Lunds universitet

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 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 position is within the interdisciplinary environment of LUCSUS, the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies ( LUCSUS includes about 30 staff (faculty, postdocs, and PhD students), who study a range of issues from global environmental governance to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. LUCSUS also runs an international master’s programme in sustainability science (LUMES,, with about 50 students each year from 20+countries.


The research project

We invite applications for a bright, creative, energetic researcher to be based for two years at LUCSUS, Sweden. The applicant will be part of the project “From everyday forms of resistance to transformational climate change adaptation of the urban poor”, funded by the Vetenskapsrådent VR. The project aims to develop a better understanding of the governance of climate change adaptation in informal urban settlements. To do this, the post-holder will undertake fieldwork in Maputo, Mozambique, using qualitative and/or ethnographic methods to investigate relationships between everyday risk perceptions, everyday resilience and everyday legal cultures, and their influence on the potential for transformational change.


The urban context has emerged as a focus of climate change research and the African urban context has received increasing attention in terms of links between adaptation and climate change risks. However, there are significant opportunities to learn how law (both formal and informal), regulation and society might interact to impede or leverage transformational adaptation in contexts of persistent risk and poverty. There is an urgent need to explore gaps between potential top down adaptation processes and the everyday lives of residents of informal settlements, their values, social norms and coping strategies in order to design more inclusive forms of adaptation that can lower the risks of climate change hazards in informal settlements. This requires a focus on how urban groups already deal with risk, including environmental  risk,  and  secure  resilience  (i.e.,  the  capacity  to continue  to  develop  under  stress)  through  everyday  cultural  practices  and  social  institutions.  These questions help resolve the most pressing concern: what changes in forms of urban adaptation governance would be essential for transformative adaptation processes in the context of poverty and inequality?

Position Instructions

We ask applicants to clearly state how their how their background and expertise will add value to the project as described above. The successful candidate will carry out data collection as far as possible in Maputo over periods for up to 12 months and conduct analysis described above. They will lead on, and contribute to, academic and popular science articles resulting from the project, contribute to stakeholder engagement and the dissemination of project results.


Tasks will also involve some project management and reporting, and assistance in the organisation of workshops and events. There is also an expectation that the applicant will be involved in some co-supervision of MSc student theses and teaching in sustainability science and/or climate change and society at LUCSUS.


The position will be supervised by Emily Boyd and work together with the Transist team which also includes Christine Wamsler at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), Jonathan Ensor (Stockholm Environment Institute, Department of Environment and Geography) and Simon Halliday (York Law School). The successful candidate will be part of a small team at Lund University and the University of York and, whilst based mainly in Lund, will spend some time in York during the data analysis and writing phase. 




Applicants must have a PhD degree not older than 3 years at the application deadline in a related field (environmental studies, geography, development studies). They should have worked on, or demonstrate a keen interest in, critical social science perspectives on adaptation to climate change. Previous research experience on the topic of the governance of urban climate change risk, resilience and adaptation, in particular is an advantage. An established research record, including a record of successful collaboration and co-operation with others, is a requirement.


We are especially looking for a candidate with a demonstrated ability to use and combine interdisciplinary methods. The ideal candidate would be equally conversant in social science methods such as discourse analysis, demonstrated ability of using innovative methods, and combining theory and empirical approaches to studying climate change adaptation and risk will be considered an advantage. Please address these skills directly in your application.


This position requires an ability to work creatively and independently in designing and leading research, while also taking direction as part of a team. Management experience of research teams (e.g., supervision of students or research assistants) is an asset. Excellent academic writing skills, including leading the development of well-argued and clearly written scientific manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication, are a prerequisite, and will be evaluated based on previous publications. Candidates should be fluent in written and spoken academic English.

Application instructions

A complete application consists of:


Cover page: Short motivation of the applicant and connection with the position, including how this position serves future career goals. Include name and contact information of applicant (1 page max)


CV: Academic and professional background, detailing relevant experience, particularly research. Any publications (separate peer-reviewed, technical reports, and popular science or outreach). Any teaching experience. Include names and contact information for three academic or professional references who can speak to your professional and teamwork abilities. At least one should be a former or current research supervisor.


Research Discussion: The applicant should include a clear description of how his or her scholarly background and expertise is applicable, and might add value, to the project set out above. The applicant should also outline the kind of methods and theories that he or she would propose to draw on when conducting the fieldwork. (max. 2000 words).


Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.


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Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2020/1371
  • Emily Boyd, 0462220000
Published 20.Apr.2020
Last application date 01.Sep.2020 11:59 PM CEST

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