PhD opportunity in policy analysis and stakeholder involvement

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

The Department of Earth Sciences of Uppsala University focuses on subjects that range from the Earth’s core to the atmosphere, on scales from submicroscopic structures in minerals to the formation of mountains and oceans, and from basic research on natural resources to research on how humans manage these resources in a sustainable way. For more information:

The research of the Natural Resources and Sustainable Development Programme within the department focuses on the different dimensions of sustainable development. We consider the environment and its natural resources and ecosystem services as an overarching foundation for society and economy and aim at providing knowledge on how to utilize natural resources in a sustainable way. Our work involves considerations of both natural and social systems and their interactions, often adopting transdisciplinary approaches.

The PhD student position is located in Uppsala within the research program Natural Resources and Sustainable Development.


The PhD position is part of two EU Horizon 2020 projects: PONDERFUL (POND Ecosystems for Resilient FUture Landscapes in a changing climate) and NEXOGENESIS (Facilitating the next generation of effective and intelligent water-related policies utilising artificial intelligence and reinforcement learning to assess the water-energy-food-ecosystem WEFE nexus).

PONDERFUL aims at increasing understanding of the ways in which ponds as a Nature-Based Solution (NBS) can help society to mitigate and adapt to climate change, protect biodiversity and deliver ecosystem services. The ultimate goal is to support broader implementation of pondscapes as NBS, for biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and other ecosystem services.

NEXOGENESIS uses a set of European and global case studies to investigate how water, energy, food and ecosystems (WEFE) are interconnected, how newly introduced policies will impact the WEFE nexus as a whole and how to mainstream water-related policies into a WEFE nexus. This is done by in-depth policy analysis, modelling work and close collaboration with stakeholders.

The work of the PhD candidate will be focused on analysing policy context at multiple governance levels (from EU to local sites in different countries) to identify enabling factors and barriers for implementing pondscape NBS (PONDERFUL) and water-related policies into a WEFE nexus (NEXOGENESIS). The work will be done in close collaboration with research partners in different countries and with relevant stakeholders. In addition, the PhD candidate is expected to help coordinating activities in the case studies and engagement with stakeholders, and take part in project meetings and contribute to communication and dissemination activities.


The applicant shall have a university science degree (MSc) in political sciences, sustainable development, environmental sciences or similar. The successful candidate shall have experience in policy and/or discourse analysis, stakeholder mapping and interdisciplinary research work. Skills and experiences in organisation of stakeholder involvement processes, or any engagement with stakeholders (e.g. interviews, surveys, workshops) is an advantage. Good English language skills are a requirement.

Additional qualifications

Skills in other European languages.

The application should include a cover letter shortly describing your personal motivation for applying for this PhD position and how you see your role in contributing to the two projects, as well as relevant skills/qualifications and research interests. The application should also include a CV, copies of relevant exams, degrees and grades, MSc thesis and other relevant documents, such as letter(s) of recommendation and contact details of two referees. We would also like to know the earliest possible date for starting.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University’s rules and guidelines.


According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date

01-09-2021 or as otherwise agreed.

Type and Scope of employment

Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment is 100 %.

For further information about the position please contact: Malgorzata Blicharska  phone number: +46 76 822 66 16, email:

Please submit your application by 7 April 2021, UFV-PA 2021/841.

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Submit your application through Uppsala University’s recruitment system.

  • Placement: Department of Earth Sciences
  • Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months
  • Pay: Fixed salary
  • Number of positions: 1
  • Working hours: 100 %
  • Town: Uppsala
  • County: Uppsala län
  • Country: Sweden
  • Union representative: ST/TCO, Seko Universitetsklubben,, Saco-rådet
  • Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/841
  • Last application date: 2021-04-07

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