sDiv Calls for Postdocs, Early Career Researcher Workinggroups and Modular Synthesis Projects (SynFlex)

 - Pre-proposal deadline has passed. Out of overall 74 pre-proposals 8 ECR working group, 9 Postdoc, 14 Synflex World and 5 Synflex Members projects have been invited to submit a full proposal. -


This call is for projects with start from October 2021. All financing is dependent upon successful renewal of DFG funding for iDiv (defense in March 2021).

  • All topics and questions related to synthesizing biodiversity research are welcome.
  • Each proposal needs to involve at least one iDiv member. Candidates are encouraged to be pro-active in communicating with suitable project partners (assistance by the sDiv head Marten Winter if needed).
  • Pre-proposal submission before 16 March 2021, 11:59 PM CET via the iDiv application portal*
  • Evaluation of pre-proposal until late March 2021
  • Full proposal submission upon inviation before 8 June 2021, 11:59 PM CET via the iDiv application portal* as PDF file using the provided templates.
  • Evaluation full proposal until August 2021

* Registration is required to create your application. It is possible to safe and change data at any time until the final submission. Please contact sDiv for assistance.

Postdoc Call

Three 24 to 36 months positions in Leipzig
(full-time employment by Leipzig University, TVL E13)


  • sDiv call description (PDF)
  • Full proposal template (WORD)

Working Group Call for Early Career Researchers

Open to Early Career Reseachers (PhD students and Postdocs)



SynFlexWorld Call

Open for all scientist worldwide

for modular flexible synthesis projects including consumables
and staff budget



    SynFlexMember Call

    One PI has to be full iDiv Member

    for modular flexible synthesis projects including consumables
    and staff budget


      General Information Material

      • General information about the sDiv framework (PDF)
      • Call Description - one pager (PDF)

        iDiv Data Management Policy

        • iDiv Data Portal Usage Policy (currently under revision)
        • iDiv Data Sharing Policy (currently under revision)

        Previous calls

        Decisions for eights sDiv call

        Following our 8th Call, sDiv has received 26 pre-proposals for individual Postdoc positions and 45 pre-proposals for working group. 11 applicants for individual PostDoc positions and 26 for working groups have received a positive evaluation of their pre-proposal and have been invited to hand in a full proposal.

        Despite the very challenging work situation during the last months, sDiv received many proposals of very high scientific quality. After intense discussions of the internal and external reviews, the sDiv Evaluation Board decided to support 7 working groups including 2 working group postdocs (plus partial funding for 2 more groups), 3 individual postdoc positions and 3 sabbatical fellowships. Congratulations to our new sDiv working groups, future sDiv postdocs and guests. Please see the list below (we present only 100% verified projects at this point).

        Funded working groups projects*

        sPriorityMechanisms and Quantification of Priority Effects
        main PIs:
        Benjamin Delory, Institute of Ecology, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany
        Tadashi Fukami,Stanford University, California, USA

        sRedListAccelerating IUCN Red List assessments for rapid and effective biodiversity monitoring
        main PIs:
        Luca Santini, National Research Council (Italy)
        Moreno Di Marco, Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)

        sTradES Ecosystem services, biodiversity and anthropogenic capital embedded in internationally traded goods
        main PIs:
        C.J.E. (Nynke) Schulp, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
        Thomas Kastner, Senckenberg Institute, Frankfurt

        sTreTra – Quantifying temporal change in traits across taxa and the globe
        main PIs:
        Franziska Schrodt, University of Nottingham
        Maria Dornelas, University of St Andrews

        sTraits – Integrating in-situ, upscaled and air- and spaceborne observations of plant traits
        main PIs:
        Philip A. Townsend, University of Wisconsin-Madison
        Ryan Pavlick, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

        partial funding
        sMile synthesising plant Metabolomics into biodiversity, Life history & Ecology
        main PIs:
        Tom Walker, ETH Zürich
        Franziska Schrodt, University of Nottingham

        partial funding
        sPrint - Working out the mechanics of predator-prey interactions to predict the present and future of biodiversity in food webs
        main PI:
        Mehdi Cherif, Umeå University

        * Due to budgetary and other uncertainties caused by Corona, we can only announce the potential start of the working group projects in fall, but hope to welcome the new groups soon.


