Postdoctoral - project on the justice dimensions of intensified urban food production

Environmental ScienceGeographySociology
Sep 24, 2023 21:59:00 GMT+00:00
Apply Now
Online Application
Save 0

Nord universitet 

Through research, education and social engagement, Nord University contributes to the creation of a sustainable future.

In cooperation with society, business and industry in Northern and Central Norway, our 11,500 students and 1,350 staff promote innovative solutions and knowledge-based practice, both locally and internationally.

Nord University has four strategic focus areas: blue and green growth, sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship, societal security, and health, welfare and education.

The Faculty of Education and Arts (FLU) educates the teachers of the future, from kindergarten to upper secondary school and in sports and the arts subjects. Our candidates play a key role in knowledge-based development of society, both regionally and nationally. We shall contribute to developing a praxis field about which we are passionate, which is why our research approach is profession- and praxis-oriented. The Faculty offers a PhD in Science of Professions. The Faculty of Education and Arts has 3,500 students and 350 employees in Levanger, Bodø and Nesna.

Read more:

About the position

Are you ambitious and want to perform pioneering research on the justice dimensions of food systems transformations? Do you have experience researching the land tenure and labor dimensions of food production? Do you want to become an important part of a large collaborative and interdisciplinary project?

The Faculty of Education and Arts at Nord University have a 100 % Postdoctoral position in our new project on the justice dimensions of intensified urban food production. Will you join us?

The position is funded by Belmont forum JUST GROW – a collaboration of six research universities and support from civil society partners.

The purpose of the position is to support and strengthen the institution’s research related to sustainability in urban food systems, as well as to give researchers with a doctorate an opportunity to qualify for top scientific positions. As a postdoctoral fellow, you will be part of the thematic group Social Studies and KRLE and will be linked to the research group Expanded classrooms and varied learning arenas.

About the project

Urban regions are an important site for sustainable intensification of agriculture to increase food production, improve social sustainability, enhance resources utilization and improve societal robustness and resilience. In order to help different city regions holistically design just and equitable food system policy and governance structures, we will collaboratively co-define key equity and justice indicators for urban agriculture intensification with community and governance stakeholders in each study area, focusing on five dimensions critical to just sustainability: 1) land tenure, 2) labour conditions, 3) food security, 4) environmental consequences, and 5) cultural sustainability. Through practical tools, city regions will be able to plan and monitor efforts to enhance the resilience of urban agricultural systems, increase entry into and access to urban agriculture for all, grow the availability of dignified and viable urban agricultural livelihoods, and sustain diverse cultural foodways and heritage tied to food production.

This project will provide insights into the applicability, sustainability and justice dimensions of efforts to intensify agricultural production as part of the larger sustainability transformation agenda. The project leverages a focus on municipal governance to understand how urban food production can contribute to sustainable modes of production and consumption.

You will be embedded within the project chaired by Dr. Heidi Vinge, and work closely with Dr. Adam Calo, of the department of Geography Planning and the Environment at Radboud University. Contact Vinge or Calo for project description.

The position will be based in Levanger, Norway at Nord University. Office space at Radboud University in the Netherlands can also be considered for particularly qualified applicants. In any case, some travel activity must be expected between these two locations.

Duties and responsibilities

As Post-Doc Researcher you will mostly be involved in research (80 %) but will also have the chance to join the project management and outreach activities (20%). Your tasks include:

  • studying the land tenure and labor dimensions of urban food production through case study research in Norway and the Netherlands;
  • applying social scientific concepts like access theory, social reproduction theory, and legal geography to the dynamic of intensification of urban agricultural production;
  • deploying qualitative methods to conduct empirical work on sites of urban food production across a continuum of capital intensive and knowledge intensive systems;
  • working with international academic professionals from Japan, the US, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden to develop the holistic assessment of urban food production across disciplines;
  • supporting PhD and masters level students within the project to complete their contributions to the research;
  • building trusted academic and civil society networks to achieve project deliverables and goals;
  • developing creative outreach on the projects findings including policy briefs, podcasts, community workshops and more based on the candidates skills and interests;
  • regular publishing the results in peer-reviewed journals;
  • supporting the project lead with project management tasks (e.g., organize project meetings, conduct interviews with media, initiate collaborations).

