PhD student position in analysing stakeholder engagement regarding sustainable restoration of wetlands in the Nordic region

Applicants are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Environmental Science programme. The position is available from 01 October 2023 or later.

Title: PhD student position in analysing stakeholder engagement regarding sustainable restoration of wetlands in the Nordic region

Research area and project description: The research project funding this PhD position is titled “Stakeholder engagement and sustainable restoration of wetlands for water security “ in a collaboration between Södertörns University (Sweden) and Aarhus University (Denmark). The project is funded by FORMAS – the Swedish research council for sustainable development. The project aims to enhance knowledge on the problems and prospects concerning stakeholder engagement in the implementation of wetland restoration projects. The geographical focus is aimed at the Nordic region (Sweden and Denmark) where wetlands are being restored to improve water quality and quantity, and other ecosystem services. A wetland restoration project involves multiple stakeholders with diverse interests who need to be coordinated and involved effectively through the different project phases to ensure expected results. However, there is limited research knowledge about how to achieve their effective ‘engagement’.

The research project aims to plug the knowledge gap through a comparison of samples of ‘implemented’ and ‘non-implemented’ wetland restoration projects.

The proposed PhD study at Aarhus University will in the data collection primarily focus on the Danish wetland restoration projects, but there will be a strong collaboration with a PhD student performing similar analyses in Sweden, paving the way for comparative analyses.

Findings of the comparative study will contribute to a holistic action framework for securing effective stakeholder engagement through different phases in wetland restoration projects.

Finally, the action framework will be applied to develop ‘stakeholder engagement strategies’ in selected projects to improve water security. The ultimate purpose is to deepen knowledge for securing water supply in the Nordic region through efficient and sustainable wetland restoration.

You will be embedded in the research team of the project.

You will be part of the section on Environmental Social Science and Geography at Department of Environmental Science which comprise professors, senior researchers, post docs and PhDs. The unit employs approximately 20 staff, focusing on the interlinkages between the environment and society from economics, political science, sociology, and geography perspectives.

The strategic foci of the unit include environmental policy analysis, regulation and economic instruments, understanding of preferences and behavior of stakeholders and policy makers, spatial integrated modelling, and valuation of ecosystem services. Within these areas we carry out research, advisory services for policy makers, and a smaller amount of teaching. The unit has a strong international profile through participation in many international projects. Additionally, the unit has a long experience in providing policy advice to public authorities.

The co-supervisor is located at Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University and the PhD student is therefore expected to benefit from this research environment too.

We offer:

  • an exciting interdisciplinary environment with many national and international collaborators
  • a research climate encouraging lively, open and critical discussion within and across different fields of research
  • a work environment with close working relationships, networking and social activities
  • a workplace characterised by professionalism, equality and a healthy work-life balance

Project description: For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. Applicants are strongly encouraged to add a brief project description (max 2 pages) describing own ideas and research plan for this specific project based on the project description outlined above. If you do not wish to make your own project description, please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application.

Qualifications and specific competences: The position requires a 2-year Master degree, preferably with a specialization in political science, social science, sociology, anthropology, organizational science, environmental science, geography, agroecology or landscape planning (or related), with good results. Beneficial skills:

  • fluent English – written and spoken – is expected
  • strong skills in qualitative methods (interviewing techniques etc.)
  • demonstrated skills in writing academically
  • strong skills in working independently – but also in collaboration with other students and staff
  • enthusiasm about working in an interdisciplinary international academic environment
  • working knowledge of one of the Scandinavian languages is an advantage, since it facilitates communication with farmers and other stakeholders in Denmark
  • If graduation is expected in the very near future, documentation for final thesis and date of examination must be enclosed in the application.
  • applicants demonstrating a good understanding of integrated, problem-oriented analysis are preferred.
  • we expect that you will be an active part of the research environment and that you will contribute positively to the social working environment.
  • we expect you to submit a brief description (max 2 pages) of research ideas you would suggest to pursue within the boundaries of the project described above (research question, theoretical framework and methodologies).

Place of employment and place of work: The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark.

Contacts: Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact Senior Researcher Anders Branth Pedersen,

How to apply: Please follow this link to submit your application. Application deadline is 25 June 2023 at 23:59 CEST. Preferred starting date is 01 October 2023.

For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • Shortlisting will be used, which means that the evaluation committee only will evaluate the most relevant applications.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Salary and terms of employment are in accordance with applicable collective agreement.