        Funded individual postdocs projects

        Juan D. Carvajal-Quintero
        Assessing the effects of global environmental change on species interaction networks

        Chris Barratt
        Life on the edge: A new bioinformatic toolbox to conserve wildlife populations under threat from global change

        Adriana Alzate Vallejo
        Untangling the macro-ecological and evolutionary drivers of species range sizes and diversification rates

        Funded sabbatical projects

        Cynthia Chang
        Placing ecological succession in applied global change and restoration context
        Host: Stan Harpole

        Erik Hom
        Of Sloths and Franken-Lichens: Elucidating the Biodiversity, Chemical Ecology, and Physiology of Algal Polycultures
        Host: Nicole van Dam

        Michael Kaspari
        Exploring the abiotic theatre and the ecological play: how biogeochemistry temperature, and precipitation shape terrestrial food webs
        Hosts: Ulrich Brose, Stan Harpole, Nico Eisenhauer

        Decisions for Joint Call CESAB - sDiv SYNERGY: Coexistence and stability high-diversity communities

        Decisions on joint CESAB and sDiv Call

        CESAB and sDiv are the synthesis centers of the French FRB (Foundation for Research on Biodiversity) and German iDiv (German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research). These two centers offer to host groups of researchers to work on a better use of existing data, information and knowledge to foster theoretical, and synthetic thinking in biodiversity research.

        In the joint call called “synergy”  two theory driven groups of 5-7 researchers (4 meetings per group) were funded, that will share their meetings between the two centers.

        The main topic is “Coexistence and stability in high-diversity communities”.


        Funded working groups:

        UNICOP - Unification of modern Coexistence theory and Price equation
        DUTHIE, A. Bradley, University of Stirling
        LION, Sébastien, Centre d'Écologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive (CEFE) - Montpellier

        INTRACO - Unravelling the role of intraspecific variability in tree specied coexsistence in tropical forest
        VIEILLEDENT Ghislain, UMR AMAP – CIRAD Montpellier
        MARECHAUX Isabelle,UMR AMAP – CIRAD Montpellier

        Decisions for seventh sDiv call

        Following our seventh sDiv call, we received many proposals of very high scientific quality. After discussion of the internal and external reviews, the sDiv Board decided to fund 6 working groups, 1 individual postdoc position and 3 sabbatical positions as followed:

        Funded working groups projects

        sBIOMAPS – Exploring BIOgeographic and MAcroevolutionary Patterns in organismal Stoichiometric diversity
        main PIs: Angelica Gonzalez, Olivier Dézerald

        sCom – Advancing inference for eDNA and other novel, high-throughput community data
        main PIs: Florian Hartig, Douglas Yu

        sCoRRE – Assessing functional consequences of community changes with global change using trait-based and phylogenetic approaches
        main PIs: Meghan Avolio, Kimberly La Pierre

        sDevTrait – streamlining development efforts in tools for ecological trait analyses
        main PIs: Alexander Keller, Markus Ankenbrand

        sToration – Applying Coexistence Theory to Restoration Ecology and Adaptive Management
        main PIs: Lauren Shoemaker, Lauren Hallett and Akasha Faist

        sUCCESS – Pantropical forest succession
        main PIs: Lourens Poorter, Nadja Rüger

        Funded individual postdocs projects

        Roberto Rozzi
        The demise of dwarfs and giants: ecological naiveté and extinction risk in insular vertebrates

        Funded sabbaticals projects

        George Perry (School of Environment, University of Auckland)
        Reconstructing movement and emergent ecological functions for extinct animals

        Lenore Fahrig (Carleton University)
        Dissecting SLOSS: Why are there more species in several small than few large patches?

        Malin Pinsky (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
        Community response to changing temperatures  across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial realms

        Decisions for sixth sDiv call

        Following our sixth sDiv call, we received many proposals of very high scientific quality. After discussion of the internal and external reviews, the sDiv Board decided to fund 7 working groups including 1 postdoc, 2 individual postdoc positions and 9 sabbatical positions as followed:

        Funded working groups projects

        sANDES – Tree Diversity, Composition and Carbon Storage in Andean Tropical Montane Forests
        main PIs: Luis Cayuela, Manuel J. Macía

        sCaleWebs – Unifying environmental and spatial determinants of food web structure across spatial scales
        main PIs: Gustavo Q Romero, Diane S Srivastava

        sREplot – Upscaling of individual species dynamics to community trends in biodiversity and composition using vegetation change data sets
        main PIs: Lander Baeten; Markus Bernhardt-Römermann; Ute Jandt

        sROOT – Root Trait functionality in a Whole-Plant Context
        main PIs: Liesje Mommer; Alexandra Weigelt

        sTraitChange – How do trait responses to climate change translate into demographic rates and population dynamics?
        main PIs: Viktoriia Radchuk, Marcel E. Visser

        sTreelines – Spatial pattern emergence from ecological processes at alpine treelines: model-supported hypothesis tests against globally-distributed field data
        main PIs: Maaike Bader, Bradley Case

        sTWIST – Theory and Workflows for Alien and Invasive Species Tracking
        main PIs: Melodie McGeoch, Marten Winter

        sUrBio2050 – Assessing globally important areas for biodiversity preservation and human well-being
        main PIs: Thomas Elmqvist, Henrique Pereira
        associated postdoc: TBA

        sYNGEO – The geography of synchrony in dendritic networks: understanding the causes, dynamics, and consequences across multiple scales
        main PIs: Julian D Olden, Lise Comte

