Lund University, Universitetets särskilda verksamheter, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS)

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 44 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

The Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) is an institute hosting research and education to address sustainability challenges with a critical perspective and solutions-based approaches. Our research projects focus on sustainability challenges such as climate change, water conflicts, food security, land use changes and urbanisation, often conducted in international cooperation. LUCSUS strives to catalyse change, on both a local and a global level, for a more sustainable society and future. The educational programmes at LUCSUS include a Master’s programme (LUMES) and a PhD research school.

Sustainability Science PhD programme
The PhD programme in sustainability science consists of 240 credits (equivalent to four years of full-time studies); it concludes with the public defence of a doctoral thesis. The appointed doctoral student will receive a salary from the University for the four years, where their primary obligation is to complete the PhD studies. The PhD position also may involve departmental duties, mainly in the form of teaching of up to 20 per cent of full time working hours, in which case the position appointment will be extended by the equivalent number of hours. The doctoral student will have access to a work space at LUCSUS. The terms of employment for doctoral students are regulated in the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (HF), Chapter 5, Sections 1– 7.

The research project on negative emissions
The successful candidate will work within the department’s new, 4-year research project on large-scale carbon dioxide removal, or so-called “negative emissions”. This is an international project jointly coordinated by LUCSUS and the LU Human Ecology division, and involves partners in the US (UCLA) and Germany (Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UfZ). The project aims to bring social science perspectives and insights to ongoing debates on the mitigation pathways that are put forward by the IPCC, where negative emissions – the need to remove large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere in addition to direct emission reductions – have become ubiquitous in recent years. The project thus undertakes a reconstructive analysis of the history of negative emissions in models and IPCC assessments, and provides a political economic analysis of emerging policy and practice on the topic. The project builds on a strong critical social science tradition but is interdisciplinary in scope and engages constructively with integrated assessment modelers, climate scientists and policy makers.

General qualifications
The requirements for admission to third cycle courses and study programmes (in accordance with HF, Chapter 7, Section 35) are that the applicant meets the general and specific entry requirements that the higher education institution may have laid down, and is considered in other respects to have the ability required to benefit from the course or study programme (Swedish Code of Statutes 2010:1064).

A person meets the general entry requirements for third cycle courses and study programmes if (s)he:

  • has been awarded a second cycle qualification,
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle or has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or internationally.

Desired specific qualifications
The main research tasks for the position will be linked closely to the broader project’s objectives (briefly outlined above). The successful candidate will carry out independent and interdisciplinary research on the history and politics of IPCC mitigation pathways, which for example could involve interviews, discourse analysis and archival work. There will be scope to define own interests and priorities within the project’s larger set-up. The ideal PhD candidate for the position will have the following specific qualifications:

  • A Masters degree in Sustainability Science, Human/Physical Geography, Human Ecology, Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology or a related field.
  • A strong interest in critical social science questions, as documented for example by previous engagements (e.g. in the Master thesis) with political economy, political ecology, and/or science and technologies studies.
  • A strong and documented interest in climate change and climate politics
  • Familiarity and/or experience with the world of international climate politics and the workings of the IPCC.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of an interdisciplinary, inclusive and international research environment.
  • Excellent writing skills in English.
  • Enthusiasm to contribute to teaching at LUCSUS and/or Human Ecology in Lund, and to work with students.
  • An affinity or experience with climate modeling and/or integrated assessment modeling is an advantage.

Assessment criteria
Only applicants who are eligible for third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Admission is primarily to be based on the applicant’s ability to benefit from the third cycle programme.

The applicants will be ranked based on an overall assessment of the quality of their cover letter (including a description of motivation and specific qualifications), submitted thesis/theses, grades from previous studies, their overall personal suitability, and their interest and capacity to contribute to the overall goals of the research project. As third cycle studies in sustainability science are demanding, the applicant must be highly motivated and able to work independently under several time constraints. Good collaboration and communication skills are also required, as is proficiency in written and spoken English. Swedish language skills are a plus, but not a requirement.

Application procedure
Applications are to be submitted electronically via the Lund University application portal. The application must include:

  • A cover letter in English of max. 2 500 words. This should contain a brief presentation of yourself, your motivation and qualifications for carrying out PhD research. The letter should also contain a statement on why you would like to work on this specific project, how your qualifications make you suitable for the position, and what individual interests and priorities you would like to pursue (within the project’s overall aims) if your application were successful.
  • A CV in English (2 pages max) that demonstrates your qualifications for the third cycle programme in Sustainability Science (including publications, if relevant)
  • Degree and grade certificates.
  • A copy of your degree thesis/theses, corresponding to at least 30 credits (30 credits Master’s degree thesis, or 15 credits Master’s degree thesis plus 15 credits Bachelor's degree thesis).
  • Name and contact information of three professional references (note: letters of reference are not required in the first stage of application).

Interviews will be conducted with a shortlisted number of applicants during the final stages of the admission process.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment 2019-09-01
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2018/3927
  • Wim Carton, Assistant Professor and project coord., +46 46-222 0394,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Published 26.Feb.2019
Last application date 09.Apr.2019 11:59 PM CEST

Return to job vacancies