PhD fellowship in Human Geography

PhD Project in agricultural transformation in the Global South

The Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in global agri-food value chain dynamics, agricultural transformation and rural development in the Global South.  

The position is available from 1 February 2025, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project
The PhD fellowship is part of the research project ‘The plasticulture enigma: analyzing the effects of plastic agriculture on water resources, ecosystems and socio-economic sustainability’, which is financed by Geocenter Denmark,
The aim of this interdisciplinary research project is to contribute towards sustainable transformation of agri-food systems without compromising water resources, terrestrial and aquatic environments. The project will be conducted in Souss-Massa region in Morocco, where intensification of agricultural activities through greenhouses covered with plastic films (so-called plasticulture) covers a significant and growing area. This semi-arid region is the engine of Marocco’s agricultural economy and notably export of water-intensive fresh horticulture to the EU have grown exponentially in recent years. The objectives of the research are to identify and exam the drivers of plasticulture clusters, including the extent and scope of cross-cluster interactions, to estimate the impacts of plasticulture farming activities on groundwater quantity, and to examine the flows and fate of plastic waste from plasticulture and strategies for recycling. The PhD fellowship is expected to address drivers of plasticulture farming and socio-economic development implications, and consider the implications of cross- and intra-cluster interactions for policies and strategies on agri-food value chains and local development.  

Who are we looking for?
We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with a strong interest in agri-food value dynamics, agricultural transformation processes, and regional development in the Global South. Documented skills in global value chain analysis is an advantage, as the PhD project must contribute to the research project utilizing this analytical approach. Documented experience in fieldwork, including survey techniques, qualitative research methods and statistical analysis, is required. A proven record of fieldwork experience in rural areas in the Global South is also an advantage. High proficiency in spoken and written English is essential.

Applicants should hold an MSc degree in geography, sociology, development studies, or related fields with good results. Criteria for the assessment of qualifications will include fieldwork experience, previous publications (if any), and relevant work experience.

The scientific environment
You will become part of the research group ‘Environment and Society in the Global South’ which explores the interaction between globalization processes and local development dynamics. Within this global-local nexus, the research group examines the drivers, dynamics, and outcomes of societal transformation processes in both rural and urban areas in the Global South. For more information on the research group see:

The research group is a part of the Sections for Geography, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. More information about the department is available at

Principal supervisor is Associate professor, Marianne Nylandsted Larsen, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management,

The PhD programme
Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database

Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Responsibilities and tasks

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision by the PI, Marianne Nylandsted Larsen, and in collaboration with other researchers involved in the project
  • Conduct extensive fieldwork in Morocco drawing on a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis based on your project.

Application and Assessment Procedure
Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  1. A cover letter that explains your motivation for applying for the PhD fellowship and detailing any prior experiences relevant to the specific PhD project
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, work experience, language skills, publications (if any), and other relevant skills
  3. Diplomas and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc), including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish.  
  4. 1-3 reference letters (if available)

Application deadline:
The deadline for applications is 1 September 2024, 23:59 GMT +2.

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After the application deadline, the authorized recruitment manager will selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Subsequently, an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s composition. The final selection of the successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of both the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the applicant’s research potential and the skills mentioned above. The successful candidate will then be required to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website:

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 






Københavns Universitet giver sine knap 10.000 medarbejdere muligheder for at udnytte deres talent fuldt ud i et ambitiøst, uformelt miljø. Vi sikrer traditionsrige og moderne rammer om uddannelser og fri forskning på højt internationalt niveau. Vi søger svar og løsninger på fælles problemer og gør ny viden tilgængelig og nyttig for andre.


Ansøgningsfrist: 01-09-2024
Ansættelsesdato: 01-02-2025
Arbejdstid: Fuldtid
Afdeling/Sted: Institut for Geovidenskab og Naturforvaltning

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