Doctoral Position in Environmental Law
Uppsala University Department of Law

Doctoral Student Position in Environmental Law with an Interdisciplinary Focus

Published: 2022-04-21

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

The Faculty of Law at Uppsala University invites applications for a doctoral student position in environmental law with an interdisciplinary focus. An employed doctoral student must primarily devote his or her time to his or her own doctoral research. Other duties at the faculty may be included, such as teaching students, working in teaching teams, and administration (no more than 20% of the position). A requirement for employment as a doctoral candidate is that the applicant must have been admitted to doctoral studies. The regulations governing the employment of doctoral candidates and admittance to doctoral studies are found in Chapter 5, Sections 1-7, and Chapter 7, Sections 34-41, of the Higher Education Ordinance, and in the general study plan for doctoral studies at the Faculty of Law, Uppsala University.

As a doctoral student, you will belong to the Faculty of Law, and additionally work with a co-advisor in ecology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. The research environment is characterized by a collegial environment between advisors, doctoral students, and students, and there is the possibility for you to teach within your research area.

Duties/Project description

The doctoral student position takes place within VR-funded research environment 2020-04973 which proposes to combine law and conservation to help develop solutions to the biodiversity crisis. Most of the world’s nations have enacted environmental legal instruments to avert species extinctions. However, these legal instruments do not appear to be able to stop that crisis. Countries are consistently failing to meet agreed targets to reduce the loss of biodiversity. This failure raises the question of whether existing legal instruments, theories and methods are fit for the purpose of protecting species, populations and ecosystems and whether and how their effectiveness can be improved. The purpose of our research is therefore to develop a theoretical and applied understanding of the interplay between legal and ecological systems and document, analyze, model and improve our understanding of how law and conservation affect each other, with the goal of improving the ability of the law to conserve species. The legal topics that will be addressed in this research environment include ecological tort (“préjudice écologique”), public interest environmental litigation, rights of nature, and environmental constitutionalism.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this project, it is expected that the doctoral student will write a thesis consisting of several collaborative articles and an introduction, rather than a monograph. In addition to leading several articles to be developed in collaboration with other researchers in the research environment, the doctoral student will be invited to participate as a co-author on additional articles within the wider project. If you have questions or would like more information about the project or thesis opportunities and expectations, please contact Yaffa Epstein,

In order to be admitted to doctoral studies, the applicant is required to meet the following qualifications. To qualify as an applicant with the Faculty of Law, the applicant must either

  1. in Sweden, have completed a Master of Laws degree or completed a law programme, or
  2. in Sweden or abroad, have acquired knowledge equivalent to the degrees mentioned in 1). In evaluating whether the knowledge is sufficient, consideration must be given to what is required to successfully benefit from the doctoral programme in the specific subject.

Applicants must have an excellent level of English.

The overall purpose of the doctoral studies is to provide future newly qualified doctors of laws with good prospects for a successful career within or outside of higher education. This includes in-depth knowledge of the chosen subject in the field of research, a capacity for independent and critical thinking, proficiency in scientific methods and modes of working, an ability to identify interesting and researchable issues, teaching skills, and the ability to express himself or herself well both orally and in writing, an ability to operate in an international context and an ability to understand and deal with ethical issues concerning research.

Admission is based on an evaluation of the applicant’s capacity to successfully complete the doctoral studies. The evaluation is primarily focused on the project description as well as the scientific written material (published or not published). Analytical ability, ability to structure the material and to independently work on the proposed project, and the project’s news value, are paramount. In addition to the written material, other merits, such as grades, diplomas, completed courses, etc., may also be of importance in the assessment. Further, the applicant’s capacity to cooperate in different ways, e.g. with teaching colleagues, may be taken into consideration.

The following are additionally meriting:

-Demonstrated interest or experience in environmental law
-Demonstrated interest or experience in statistics, ecology, or other natural sciences
-Additional EU language skills
-Professional experience relating to environmental law or natural sciences.

Your application including the below required attachments is to be electronically submitted. 

  • Project description in Swedish or English (required document). The project description should describe how you would approach one or more of the research questions in this project (evaluating legal developments related to ecological tort, public interest environmental litigation, rights of nature, and/or environmental constitutionalism), and a reflection upon materials and methods you may engage with. The project description should comprise no more than 20,000 characters including spaces (approximately seven A4-pages).
  • Popular summary in Swedish or English (required document). The project summary must include a brief popular summary in Swedish or English, no longer than 2,000 characters including spaces.
  • CV in Swedish or English (required document)
  • Grade transcripts (required document) and other certificates in Swedish or English
  • Written scientific work (electronic copy of books, articles, undergraduate essays, manuscripts, etc.)  
  • Letter of recommendation and/or references
  • Application forms for admission to doctoral studies, and employment as a doctoral student. Please note that those already admitted to doctoral studies must attach an updated individual study plan to the application for employment as a doctoral student.

Decisions on admissions are made by the Research Committee at the Faculty of Law upon preparation by an evaluation committee specifically set up for this purpose. As part of the admission procedure, interviews may be held with a limited number of applicants.

Decisions on employment are made by the Head of Department. A person may be employed as a doctoral student for a maximum of eight years, but no longer than the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral research. For teaching within the employment, extension is admitted.

Please observe that applicant/s called for an interview shall hand in certified copies of certificates, diplomas and transcripts from previous studies at an internationally recognized higher education institution (university or university college) and transcripts in connection to the interview. If the applicant is a foreign citizen we also require a certified copy of the page in a passport with personal data and photography.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date: 1 November or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %.

For further information about the position please contact: Director of Studies Martin Berglund,, 0046 18 471 2062.

Please submit your application by 1 June 2022, UFV-PA 2022/1458.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Law

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2022/1458

Last application date: 2022-06-01

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