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 2030 Agenda is the framework for sustainable development that the world’s nations have signed to end extreme poverty, reduce inequalities, solve the climate crisis, promote peace and equity and much more. In order to achieve the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, research has several important roles: to identify challenges and conflicting objectives, contribute to new solutions, generate dialogue and learning between different societal stakeholders and critically analyse the goals. Lund University aspires to be a part of the solution and has therefore initiated a research programme on sustainable development with postdoc fellowships in various interdisciplinary projects. The projects will not only constitute platforms for the postdocs’ career development, but also form a basis for national and European applications, and for future environments for excellence and profiling. The programme is also to develop the postdocs’ expertise in teaching and learning in higher education. More information on the research programme is available here:

We now welcome applicants who want to take an active role in 2030 Agenda research to apply for the postdoc fellowships. We are looking for a total of three postdocs. One will be employed at the School of Social Work, one at the Centre of Environmental and Climate Science and one at the Department of Business Administration.

About the project

Welfare systems in OECD countries including Sweden face combined challenges such as rising inequality, demographic changes and environmental crises that are likely to drive up welfare demand. Economic growth is no longer a sustainable solution to these problems, since only very few countries have managed to decouple economic growth from ecological footprints and greenhouse gas emissions, and even where this has been achieved, the rates of emission decline are too slow to match the Paris climate targets. It is therefore imperative to consider how welfare systems may cope with the mentioned challenges in the absence of economic growth.

This project applies methodological pluralism, building on literature and policy reviews, statistical analyses, scenario building and expert forums. Based on cooperation with local, national and European stakeholders as well as with an International Academic Advisory Board featuring some the world’s leading experts in the field, this project develops and assesses ways of decoupling welfare from economic growth by focusing both on the ‘supply’ (fiscal and taxation-related) and ‘demand’ (labour market, health and care sector, community, education and environmental and spatial planning-related) aspects of welfare provision. The project brings together researchers from Social Sciences (Prof Max Koch,, and Dr Mine Islar, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies,,  Environmentalscience (Dr Johanna Alkan Olsson, and Economics and Management (Dr Alexander Paulsson, The Lund University funding is the basis for the establishment of a new interdisciplinary research environment.

We are looking for three postdocs to be employed at the School of Social Work (Prof Max Koch, project leader), Centre of Environmental and Climate Science (Dr Johanna Alkan-Olsson,) and Department of Business Administration (Dr Alexander Paulsson) in 2022 and 2023. We would like to attract innovative scholars with complementary backgrounds and expertise, especially from the social sciences (sociology, social policy, sustainable welfare), natural sciences including the transdisciplinary fields of environmental and sustainability science as well as ecological economics and heterodox business and management studies including degrowth/postgrowth.

Work tasks

Based on the project description we will together define the details of each postdoc project and interact through regular meetings. The postdocs will divide their work equally on joint project tasks and on the individual development of their own research profiles within the broader frames of the project. Please include a research outline of about 2500 words on how you see yourself ”fitting” into the project and how you plan to develop your individual research accordingly in your application. The project proposal can be obtained by contacting one of the members of the research team.


To be qualified for employment as a postdoctoral fellow, the candidate must have a PhD in organization studies, ecological economics, sociology, political science, environmental science or other relevant discipline no more than three years ago (unless the applicant has been on parental leave or leave due to illness). The applicant must be in possession of a PhD at time of application or by the deadline for application.


For appointment as postdoctoral fellow, the candidate must demonstrate a good ability to develop and carry out high-quality research, and teaching skills.

The candidate must have:

  • Track record of research and publications in international peer-reviewed journals.
  • Documented experience (as demonstrated by publications) in relevant fields.
  • Broad familiarity with the literature on sustainable welfare, ecological economics, degrowth/postgrowth and similar fields
  • Ability to work well with academics and practitioners alike
  • Strong English language skills (verbal and written)

Assessment criteria

The main selection criteria are research skills, demonstrated relevance to the subject description and fulfilment of the eligibility/requirement criteria. The ability to conduct research independently and to participate in research collaborations are very important considerations.

Terms of employment

The salaried position as a postdoctoral fellow is a fixed term, two-year full-time employment at the School of Social Work, Centre of Environmental and Climate Science and Department of Business Administration, Lund University. The successful candidates are expected to work full time in Lund for the duration of the position.

Application procedure

Only online applications are accepted. Your application should be written in English and contain the following documents:

  • A complete application form.
  • Letter of introduction (max. 2 pages) containing a presentation of the applicant, important qualifications, which project the applicant is applying for and a brief description of why the applicant is interested in the project.
  • Research plan of no more than 2500 words that outlines the research ideas, potential research questions, and a review of the relevant literature.
  • Degree certificates of your PhD degree
  • A brief one-page summary of the PhD thesis
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • List of publications
  • Copies of certificates and copies of any other documents that you wish to include in your application.
Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment January 2022 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
Reference number PA2021/2641
  • Max Koch, Professor ,
  • Johanna Alkan Olsson, Senior lecturer,
  • Alexander Paulsson, Associate professor,
Union representative
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
Published 30.Aug.2021
Last application date 24.Oct.2021 11:59 PM CEST

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