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Doctoral student in Environmental Social Science – University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 2022

Sweden, University of Gothenburg

Environmental social science at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, announces a doctoral position within the Formas (Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development) financed research project “Sustainable seafood in Sweden’s new rural development.”

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General Info

Position: Doctoral student
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field:
Joining Date: Aug 2022
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: According to Standard Norms

Environmental social science (ESS) School of Global Studies
University of Gothenburg
University of Gothenburg
Gothenburg, Sweden

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Qualification Details

Applicants must fulfil both general and specific entry requirements. An applicant meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle studies if they have obtained (Higher Education Ordinance Ch.7, Sec.39):

  1. a degree at the second-cycle level,
  2. at least 240 Higher Education Credits, of which at least 60 must be at the second cycle level, or
  3. largely equivalent knowledge in other ways in Sweden or abroad.

An applicant meets the specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies if they have obtained (Higher Education Ordinance Ch.7, Sec.40) a degree at the second cycle level in a social and behavioral science discipline, including 30 higher education credits at either first- or second-cycle level that have an environment focus and a thesis at the second cycle with an environment focus. Applicants who have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in Sweden or abroad will also be considered to meet the specific entry requirements.


Applicants will be assessed based on the general and specific eligibility requirements and their estimated ability to benefit from the study programme. The assessment places particular focus on:

  1. An introduction letter containing a proposal formulating ideas of how the applicant envisions that his/her PhD work will contribute to the research project in question. The proposal should identify an appropriate field site and provide a rationale for that choice. The document should be max 2,000 words, excluding references.
  2. A Master's thesis, scholarly publications, academic papers and/or other relevant works. These will be used to assess the applicant’s ability to formulate and delimit a research problem and analyse and present research results.
  3. A CV summarizing relevant work experience, language proficiency and other skills.
  4. Grades achieved in undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
  5. An interview for shortlisted applicants.

The applicant’s skills, experience, creativity and excellence in research are assessed on the basis of the points above.

Decisions on the shortlist will be made by April and final decisions in May 2022.

The Head of Department is in charge of all admission decisions at the third-cycle level. This decision cannot be appealed.

Responsibilities/Job Description

The purpose of undertaking doctoral studies is to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for conducting independent research within the field of Environmental Social Science. The doctoral studies comprise one year of coursework and three years of research, culminating in the production of a dissertation that makes a significant and original contribution to the research field. The knowledge and skills that are acquired during the studies should be applicable to postdoctoral research or other professional work. The position is salaried and covers four years (full-time equivalent, fixed term), beginning in August 2022. The doctoral candidate may undertake departmental duties corresponding to up to 20% of a full-time position, in which case the duration of the appointment will be extended accordingly. There are no tuition fees.

We are looking for a candidate who has studied environmental social sciences, including environmental anthropology, sociology, human ecology, cultural geography or similar fields, is fluent in Swedish (or any Scandinavian language) and has a background in European and/or Swedish rural development with a focus on sustainability. Candidates with knowledge and experience of working with coastal fishers and/or other actors in food localisation initiatives are particularly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: PAR 2021/1732
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

  • A proposal/introduction letter of maximum 2,000 words excluding references.
  • A Master’s thesis and/or any other relevant papers or publications. Submitted texts must be written in Swedish or English only.
  • A CV.
  • Copies of diplomas and/or academic transcripts verifying that the general and specific entry requirements stated above have been met. Evidence of other relevant qualifications.
  • The names of three references.

About the Project

Environmental social science (ESS) at the School of Global Studies is a new and growing interdisciplinary subject that explores questions related to environmental change and unsustainable natural resource use in the context of both the global north and south. The overarching aim of ESS is to contribute to an increased understanding of complex environmental problems through the application and development of social science theory and methodology. Currently, the 20 researchers within the ESS group are addressing a broad range of themes, including environmental governance and policy, sustainable development, green growth, environmental justice, traditional ecological knowledge, environmental education, political ecology, environmental conflicts, and marine resource use.

The project examines sustainable seafood’s role and future potential in Swedish rural development. Nordic consumers are increasingly rejecting industrial, corporate-owned food in favour of fresh, locally-produced items with a distinctive “taste of place” procured in face-to-face relationships, while the EU and Swedish government have endorsed a new rural development that supports artisanal production and multifunctional enterprise. “Sustainable seafood” studies how Swedish coastal fishers and locally-landed fish are included in place-based food initiatives and multifunctional entrepreneurship, and how to strengthen their future contributions to sustainable rural development. The PhD student will participate in a work package that investigates the social traits characterizing successful fish relocalisation and multifunctional fishing enterprises in rural coastal communities by conducting long-term participant observation in a single coastal community for 12 months.

About the Employer: University of Gothenburg

Note or Other details

Information for International Applicants

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:

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Contact details

Maris Boyd Gillette, Professor,

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