fellows;
  • Develop competence in transdisciplinary research and science-practice interactions, involving diverse stakeholders;
  • Support the development of transformative leadership skills to navigate collective pathways towards sustainability.