The TRUST-/ARL Research Training Group: Excellence-oriented Promotion of Young Researchers in the Field of 'Spatial Transformation'

To ensure an excellence-oriented, interdisciplinary and structured promotion of young researchers in the field of spatial transformation, the research centre TRUST and the Academy for Territorial Development in the Leibniz Association (ARL) launched a joint Research Training Group in 2015.

© Foto TRUST
Advisory Board, Board of Directors, and Coordinators, 2018
PhD Candidates, 2020

The research training group consists of up to ten PhD candidates who carry out research on “Spatial Transformation – phenomena, planning, control, design within the field of tension between rural and urban areas.” The individual PhD theses deal with aspects of spatial structural change from natural scientific, ecological as well as engineering and social scientific perspectives.  In addition, they are embedded in relevant theoretical discourses and relate to pertinent plans of action for planning and political purposes.

Next to creating the PhD theses, the promotion entails an extensive supporting programme including events with special focus (e.g. inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation, methods, etc.), intensive and soft skill courses, and the participation in joint colloquia as well as monthly meetings. In addition, the PhD candidates are encouraged to take on an active role in their respective institutes respectively the ARL.  Furthermore, by collaborating actively in one of the TRUST clusters, they become more familiar with the inter- and transdisciplinary work in TRUST, which increases the knowledge transfer between the research centre, the research training group, and the ARL.

Usually TRUST PhD candidates are supervised by professors of TRUST, respectively the Leibniz Universität Hannover. Their ARL counterparts are supervised by ARL employees. Participation in the research training group is limited to three years.  

The course programme of the research training group entails:

  • Candidate meetings (Promovierendentreffen) to exchange scientific ideas with other PhD candidates. The candidates are in charge of organising these meetings, and they should happen on a monthly basis.
  • Colloquia (Kolloquien) to exchange scientific ideas with mentors. The is one colloquium per semester.
  • Intensive courses (Intensivkurse) organized by the Graduate Academy of the Leibniz University, e.g. on soft skills or methods of their discipline. There are two intensive courses per year.
  • Events with special focus (Fachveranstaltungen) on theories, methods, and content- as well as career development. These events are specially designed for the research training group and well-coordinated with the research interests of the candidates.  There are two events with special focus per year.
  • A scientific conference which the research training group organises and carry out.
  • Candidates completing the programme will receive a certificate.    


A hallmark of the TRUST-/ARL research training group is its ability to offer ample opportunities for networking. Participants benefit by getting to know university and non-university research as well as various areas of activity and career possibilities.

on 19. October 2018, 4-7 p.m.

Closing Ceremony of the TRUST-/ARL Research Training Group (German)


Conference "Räumliche Transformation: Prozesse, Konzepte und Forschungsdesigns" (German)


Jens Ibendorf
Herrenhäuser Str. 2
30419 Hannover
Herrenhäuser Str. 2
30419 Hannover