PhD fellow in Geography
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management
Faculty of Science
University of Copenhagen
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in Sustainable sourcing of agricultural commodities, spill-over effects and global-local relations commencing 01.03.2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.
Description of the scientific environment
The successful candidate will be attached to the EU funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN): Operationalising telecouplings for solving sustainability challenges related to land use (COUPLED) and based in the research group ‘Environment and Society in Developing Countries’ at the Section of Geography, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management. The group is interdisciplinary and works on a wide range of issues related to complexities of land use and land cover change, natural resource management, earth observation and societal processes. It is composed of eight permanent scientific staff and more than 25 PhD students and Post Docs.
In order to be eligible, each applicant must fulfil the following criteria at the time of recruitment:
- Mobility: At the time of recruitment, the applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc…) in the country of the host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
- Qualifications and research experience: The applicant must fulfil the requirements defined for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs): ESRs are researcher who, at the time of recruitment, has NOT yet been awarded the doctorate degree and is in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of his/her research career.
Sustainability standards for agricultural commodities are – among other things – aiming to ensure sustainable, transparent and traceable sourcing practices. Efforts to comply with EU standards (or presumed upcoming standards) are currently causing a cascade of direct and indirect land use changes in distant places with trade relations to the EU – e.g. in mainland Southeast Asia. This project will take point of departure in Thailand – one of the largest suppliers of poultry to the EU. In Thailand multinational agribusiness companies are currently shifting from mainly relying on nationally produced maize to imported maize from neighbouring countries, and on wheat from primarily Europe and Argentina in response to concerns about upcoming EU regulations on sustainable sourcing of feedstock for the poultry industry. This telecoupled food system is bringing about a series of feedbacks and spill-overs – e.g. in terms of changes in land use in Thailand and the neighbouring countries, where policies on sustainable land use are not as strict as in Thailand – and potentially in wheat producing areas overseas. Therefore, sustainable sourcing efforts may lead to the strengthening or even expansion of systems that are considered unsustainable. This project will use the telecoupling framework to explore the place-based outcomes of this complex network of different types of flows that is affected by the shift in sourcing practices. The research will apply field surveys, spatial analyses and supply chain analyses to capture the local as well as distant impacts, feedbacks and spill-overs.
The research will lead to
- Creation of knowledge on how to analyze flows that link land systems across large distances
- Development of new approaches that integrate place-based data-sets of a multidisciplinary nature with flow based analyses
- Development of methodologies to attribute impacts to drivers in telecoupled land use systems
Principal supervisor is Associate Prof. Thilde Bech Bruun, Section for Geography, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, firstname.lastname@example.org , Direct Phone: +45 3533 3412. Co-supervisor is Prof. Peter Messerli, University of Bern, Switzerland
The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:
- To manage and carry through your research project
- Attend PhD courses
- Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
- Disseminate your research
- To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
- Work for the department*
*Contribution to teaching is expected during the part of the project that is financed by Section of Geography.
Two secondments will take place during the PhD: at a non-academic organization (to be decided) and at the University of Bern, Switzerland.
Applicants should hold an MA/MSc (or the equivalent degree), in Geography, Development Studies, Environmental Science or related fields with good results and good English skills. We expect a strong interest in land system science, conservation and sustainability problems. Experience with both qualitative and quantitative research is an asset. Willingness to be based in Copenhagen and travel to the Global South is mandatory and experience with field based research in Southeast Asia is an asset.
Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.
Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.
The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 322,642 (approx. €43,015) including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 44,567). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.
- Cover Letter, stating which PhD project you are applying for and detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
- Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
- Acceptance Letter for the relevant MSc Programme at SCIENCE, if any
- Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any),
- Full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) of 1-3 professional referees
The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.
The deadline for applications is 04.01.2019, 23:59 GMT +1. Applications received after the deadline for applications will not be considered.
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.
The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.
For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor Associate Prof. Thilde Bech Bruun, Section for Geography, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, email@example.com.
General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at https://www.science.ku.dk/phd.
Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.
Deadline: 4 January 2019
Unit: Det Natur- og Biovidenskabelige Fakultet
Read the job description and apply online
Post expires on Friday January 4th, 2019