PhD scholarship - Sustainable food systems in refugee hosting contexts - Deadline: Sunday, April 16, 2023

Norwegian University of Life Sciences
April 16, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Are you interested in Sustainable food systems in refugee hosting contexts in Sub-Saharan Africa?

PhD scholarship - Sustainable food systems in refugee hosting contexts About the position

The Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Faculty of Landscape and Society (LANDSAM) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant three-year PhD position in International Environment and Development Studies.

Armed conflict, climate change and biodiversity loss are exacerbating food and nutrition insecurity in refugee hosting contexts. Local small-scale food producers, displaced persons and refugees are often excluded from food systems, weakening their capacity for local food production. Moreover, the upsurge in the number of displaced people and refugees is creating immense pressure on the humanitarian food aid system and the sustainability of the in- kind food assistance model.

This PhD position will be part of a new four-year project funded by the Norwegian Research Council (NFR) titled ECOFOOD: Creating inclusive and sustainable food systems in refugee hosting contexts in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The project will be located in refugee hosting areas in northern Uganda and north-western Tanzania. The primary objective of the project is to assess strategies for facilitating the inclusion of small-scale food producers in the food systems in refugee hosting contexts. Empowering women and youth is critical to the transformation of food systems.

We invite candidates to develop their research ideas within the theme of sustainable food systems in refugee hosting contexts within the ECOFOOD project areas, and within one or both of the following objectives:

a) Investigate major opportunities and constraints for the effective transfer to and uptake of innovative technologies and climate resilient practices by women and youth small-scale food producers.

b) Analyse socially differentiated capabilities, endowments and entitlements with respect to food production and consumption among women and youth small- scale food producers.

A broad range of theoretical approaches including capability approaches, intersectionality, agroecology and sustainable food systems will be drawn together in the wider project to which the PhD will be attached. Methodologically, the project will be interdisciplinary and include and combine qualitative methods, quantitative surveys and geospatial mapping. Within this context, the candidates are encouraged to develop a novel PhD project that both contributes to and pushes the theoretical and methodological frontiers of this research theme and the wider project. Proposals that incorporate interdisciplinary insights and comparative studies between Ugandan and Tanzanian refugee hosting contexts are encouraged. We ask applicants to include a time plan for their study as part of the research proposal.

The successful candidate is expected to spend considerable time – at least six months- in the field for data collection, as well as contribute to and participate in the project meetings, seminars and workshops, and participate in the relevant research cluster activities at the Department.

The applicant is made aware that an application for a PhD position at NMBU is at the same time an application for admission to a PhD programme at the institution. The documentation that is necessary to ensure that the admission requirements are met must be uploaded as an attachment.

Main tasks

The appointed candidate is admitted to the PhD programme in International Environment and Development Studies at the faculty. The PhD programme consists of mandatory and elective courses (30 ECTS) with written and oral examinations, and a major research component. The PhD candidate will develop a full research proposal and progress plan for the three-year PhD scholarship period during the first months of the appointment.


The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at the Faculty. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year Norwegian degree programme.

Required academic qualifications are:

  • Master's degree in international/ global development studies, international environmental studies, or other social science/ interdisciplinary programs, e.g., human geography, economics, anthropology, gender studies and similar.
  • Documented strong academic background from previous studies (Master degree GPA: B or above; Master thesis B or above)

  • Documented proficiency in English (written and oral)

  • Desirable qualifications:

  • Research experience from the refugee hosting contexts in SSA
  • Good knowledge of mixed and/or multiple methods research
  • Experience in working with inter/multidisciplinary teams.
  • Experience with community-based and participatory research methods
  • Familiarity with geospatial software and methods
  • For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the supplementary provisions for the faculty's PhD programmes.

    In the evaluation of the applications, emphasis will also be placed on:

  • The quality of the research proposal
  • The applicant's time management and organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively within a research group
  • Motivation to work in interdisciplinary contexts.
  • Remuneration and further information

    The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD Fellow. PhD Fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 501 200) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

    Employment is conducted according to national guidelines for University and Technical College PhD scholars.

    The successful applicant is expected to start in the position 1 September 2023 and be on campus on a regular basis.

    For further information, please contact Professor Darley Kjosavik, E-mail: [email protected]; phone +47 6723 1334.

    For general questions about the PhD programme, please contact the PhD programme coordinator at [email protected]

    Information for PhD applicants and general information to applicants


    Please register your application electronically under 'Apply for this job'. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

    Application deadline: 16.04.2023

    In the electronic application process, the candidate must confirm that information and documentation (in the form of attachments) submitted via the job application can also be used by NMBU in a possible admission process.

    It is up to the applicant to make sure the application is complete. No changes/additions are allowed after the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

    The shortlisted applicants will be called for an interview as a part of the evaluation. Applicants invited for an interview are expected to present original diplomas and certificates.

    For the application to be considered it must include:

  • Application letter describing the applicant's qualifications and motivation for the position.
  • Research proposal outline (appox 2 A4 pages) indicating research interests related to the themes outlined above, including relevant research questions, theoretical and methodological approaches – this will be further developed after employment (see guideline for research outline)
  • Curriculum Vitae (complete list of education, employment positions, teaching experience, administrative experience, and other qualifying activities).
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and transcripts. Diplomas, transcripts and diploma supplements that are not in Norwegian or English must be uploaded in the original language. An English translation of these documents must also be attached. Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement, or a similar document, which describes in detail the study program and grading system.
  • One writing sample, for example master thesis, academic paper or article, book chapter, or equivalent
  • Documentation of proficiency in written and oral English
  • Names and contact details for two references (no recommendation letters required at this stage)
  • About the Faculty of Landscape and Society

    The Department of International Environment and Development Studies is a leading education and research institution in Norway, conducting world class and highly internationalized critical interdisciplinary research across the fields of International Relations, Global Development and Environmental Studies, focusing on global challenges at the intersection between social and natural processes. The department is organized in four research clusters: rights and power in development; climate change and agricultural development; conflict and human security; and environmental governance. The Department comprises around 30 academic staff, 25 PhD candidates and 400 fulltime students, and is responsible for one Bachelor program and three Master programs. For further information, read here.

    The Department is a unit in The Faculty of Landscape and Society, which in addition to Noragric, is home to four other departments, including public health science, landscape architecture, landscape engineering, urban and regional planning, property development and property law. The Faculty has 1300 students and 180 employees and offers popular, forward-focused Bachelor, Master's and PhD programmes. The Faculty is interdisciplinary and works with sustainable social development, both nationally and internationally.

    The faculty offers two PhD programmes:

  • Society Development and Planning
  • International Environment and Development Studies
  • The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

    NMBU's focus is a joint effort for a sustainable future. Our university will contribute to securing the future of life, through outstanding research, education, communication and innovation.

    NMBU has 1,900 employees of which about 500 phd scholarships and 6,700 students. The university is divided into seven faculties.

    NMBU believes that a good working environment is characterised by diversity.

    We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, functional ability, cultural background or whether you have been outside the labour market for a period. If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at www.


    16th April 2023


    Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)




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