        Funded individual postdocs projects

        Stephanie Jurburg
        Microbial community assembly: establishing general ecological principles responsible for turnover in microbial communities

        Alexander Zizka
        Reaching for the sky: Unravelling global patterns and processes to explain convergent evolution of woodiness in angiosperms

        Funded sabbaticals projects

        Priyanga Amarasekare (University of California Los Angeles)
        A framework for biodiversity maintenance: scaling up from modules to communities

        Stephanie Bohlman (University of Florida)
        Linking biodiversity and demography through remote sensing of trait tradeoffs

        Douglas Chesters (Chinese Academy of Sciences)
        Phylogenetic integration of insect community data

        Rodolfo Dirzo (Stanford University)
        Research on plant-herbivore interactions under climate change and collaborations on biodiversity science

        Christopher Klausmeier (Michigan State University)
        Synthesizing Trait-Based Ecological Theory

        Jeremy Lichstein (University of Florida)
        Plant functional diversity and forest ecosystem stability: insights from dynamic vegetation models

        Elena Litchman (Michigan State University)
        Trait-based community patterns in microbes

        Fernando T. Maestre (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)
        Climate change impacts on dryland soil biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions from local to global scales

        Pati Vitt (Chicago Botanic Garden)
        Phylogenetic Endemism, Functional Trait Diversity and Conservation Status in the Orchidaceae: a Global Synthesis

        Decisions for fifth sDiv call

        Following our fifth sDiv call, we received many proposals of very high scientific quality. After discussion of the internal and external reviews, the sDiv Board decided to fund 6 working groups, 2 individual postdoc positions and 3 sabbatical positions.

        Funded working groups

        sEcoEvo - Biodiversity Dynamics – The Nexus Between Space & Time
        main PIs: Rosemary Gillespie; Michael Hickerson

        sELDiG - Explaining the latitudinal diversity gradient: synthesizing knowledge via data-driven mechanistic modelling
        main PIs: Allen Hurlbert; Catherine Graham

        sLandServ - Linking Landscape Structure to Ecosystem Services
        main PI’s: Jonathan Rhodes; Jean Paul Metzger

        sOcioLock-in - Understanding the undesirable resilience in socio-ecological systems driving biodiversity loss
        main PIs: Tom Oliver; Emily Boyd

        sTURN - Does time drive space? Building a mechanistic linkage between spatial and temporal turnover in metacommunities
        main PIs: Zsófia Horváth; Robert Ptacnik

        sUrBioCity - Deciphering Drivers of Urban Biodiversity across Multiple Scales
        main PI: Christopher Swan

        Funded individual postdocs

        Léa Beaumelle
        How do multiple environmental change drivers shape biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships?

        Roel van Klink
        Effects of extreme weather events on long term ecosystem dynamics (X-WELT)

        Funded sabbatical projects

        Robert R. Dunn
        The Global Biogeography of Microbes and Mutualists Associated with Humans

        Benjamin Gilbert
        Project 1 – Neutrality, Demographic stochasticity and ecological drift
        Project 2 – Local interactions, Regional constraints, and multiple stable states

        Angélica L. González
        Understanding the interactive effects of temperature and nutrients on ecological processes: a meta-analysis

        Decisions for sDiv call for catalyst postdocs

        Following our sDiv call for catalyst postdocs, we received many proposals of very high scientific quality. After discussion of the internal reviews, the sDiv Board decided to fund three postdoc positions.

        Funded catalyst postdocs

        Adam Thomas Clark (Postdoc)
        Stanley Harpole (PI professor), Helmut Hillebrand (PI member)
        sMultiMod: Synthesis of multiple predictive models of community composition and coexistence

        Guy Pe'er (Postdoc)
        Aletta Bonn (PI professor), Bernd Hansjürgens (PI member), Irene Ring (Co-PI member)
        Towards the next reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy: evaluating the new greening measures from Ecological and Socio-economic perspectives

        Callum Lawson (Postdoc)
        Ulrich Brose (PI professor), Katrin Böhning-Gaese (PI member)
        Double jeopardy: which populations will become both smaller and less stable under climate change?

