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3-year PhD student position in Environmental Economics with focus on a Nature Positive Economy in the EU

Applicants are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Environmental Science programme. The position is available from 1 September 2024 or later. You can submit your application via the link under 'how to apply'.

3-year PhD student position in Environmental Economics with focus on a Nature Positive Economy in the EU.

Research area and project description:
The multiple values of nature to planetary and human health are not fully recognized by our current economic systems. Mainstream economic drivers negatively affect the natural world both directly and indirectly, yet substantive solutions remain elusive. These economic drivers need to change, providing incentives for a Nature-Positive Economy (NPE).

There is a growing call for a NPE, but the conceptualisation and pathways towards realizing it remain poorly understood. To date, only few companies assess the impacts of their operations on nature and biodiversity and their dependency on nature and ecosystem services.

This PhD project will investigate i) the concept of NPE and ii) to what extent Europe’s economy is nature-positive and the prospects for alignment to NPE. Empirically, the project focuses on the sector of Nature Based Enterprises (NBEs) and five pre-selected mainstream business sectors: agri-food, forestry, tourism, blue economy and built environment. The PhD is primarily funded through GoNaturePositive!, a Horizon Europe project, which involves 13 research partners from across Europe and 7 industry partners representing the aforementioned five business sectors.

The PhD student will review the concept of NPE; critically investigate various sources of data, approaches and indicators metrics and benchmarks to measure and compare green/nature positive jobs and activities at European and national levels, and across sectors; employ annual market surveys and approximate the market size of nature-positive economic activities at European and national levels.

The PhD-position is based at the Department of Environmental Science, an interdisciplinary department under the Faculty of Science & Technology at Aarhus University. The expertise ranges from social science, geography, economics and policy analysis to mathematical modelling, physics, chemistry, and microbiology. Both pure and applied research is conducted on some of the major societal challenges. Currently, about 150 staff and PhD-students are working at the department. Further information may be found at www.envs.au.dk.

The selected PhD candidate will be affiliated with the Section for Environmental Social Science and Geography at the Roskilde campus. The section employs 25 staff and focuses on analyses of the interlinkages between the environment and society, involving the disciplines of economics, geography, political science, and sociology. The strategic foci of the section include policy analysis, spatial modelling, and economics of ecosystem services, with applications to water quality management, climate policy, and biodiversity. Results are published in international scientific journals and disseminated to policy makers, stakeholders, and the wider society through popular publications, conferences, and seminars. For further information: envs.au.dk/en/research-areas/society-environment-and-resources

Project description
The applicant is required to submit a brief description (max. 2 pages) of research ideas that would potentially be pursued within the boundaries of this specific project. It should include research questions, theoretical framework, and planned methodologies. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found.

Qualifications and specific competences:
Applicants to the PhD position must have a Master’s degree (120 ECTS) in Economics, Business Economics, Environmental Economics or Economics and Business Administration or equivalent.

Proficiency and fluency in English, both written and spoken, are a requirement along with strong skills in quantitative methods, data curation and processing, and demonstrated skills in academic writing. We expect the applicants to have strong skills in working independently, but also in collaborations with other consortium partners and colleagues.

As we are based in an interdisciplinary and very international academic environment, we expect the applicant to be an active part of the research environment and that the applicant will contribute positively to the social working environment.

If graduation is expected in the near future, documentation for final thesis and date of examination must be enclosed in the application.

Applicants demonstrating a good understanding of integrated, problem-oriented analysis are highly preferred.

Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Department of Environmental Science, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

How to apply:
Please follow this link to submit your application.

Application deadline is 23 June 2024 at 23:59 CEST.

Preferred starting date is 1 September 2024.

For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide.

Please note:

  • Only documents received prior to the application deadline will be evaluated. Thus, documents sent after deadline will not be taken into account.
  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • Shortlisting will be used, which means that the evaluation committee only will evaluate the most relevant applications.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Salary and terms of employment are in accordance with applicable collective agreement.   

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