Lund University, Faculty of Social Sciences , LUCSUS

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 46 000 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.

Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) is host to both graduate and postgraduate education. In research and teaching, we strive to integrate critical and problem solving approaches while focusing on global sustainability challenges such as biodiversity loss, climate change, major land use changes, and water conflicts.

Sustainability Science PhD programme

The PhD programme in sustainability science consists of 240 credits (equivalent to four years of fulltime 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 terms of employment for doctoral students are regulated in the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (HF), Chapter 5, Sections 1– 7.

The research project on Imaginaries of Carbon Capture and Storage

The successful candidate will work within the department’s new, 4-year research project entitled “Burying problems? Imaginaries of carbon capture and storage in Scandinavia” (, which will start in December 2021. The project will receive funding from the Swedish Energy Agency, Energimyndigheten, and will deliver high quality research along with relevant policy recommendations. The overall aim of the project is to analyse existing socio-technical imaginaries of CCS and their embedded tensions, conflicts, and justice implications. “Imaginaries” is a social science concept used to analyse visions about the future role of technologies and scientific discoveries. They are situated between discourses and practices and commonly understood to shape political and societal decisions made today. Thus, they influence culture, institutions, and physical infrastructure.

The project will build on a strong critical social science tradition but is interdisciplinary in scope and engages constructively with industry representatives, affected communities, scientists, and policy makers. An important aspect of the project is its justice framing which we will use to highlight justice implications of different governance approaches to CCS.

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.


Required 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 imaginaries of carbon capture and storage, which for example could involve interviews, focus group interviews, discourse analysis and archival work. There will be scope to define own interests and priorities within the project’s larger set-up. The main geographical focus will be on Scandinavia but case studies from other countries can serve as complementary research. The geographical focus entails that the PhD candidates will have to engage with stakeholders in the region through e.g. interviews, focus group interviews but also outreach activities (e.g. popular science publications in local media).


The ideal PhD candidate for the position will have the following specific qualifications:

  • A Masters degree in Sustainability Science, Human 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, science and technologies studies or similar.
  • Excellent skills in written and spoken English.
  • A strong and documented interest in climate change and energy politics.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of an interdisciplinary, inclusive and international research environment.
  • Enthusiasm to contribute to teaching at LUCSUS and to work with master’s students.


Desired qualifications

In addition, the following qualification strengthen a candidate’s profile:

  • Language skills in a Scandinavian language
  • Experience with scientific publishing
  • Experience with research methods relevant to the project (e.g., discourse analysis, social network analysis, stakeholder workshops)
  • Familiarity with theories and concepts relevant to the project (e.g. socio-technical imaginaries, environmental/energy justice)


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 assessed based on the criteria named above and, in particular, their ability to conduct independent research and their ability and interest to contribute to a new and developing research field. As third cycle studies in sustainability science are demanding, the applicant must be highly motivated and able to work independently under multiple time constraints. Good collaboration and communication skills are also required, as is proficiency in written and spoken English. Scandinavian language skills are an advantage, 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 (with reference to the specific qualifications listed above), 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
First day of employment 1 januari, 2022
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2021/3301
  • Henner Busch,
  • Cecilia Kardum Smith,
Published 02.Nov.2021
Last application date 09.Dec.2021 11:59 PM CET

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