Qualification requirements

  • a successful PhD in critical legal studies, sociology, human geography, anthropology, environmental science or related disciplines;
  • a good track record of internationally recognized peer-reviewed publications;
  • experience with ethnography or other methods suited to study the social relational dimensions of food production;
  • experience in land tenure or labor analysis is a bonus;
  • excellent communication, writing and organizational skills and are able to work both independently and in a team environment;
  • a willingness to do international fieldwork in the Netherlands and Norway;
  • fluency in English at C1 level.

It is assumed that the person employed will be able to complete the project during the employment period.

Qualified applicants will be ranked according to the following criteria:

  • Submitted project outline and professional profile, interest in the project and the quality of publications and submitted written works
  • Personal suitability will be emphasized
  • The applicant’s motivation for applying for the position
  • Good oral and written presentation skills 
  • Professionally oriented research and development work is central to the faculties. It is important that the person employed is prepared to orient himself towards profession-specific issues

We offer

The position is compensated according to Norwegian government regulations, code 1352 for post doctor. Salary by agreement.

  • Advantages within the Government Pension Fund for borrowing, insurance and pension.
  • Creative and collegial working environment
  • A workplace with steady progressive development
  • Flexible working hours
  • Active university sports team

General information

The person who is appointed must abide by the applicable laws, agreements, and directives. The responsibilities and duties associated with the position may change with future reorganization at Nord University.

The public sector workforce is expected to reflect the diversity of the population in general. Nord University therefore encourages qualified candidates with disabilities, gaps in their CV, immigrant backgrounds or different life experience to apply. Nord University practices moderate allocation according to gender quotas in accordance with the Basic Agreement for State Employees.

If applicants indicate they have disabilities or gaps in their CV, their details may be used anonymously for the purposes of governmental annual review.

Contact information

Further information about the position can be obtained by contacting :

Application process

Applicants will be evaluated by an expert committee.

Short-listed applicants will be called for an interview and trial lecture. These will be decisive for the appointment.

The faculty points out that it reserves the right not to hire applicants who are scientifically qualified, but who do not meet other criteria such as language, teaching abilities, experience from research or personal characteristics.


Applications must be submitted online by the closing date of 25.06.2023.

All documentation to be considered is to be uploaded as attachments to the application.

The electronic application must contain:

  • Cover letter with a description of your motivation for applying for the position
  • Complete CV summarizing education, positions held, teaching and research experience, publications, administrative experience and other qualifying activities
  • Copies of diplomas, transcripts and certificates, including the doctoral dissertation and transcripts from Bachelor, Master and doctoral degrees
  • Complete copies of up to 5 of the most relevant publications / academic works that the applicant wishes to be considered, along with a list of those submitted. The doctoral dissertation should be included
  • Documentation of other activities which the applicant considers relevant to the position and desires to be considered in the assessment
  • A project outline with a plan for the research work of 2 pages maximum (excluding reference list) must be attached to the application. The project plan can be motivated by the prompts: What is the challenge of intensifying urban agricultural production with concerns to social justice? Or: What is the role of urban agriculture in achieving more sustainable modes of production and consumption? The project plan must contain a description of the research idea and plan for progress for the various parts of the research work and a publication plan
  • Contact information for 2-3 referees
  • Signed form for permission to obtain assessment of foreign education

Complete documentation in electronic form must be submitted by the closing date for applications.  30180690

After the application deadline has expired a list of applicants will be published. Note that, in special cases, the identity of particular applicants to a position may be made public even when that applicant has requested that their application be processed confidentially. Applicants requesting an exemption from publication of their identity must explain their reasons for doing so in their application. In this case, advance notice will be given in the event of a decision to make public any information about the applicant.