Lund University, Faculty of Social Sciences,

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.

Department: Lund university Centre for sustainability studies (LUCSUS)
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. As of 1 January 2019, LUCSUS is part of the Social Sciences faculty at Lund University.

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 workspace 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: Is there a perennial future of agriculture?
The successful candidate will work within the department’s new, 5-year research project on the prospects of a radical change of the world’s agriculture, from reliance on annual grain crops grown in monocultures to diverse and novel perennial systems as the basis of food production.  The project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC Advanced Grant PERENNIAL) and aims to deliver high quality research along with relevant policy recommendations for such a radical shift over the next couple of decades. A central aspect of the project is the analysis of conditions for farmers to adopt newly domesticated perennial crops and related practices, and thereby breaking out of a dependency of the oligopolic agrochemical and seed industry. The project builds on a strong critical social science tradition but is interdisciplinary in scope.

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 and described here ). The successful candidate will carry out independent and interdisciplinary research on the vision of a radically different agriculture and food system, which for example could involve participatory research, 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 Master’s degree in Sustainability Science or a related field such as Human/Physical Geography, Agroecology, Rural or Environmental Sociology.
  • 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 agriculture and food politics.
  • Methodological curiosity and interest in collaboration with diverse societal actors
  • 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 to work with students.
  • Language skills in French and a Scandinavian language is an advantage.
  • Experience with scientific publishing 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 proposal, 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. French and Swedish language skills are a plus, but not a requirement.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Application procedure:

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

A cover letter in English. 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 and how your qualifications make you suitable for the position. A project proposal of max. 4000 words, where you outline the research project you would like to pursue, including aim and research questions, possible theoretical framings, and research methods. 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. Lund University encourages 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.

Type of employment
Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 2024-04-01 or as negotiated
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/3613
  • Mine Islar, Director of PhD School, +46(0)462220394,
  • Emily Boyd, Director, +46(0)462224553,
  • Elina Andersson, co-PI, +46 (0)46 222 84 16, +46(0)462228416,
  • Lennart Olsson, PI, +46(0)462220511,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 21.Nov.2023
Last application date 12.Dec.2023 11:59 PM CET

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