Tailored opportunities: PhD in International Environment and Development Studies –Transformations to sustainability-Norway


The Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Faculty of Landscape and Society at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant three-year PhD position related to Transformations to sustainability. The selected candidate is expected to commence with the doctoral studies in September 2018.

The Department invites applicants to submit project proposals that investigate critically ongoing efforts to produce social transformations toward sustainability (such as the ‘green shift’, ‘sustainability transition’, or the ‘degrowth’, but not limited to these).

Advocates of social transformations to sustainability often assume simplistic models of social change whereby new development pathways can be created by changing individual attitudes, behaviour, and choices. This is often supposed to be driven by new global institutional regimes such as the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, those outline versions of development that are universal, and uncontested. Nevertheless, social change toward sustainability has been demonstrated to rely on different, competing, visions of desirable futures and the pathways to achieving these. Achieving sustainability, therefore, implies deliberations, negotiations, and contestations, often mediated through different kinds of institutions. There is, therefore, an important opportunity to further develop social transformation as a theoretical framework by incorporating theories of social change and critical approaches from development studies.

We seek therefore innovative proposals that will investigate an ongoing empirical context of social transformation (systemic changes that include radical departures in technological, economic, political, and cultural structures and/or practices). We favour case studies that investigate ongoing transformations in post-socialist contexts (for example in Mongolia or Romania) but we are open for other cases from the global South or North.


Required Academic qualifications

  • a research-based master’s degree (see PhD regulations § 5.1) with a GPA of B or above in a relevant field
  • Proficiency in English as a working language is a prerequisite.

Desired Academic qualifications

  • Research or work experience with development issues

Personal skills

Required personal skills

  • Structured
  • Independent and responsive
  • Motivated to manage a research project
  • Enjoy interdisciplinary and collaborative work


Application deadline is 9 April 2018


To apply for this vacancy, please click on the Apply for this job‘ button above. 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.

 Applications should include (electronically) a letter of intent, a draft research proposal not exceeding 1000 words, curriculum vitae, full publication list, copies of degree certificates and transcripts of academic records (all certified), and a list of two persons who may act as references (with phone numbers and e-mail addresses). Publications should be included electronically within the application deadline. We may require further documentation, e.g. proof of English proficiency.

Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their academic qualifications, the quality of the draft research proposal and previous research as well as other relevant experience. 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.

Applicants without a master degree and/or with incomplete applications will be excluded from the appointment process.

For detailed information about this opportunity, please contact Researcher Andrei Marin, E-mail: amarin@nmbu.no; phone: +47 67 23 13 21, or PhD programme coordinator: noragric.phd.coordinator@nmbu.no; Phone: +47 67 23 13 09

Author: African Academic/Researcher

Science and Research by Africans for Africa

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