PhD Position in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development
Uppsala University Department of Earth Sciences

PhD student in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with 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 46.000 students, 7.300 employees and a turnover of SEK 7.3 billion.

PhD student in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development at Uppsala University’s interdisciplinary graduate school in sustainable development

The Department of Earth Sciences offers education and research with a unique scope and in international evaluations is considered to be one of Europe's most complete earth science institutions. The Department’s scope is represented by experienced teachers and researchers with expertise covering everything from rocks and volcanoes to earthquakes, weather, wind power and climate, from the beginning of life to dinosaurs, and from lakes to glaciers, carbon dioxide storage and sustainable energy systems. Today we are about 230 employees from more than 30 countries.

The Wind Energy group on Campus Gotland is engaged in activities related to wind power project development and sustainable energy transition. These activities include teaching, research and outreach. The group currently consists of 15-20 persons who focus on the planning, development and management of wind power projects as well as on sustainable energy transition. These individuals have a range of backgrounds and the group has competencies in technical, natural and social science. The group’s teaching consists of both campus and distance education at the Bachelors level and beyond.

Uppsala University is establishing a new graduate school in sustainable development. The main mission of the graduate school is to conduct research based on key social challenges, where local relevance meets international excellence. The research will include changed energy systems, sustainable consumption and destinations development, and will address significant issues such as conservation and change, as well as the definition and management of resources. The graduate school is rooted in ongoing interdisciplinary collaborations in research and education, conducted in an international environment. Uppsala University Campus Gotland, where the graduate school is located, is a hub for the University's research and education in sustainability. We work with international partners, visiting researchers and local players with a special focus on knowledge development to cope with the changes needed to live well during climate change. As a PhD student, you will be part of this interdisciplinary research environment. You will also benefit from the courses, seminars and first-class doctoral supervision offered at the graduate school.  

Duties/Project description:  The aim of this PhD project is to explore how people perceive, understand and relate to the ongoing transition of Gotland’s energy system as well as how this understanding can be used to plan for a sustainable transition of society. This PhD project is a part of the project “How can a 100% renewable energy system for Gotland be achieved with respect to resource availability, energy demand, and social sustainability in different future scenarios?” Within this project you will be working together with two other PhD projects, where your project is focusing on energy transition planning, the other two PhD projects are focusing on wind resource modelling and energy demand.

Moreover, the three projects will interact with each other creating synergies, as it might be useful, e.g., to understand the changes in demand to estimate the resources required for maintaining the functionality of the energy system, or understand the effect of different planning approaches for changing resource utilization or energy demand.

Energy transition is focused on increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy system, and managing and decreasing energy use. However, this transition also involves changes to people’s daily lives and living conditions. In order to achieve a sustainable transition we need to understand and consider how people perceive and relate to these changes.  How the energy transition relates to issues of preservation and development becomes an important issue on Gotland, with its rich natural and cultural heritage.

The PhD project includes exploring the conditions for energy transition on Gotland in relation to local stakeholders’ opinions, values and/or social practices as well as the implications of this in relation to how we plan for the energy transition. Concerning methods, case studies on different parts of the island may be suitable (possibly in connection to the other PhD project), where preferably qualitative methods are employed for data collection.

This PhD project is a part of the project “Gotland’s sustainable energy system transition: resources, demand and planning” where three PhD students are participating.

As a PhD student in this project, you participate in a research group that study energy transition processes from an interdisciplinary perspective. In this project, the Wind Unit at the Department of Earth Science collaborates with the research group in conservation at the Department of Art history, where the former contributes with expertise in planning of renewable energy technologies and the latter in energy efficiency in historic buildings. In addition to the work on research projects and graduate courses, you will participate in other activities within the section of wind energy. These may consist of teaching and/or administrative work and will be up to 20% of the work hours. The position is located at Campus Gotland.

Requirements: For a PhD student it is required that you are admitted or will be admitted to research education where the ability to follow the research education is essential. The applicant should have a master degree or equivalent in a subject relevant to the PhD position. Relevant subjects include for example human geography, land use planning and anthropology, but also more interdisciplinary programs may be of interest. Good verbal and written Swedish language skills is required alongside experiences in using some form of qualitative research methods.

Additional qualifications: Academic and practical experience of work with land use planning or cultural heritage planning, especially in a Swedish context, is a strong merit. Previous academic and/or practical experience related to energy transition is also meritorious.

The application should include a letter describing the applicant and his or her qualifications. It should also include CV, copies of diplomas and certificates, thesis and publications. We encourage you to provide details of referees and/or attach a letter of recommendation.

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

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date: 11-01-2021 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: Stefan Ivanell at +46 18-471 83 60. E-mail

Please submit your application by 2020-09-15, UFV-PA 2020/1701.

Moving to Gotland? Gotland Relocation Services (Inflyttarbyrån) has useful information about housing and life on Gotland. They can also provide advice and support to help you in your move. Read more at

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at

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 , PhD placement

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Visby

County: Gotlands län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2020/1701

Last application date: 2020-09-15

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