        Decisions for fourth sDiv call

        Following our fourth sDiv call, we received many proposals of very high scientific quality. After discussion of the internal and external reviews, the sDiv Board decided to fund ten working groups, two individual postdoc positions and one sabbatical position.

        Funded working groups

        sECURE - Separating Environmental Changes and their effects on community traits in European butterflies
        main PI's: Oliver Schweiger, Josef Settele

        sPRED - Synthesizing Predictability Research of Ecological Dynamics
        main PI's: Frank Pennekamp, Alison Iles

        sToichNutNet II - Linking ecological stoichiometry with environment-diversity-productivity relationships in grasslands
        main PI's: Elizabeth Borer, Anne Ebeling

        sFDvent - A functional trait perspective on the global biodiversity of hydrothermal vent communities
        main PI's: Amanda Bates, Abbie Chapman

        sMonodominance - Monodominance workshop
        main PI's: Andreas Huth, Kelvin Peh

        sAPROPOS - Analysis of PROjections of POpulationS
        main PI: Roberto Salguero-Gomez

        sTeleBES - Telecoupled use of biodiversity and ecosystem services: synthesis of concepts, methods and evidence
        main PI's: Matthias Schröter, Thomas Koellner

        sCAP - Testing the conservation value of phylogenetic diversity
        main PI's: Arne Mooers, Caroline M. Tucker

        sWORM - A global soil biodiversity database and its application to data synthesis and theory development
        main PI's: Erin Cameron, Nico Eisenhauer

        sPlot - Plant trait-environment relationships, biodiversity and invasion patterns across the world's biomes
        main PI's: Jürgen Dengler, Oliver Purschke

        Funded individual postdocs

        Duarte S. Viana
        Spatial scaling in the assembly and diversity of biological communities

        Katharina Gerstner
        From plots to landscapes – Towards a mechanistic understanding of land-use effects on biodiversity across spatial scales

        Funded sabbatical project

        David Currie
        A continental theory of biogeography: predicting geographic variation in species richness and range size

        Decisions for third sDiv call

        Following our third sDiv call, we received many proposals of very high scientific quality. After discussion of the internal reviews, the sDiv Committee decided to fund nine international workshops and two individual Postdoc projects:

        Workshop projects:

        "Quantifying biodiversity change through time (sChange)”
        main applicants: Sarah R. Supp  (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Maria Dornelas (University of St. Andrews)

        "Towards understanding the causes and consequences of epigenetic diversity (sEpiDiv)”
        main applicants: Katrin Heer and Lars Opgenoorth (both University of Marburg

        "Scaling shrub expansion from site to biome Manuscript finalization working group" (sTUNDRA II)"
        main applicants: Isla H. Myers-Smith (University of Edinburgh) and Anne Bjorkman (iDiv)

        "Global Changes in Marine Plankton Diversity and Productivity (sMarD)"
        main applicants: Aleksandra M. Lewandowska (University of Oldenburg) and Boris Worm (Dalhousie University)

        "Community Assembly and the Functioning of Ecosystems in Open Systems (sCAFE)"
        main applicants: S.K. Morgan Ernest (Utah State University) and Mathew Leibold (University of Texas at Austin)

        "Synthesis on Pollen Limitation and Terrestrial biodiversity (sPlat)"
        main applicants: Tiffany Knight (Washington University, iDiv), Tia-Lynn Ashman (University of Pittsburgh) and Janette Steets (Oklahoma State University)

        "Linking ecological stoichiometry with environment‐diversity‐productivity relationships in grasslands (sToichNutNet)"
        main applicants: Elizabeth Borer (University of Minnesota) and Anne Ebeling (University of Jena)

        "Expanding Neo-Chessonian coexistence theory towards a stochastic theory for species rich communities (sNiche)"
        main applicants: Thorsten Wiegand (UFZ) and Stan W. Harpole (iDiv)

        "Functional Information: its potential for quantifying biodiversity and its relation to ecosystem functioning. Function, Information and Biodiversity (sFIND)"
        main applicants: Keith Farnsworth (Queen’s University Belfast) and Ivo Große (University of Halle/ Saale)

        Individual postdoc projects:

        "Drivers of plant diversity across spatiotemporal scales: integrating ecological, evolutionary and environmental processes”
        Postdoc: Juliano Sarmento Cabral (University of Göttingen)

        "Assessing extinction: Crossover of geometrical, macroecological and Bayesian perspectives”
        Postdoc: Petr Keil (Charles University in Prague)

        Decisions for second sDiv call

        Following our second sDiv call, we received many proposals of very high scientific quality. After discussion of the internal reviews, the sDiv Committee decided to fund five international workshops:

