PhD Fellow in Political Ecology
University of Copenhagen

PhD fellow in Political Ecology

Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in Political Ecology commencing 01.04.2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment

Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) has its origins in the traditions and methodology developed in the Danish agriculture, forestry and food production sectors, in which the close consultative relationships developed between the private sector, public authorities and research institutions contributed significantly to positive outcomes. Research, education, research-based public-sector services and broader dissemination are IFRO's main tasks, particularly within the fields of environment, natural resources, global development, food and agriculture as well as consumption, bioethics and governance.

About the Section for Global Development

The group engages in inter-disciplinary research on economic, political, environmental, and institutional dynamics in developing countries. Research areas include issues of livelihoods, small-scale industry, trade, and labour; of climate change mitigation and adaptation; of forest and natural resource management; of resource conflicts and land grabbing; and of governance, state formation, and corruption. Professor Christian Lund is head of the Section for Global Development.

Project description
This PhD position is part of the LEAKS project, a collaborative project which investigates moments of spill-over in which materialities and their attendant knowledges leak from specific sites of capital investment, or are reconfigured into new social, political and territorial assemblages. LEAKS directs the attention to new political spaces in the vicinity of extractive industries through careful ethnographic scrutiny of three cases of hydrocarbons extraction in Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador. The PhD candidate is expected to be the main responsible for conducting fieldwork in Argentina, where the Vaca Muerta shale gas formation in northern Patagonia, has seen a rapidly growing interest in extractive investments by foreign and national capital as well as increasing social unrest and protests led in particular by the Mapuce movements. The candidate is expected to formulate his or her own project in relation to this and within the framework of the overall project. The individual project should be grounded in ethnographic work, but applicants with suggestions for mixing methods, experience with visual methods, decolonial and collaborative methodologies are encouraged to highlight these in the application.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Mattias Borg Rasmussen, Section for Global Development, Department of Food and Resource Economics,, +45 35 33 19 94.

Job description

The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements
Applicants should hold an MSc degree in Environment and Development, Anthropology, Development Studies or cognate fields with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience. High proficiency in Spanish is a requirement.

Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment according to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 328.355 (approx. €43,750) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,360). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Cover Letter
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Acceptance Letter for the relevant MSc Programme at SCIENCE, if any
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any),
  • Full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) of 1-3 professional referees
  • A one page non-binding project description aligned with the above project

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is 19 January 2020, 23:59 GMT +1.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at


For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor, Associate Professor Mattias Borg Rasmussen, Section for Global Development, Department of Food and Resource Economics,, +45 29 37 65 64

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Mattias Borg Rasmussen


Application deadline: 19-01-2020
Employment start: 01-04-2020
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Food and Resource Economics

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