PhD Position in Disassembling High-Carbon Energy Landscapes
Uppsala University Department of Earth Sciences

PhD student in disassembling high-carbon energy landscapes in Poland

Published: 2021-04-23

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 can sustainably manage these resources. For more information:

The interdisciplinary research of the Natural Resources and Sustainable Development Programme within the department focuses on different dimensions of sustainable development, including sustainable energy transitions. Global Energy Systems (GES) is one of the Programme"s overarching themes that focuses on the global, national and local energy systems and sustainable resource governance from an interdisciplinary perspective. Natural science is combined with technical, economic and social research to analyse, understand and model how energy systems work and change over time and how they interact with the economy, the environment and our society.

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

Duties/Project description: The PhD position is part of the research project "Disassembling the power of high-carbon imaginaries" funded by the Swedish Research Council. The overall purpose of this project – led by Associate Professor Magdalena Kuchler – is to critically examine and better understand how powerful carbon-intensive imaginaries can be disempowered to accelerate low-carbon transition. By analysing and comparing four distinctive "carbonscapes" – open pit and deep mining "coalscapes" in Poland, and crude oil extraction and petrochemical production "petroscapes" in the UK – the project aims to: 1) identify and critically examine impulses of resistance to change; 2) determine how the material-discursive dynamics associated with high-carbon landscapes constrain and/or enable the power to (re)imagine energy futures, and 3) identify openings and opportunities for dismantling and destabilising incumbent fossil fuel imaginaries in selected carbonscapes. The project will be conducted in a collaborative research environment involving Uppsala University and Durham University.

The work of the PhD student will be focused on analysing "coalscapes" in Poland, such as deep hard coal mining in the Upper Silesia Region and open-pit brown coal mining in central Poland. The work will be done in close collaboration with Associate Professor Magdalena Kuchler, based at the Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University.

The position can include up to 20% of teaching and administrative work, which extends the employment period with a corresponding time. Teaching can include, for example, courses in “Energy, Water and Food” (1GE059), “Energy Security in Local and Global Energy Systems” (1GV334), and “Decarbonization and Sustainable Energy Transitions” (1GV210).

Requirements:The applicant shall have a university master"s degree in political ecology, human geography, anthropology, political sciences, sustainable development, or similar. The successful candidate shall have documented experience in applying qualitative research methods, such as textual analysis, interviews, observations, stakeholder mapping, and ethnographic approaches. Good written and spoken English language skills as well as willingness to travel abroad are requirements.

Additional qualifications: Proficient Polish language skills and experience in interdisciplinary research.

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

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.
Starting date: 01-09-2021 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %.

For further information about the position please contact: Magdalena Kuchler, phone no. +46 18 471 68 85, email:

Please submit your application by 2 June 2021, UFV-PA 2021/1534.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden. 

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

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

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/1534

Last application date: 2021-06-02

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