        "Synthesising Trait Evolution in Plants (sTEP)"
        main applicants: William D. Pearse
        and Jeannine Cavender-Bares (both University of Minnesota)

        "Next Generation Models for Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity (sESMOD)"
        main applicants: Elena Bennett
        (Mc Gill University); Gretchen Daily (Stanford University)

        "Ecotoxicology for B-EF research: experimental design of aquatic multi-trophic experiments (sEcoToxDiv)"
        main applicants: Frederik De Laender
        (University of Namur); Paul Van den Brink (Wageningen University)

        "Can ecological network information improve the efficacy of biodiversity conservation for ecosystem services in the face of unavoidable uncertainty? (sErvices)"
        main applicants: Laura E. Dee
        and Steven D. Gaines (both University of California, Santa Barbara)

        "Unifying marine and terrestrial biodiversity at the interplay of macroecology, macrophysiology and macroevolution (sWEEP)"
        main applicants: Miguel Ángel Olalla Tárraga
        (Rey Juan Carlos University); Ignacio Morales Castilla (Universidade de Evora)

        Decisions for first sDiv call

        Within our first sDiv call for workshops, various projects are funded.

        Funded workshops:

        sPlot - Plant trait-environment relationships across the world's biomes ("Trait-vegetation")
        main applicants: Helge Bruelheide, Oliver Purschke
        associated postdoc: Jürgen Dengler

        sImpact - Impact of invasive alien species: prediction and quantification
        main applicant: Sabrina Kumschick

        TRANs-BEE - Synthesising transcriptome data to explore interspecies bee-pathogen molecular interactions that may underpin pollinator decline “trans-bee”
        main applicants: Christina M. Grozinger, Robert J. Paxton
        associated postdoc: Vincent Doublet

        sTOICHFUN Stoichiometric constraints of biodiversity – functioning relationships StoichFun
        main applicant: Helmut Hillebrand
        associated postdoc: Aleksandra Lewandowska

        rangeShifter - Synthesising population, community, genetic and evolutionary dynamics in a simulation platform: a tool for theory and application
        main applicant: Justin Travis
        associated postdoc: Alexander Singer

        ECOTRON - Next generation biodiversity manipulation: Technical requirements for an ecotron platform
        main apllicants: Stefan Meldau, Nico Eisenhauer

        sTability - Plant diversity effects on ecosystem resistance to and recovery from perturbations
        main applicants: Nico Eisenhauer, Forest Isbell
        associated postdoc: Dylan Craven

        sOILDIV - A framework to improve our understanding of the distribution of global soil biodiversity: establishing the first quantitative synthesis
        main applicant: Diana H. Wall
        associated postdoc: Kelly S. Ramirez

        sREGPOOL - Biodiversity across spatial scales - linking macroecological models to local-scale biodiversity patterns by explicit delineation of the regional species pool Biodiversity and spatial scale - the regional species pool link
        main applicants: Dirk Nikolaus Karger, Jens-Christian Svenning

        sFOSSIL - Integrating Phylogenies, Fossils and Earth System Dynamics
        main applicants: Jan Schnitzler, Andreas Mulch

        TRY - Towards a sustainable archive and sharing-mechanism for plant trait data: Refining the TRY initiative TRY 3.0
        main applicant: Jens Kattge

        sTUNDRA - Tundra ecosystem change: Scaling shrub expansion from site to biome
        main applicants: Isla H. Myers-Smith, Sarah C. Elmendorf
        associated postdoc: Anne Bjorkman

        sCoMuCra - Species communities harboring the outcome of plant diversification: museums and cradles (CoMuCra)
        main applicant: Andreas Prinzing
        associated postdoc: Benjamin Yguel

        sTREEDIV - Using Tree Diversity as an Insurance for the Stable Functioning of Forest Ecosystems
        main applicants: Andy Hector, Bart Muys
        associated postdoc: Simon Bilodeau-Gauthier

        Physiodiv - Biodiversity meets Physiology – Physiology meets Biodiversity
        main applicant: Christian Wilhelm

        sPHY - Synthesizing phylogenetic measures for ecology and conservation
        main applicants: Marc W Cadotte, Dan F Rosauer

        sMGI - 3rd Mycorrhizal Genomics Initiative
        main applicants: François Buscot, Sylvie Herrmann

        Funded individual postdocs:

        How does biodiversity affect ecosystem functioning and community stability:a meta-analysis of ecotoxicological stress experiments on freshwater communities
        Viktoriia Radchuk

        Niche, neutrality and the maintenance of biotic diversity in a changing world
        Stefano Larsen

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