PhD position in social-ecological dynamics and value chains of Mediterranean landscape products

Applications deadline: 1 July 2019

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Photo: University of Kassel

The Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences at the University of Kassel in Germany offers a doctoral researcher part-time position with 65% of the working hours of a full-time employee (currently 26 hours) and a fixed-term position of three years starting as of 1 September 2019.

The position is framed within the Social-Ecological Interactions in Agricultural Systems group, led by Professor Dr. Tobias Plienninger, which is part of a research project funded by the German Research Foundation: “Landscape Chains – Linking places and processes for sustainability: Social-ecological dynamics and value chains of Mediterranean landscape products”. The project aims to identify leverage points that support a transition to sustainable landscape management in the value chains of products associated to distinct Mediterranean landscapes. “Landscape Chains” offers an interdisciplinary research agenda that addresses landscapes and value chains as a critical link between distant places and processes.

The research associate will study how the value of landscape products is captured in four multi-functional landscapes in the Mediterranean, and how goods, financial resources, and information about these landscapes are transmitted along the value chains to and from the distant places of distribution-consumption.

Key tasks:

  • Designing and performing a sub-project that analyses how value chains of landscape products (cork, nuts, and other tree crops) create linkages between producer landscapes and places of consumption.
  • Contributing to the social-ecological synthesis of the project.
  • Publication of project insights in scientific journals and other outlets for multiple target groups.

Required profile:

  • Master degree in ethnography; economic geography; human ecology; sustainable food systems or related fields within the environmental social sciences.
  • Knowledge of ethnographic and ideally value-chain analysis approaches.
  • Experience in conducting surveys in the field, using (qualitative and quantitative) participatory methods, and ability to perform fieldwork under challenging conditions.
  • Familiarity with concepts and approaches of sustainability science (ecosystem services, multifunctional land use, social-ecological systems).
  • Excellent written and oral English (and ideally French) communication skills.
  • Experience in working cohesively in an interdisciplinary team environment.
  • Skills to publish in international journal.

Applicants must submit the requested documents (motivation letter, CV, Master and Bachelor level certificates and transcripts, and names and contact details of two academic references) preferably in digital form as a single PDF document by 1 July 2019. Applications must be sent to the President of the University of Kassel, 34109 Kassel, Germany or bewerbungen@uni-kassel.de quoting the reference number 32369.

More information (PDF)