Three-year PhD scholarship at Doctoral School of People and Technology.
Title: Co-design of species mixtures and identification of relevant agronomic, social and institutional changes needed for successful transitions
More resilient agro-ecological systems are required to handle stresses from short-term events and more effectively adapting to longer-term changes - be it the social and economic context in which farmers operate or natural processes such as soil carbon decline. RUC seeks a PhD for research in social and technical adoptability of increased use of species mixtures to reduce fossil energy use and chemical inputs while enhancing productivity, yield stability and ecosystem services.
Focus on the need to move towards more sustainable future agriculture requires the development of transition pathways with more emphasis on agroecology-based, resilient and sustainable farming strategies. One important socio-technical regime change in European farming systems with a potential to contribute to achieving such goals is to reintroduce the use of diversity in cropping system management. Due to increasing intensification over the last 50 years species mixture contribution to the provision of ecosystem services (food, substitution of inputs, water protection, soil C storage, biological regulation mechanisms (e.g. biological pest and disease control), aesthetical landscapes, etc.) is rarely used.
While increasing the number of species on the same field a more dynamic crop stand able to adjust to spatial and temporal changes along the growth season are introduced challenging present dominating management strategies characterized by monocultures. With a Danish farmer case-based demonstration platform following a co-design approach to research, actor-driven objectives, needs and strategies for transitions will be identified including farmers, advisors and other key-actors. Support is given to facilitate the emergence of active collaborative social networks as drivers of demand-driven innovation and institutional adaptation. This work will be connected to 10 other national demonstration platforms across Europe also conducted in close collaboration relevant local stakeholders with an overall priority given towards the facilitation of interactive activities to anchor novel socio-technical configurations of species mixtures.
Job description: Interdisciplinary and international collaboration
The research activities are part of the cross-disciplinary H2020 project “Redesigning European cropping systems based on species MIXtures” (ReMIX) aiming at exploiting the benefits of species mixtures to farmers and other key-actors in the agri-food chain. 23 partners and a network of 11 Multi-Actor-Platforms representing the variability of climates and farming systems is creating the overall research environment. The PhD-study will primarily be designed to contribute to the specific WP1 activities of the ReMIX project focusing on multi-actor co-design of species mixtures and on-farm testing. RUC is responsible for the establishment of national on-farm demonstration trials, the conduction of surveys to identify local practical knowledge of species mixtures, and the application of participatory methodologies involving the agri-food chain actors to provide a socio-technical analysis of the dynamics of transition pathways and the social-technical lock-ins/constraints blocking the use of species mixtures in EU cropping systems.
The PhD-student will be employed in the Department of People and Technology at Roskilde University.
Candidates must have a master degree with a documented competence in socio-technical system analysis within the following areas: socio-economical technological planning (Teksam), geography, biology, agronomy or similar. It is an advantage if you have experience and/or interest within several of the following research areas:
· Climate change and cropping systems
· Co-design/-innovation, social learning and participatory tools
· Crop production, soil fertility and management
· Multilevel governance and institutional analysis
· Stakeholder analysis methodology
· Data handling and statistics
· Danish language qualifications at least at the Interagency Language Roundtable scale level 4 (professional working profiency) is required due to close farmer collaborations.
Approval and enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in the PhD-program of Society, Space and Technology as part of the Doctoral School of People and Technology at RUC.
We offer an exciting and challenging job with good possibilities for professional and personal development. RUC is a family-friendly organization with flexible working hours. RUC requires variety and supports equal opportunities irrespective of gender and ethnic background. You will be employed according to terms valid for the scientific staff at RUC. It is a three-year position starting September 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter
Terms of employment:
The PhD will be filled according to the Agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC).
The application includes
· CV, one page maximum
· Project description (3-4 pages) including motivation, the main question to be solved, methods to be used and a short background of current knowledge and preliminary research planning.
· Documentation for education, including exam grades (bachelor and master education)
· Schedule (in order to assessing whether the candidate has a realistic estimation of what one is able to complete in three years)
· Budget (The budget should not include own salary. It is solely a budget for either special expenses related directly to the project (interview transcriptions, advanced statistical analyses, etc.) or special expenses to study/travel abroad during the education.)
· Personal recommendations, if available, for master thesis work
· Other documentation for relevant work or research experience.
To apply for the position click on the button ’Apply for vacancy here’ below the job advertisement at RUC's homepage. The job advertisement is found here: https://ruc.dk/en/phd-scholarships-roskilde-university
For further information about the project contact Professor Henrik Hauggaard-Nielsen (; +45 4674 3641 / +45 2133 0785) and/or Associate Professor Søren Lund (; +45 4674-2569).
For information about the PhD-programme in Society, Space and Technologi, please contact Head of programme, Associate Professor Malene Freudendal-Pedersen (, +45 4674-2191)
Formal and technical questions regarding the application should be directed to academic coordinator Mikael Meldstad (, +45 4674-2732)
If you are interested in this open position you have to enter www.ruc.dk/job/phd/ and follow the guidelines when clicking on the submission link
Deadline for applications is 1 July 2017, before midnight.
Interviews are expected to take place in early August.
You can read more about RUC on www.ruc.dk
Roskilde University welcomes applications from suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, religion or ethnic background.