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Doctoral student in Economic History "Sustainable rural communities", Department of Economic History, LUSUM, Lund University

02-10-2023 13:47

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 45 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Lund University School of Economics and Management is one of eight faculties within Lund University. More than 4 000 students and 450 researchers, teachers and other staff are engaged here in training and research in economic history, business administration, business law, informatics, economics, statistics and research policy.

Lund University School of Economics and Management is accredited by the three largest and most influential accreditation institutes for business schools: EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB. Only just over 100 business schools in the world have achieved this prestigious Triple Crown accreditation.

The Department of Economic History is a research-intensive department that employs about 100 people: researchers, teachers, technical/administrative staff, and Ph.D. candidates. The department has a large PhD programme and co-ordinates three international Master programmes. The Department has a well established reputation for wide-ranging research with an emphasis on long-term processes, and with economic theory and quantitative methods as important methodological tools. Strong research areas at the department include economic growth and structural change, innovation, energy and sustainability, development economics, and economic demography, as well as financial history and education and the labour market. More information is available at the Department’s website.

Assigned duties

Those appointed to doctoral studentship shall primarily devote themselves to their studies, aimed toresult in a doctoral degree.Work carried out during the studentship consists of participation in researchprojects as well as successful participation in postgraduate (third-cycle) courses.Those appointed todoctoral studentships may also work, to a limited extent, with educational tasks and administration at theDepartment of Economic history. However, duties of this kind may not comprise of more than 20 percent of a full-time post.

The PhD position is linked to the research project ‘Links between climate, water and biodiversity interactions: how rural communities can choose to become sustainable’. The PhD student will work in this project in collaboration with other project members. The site for the field study is the tropical dry regions of northern Colombia.

Eligibility / Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if heor she has:

  • Been awarded a second-cycle degree; or
  • Satisfied the requirements for courses comprising of at least 240 credits of which at least 60 creditswere awarded in the second-cycle; or
  • Acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

(Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 7, Section 39)

Specific admission requirements for doctoral studies in each subject are specified in the relevant general syllabus, available at

Other requirements

A proficient level of English is required in both written and oral communication. Fluency in Spanish (reading, listening, writing, speaking) is a must.

Basis of assessment

Admittance of a doctoral student is based on an assessment of the candidate’s ability to benefit from third-cycle studies, see the general syllabus for third-cycle studies, available at

The applicant’s ability to benefit from third-cycle studies and research will primarily be assessed on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle.

Applicant’s general competence:

  • Quality and content of previous written work, such as a Master’s thesis.
  • Ability to participate actively in the Department’s research environment.
  • Ability to perform independent scientific work.
  • Experience or interest in working with qualitative methods and field work.
  • Experience or interest in using GIS and econometric methods.
  • Proficiency in written and oral communication in English and Spanish.
  • Relevant educational background, for example in economic history, economics, development, sociology, ecology or geography
  • Other relevant experiences for third-cycle education, such as work experience.

We are interested in applicants with a strong commitment and interest in key issues faced by society which affect the natural environment. The aim is also to place some of the current environmental problems into a historical context. Your studies will focus on rural communities in the Global South.


The project aims to enhance the sustainable, resilient, and fair development of rural and dispersed communities living in dry areas of

Colombia, where the climate-water-biodiversity interactions have become a challenge for human well-being and nature. Climate change

threatens natural processes for water systems and accelerates biodiversity loss. Similarly, biodiversity loss and water scarcity has exacerbated the negative impacts of climate change on nature. Should future consequences of climate change mirror these effects, the negative impact on human and natural life may be irreversible (IPCC, 2023).

The project aims to fill this research gap by asking three related questions: (i) how does climate change affect the social practices for cooperation in rural and dry regions (ii) what are the collective mechanisms for adaptation under climate variability (iii) how can traditional and scientific knowledge be part of the decision-making process at the local level. The project relies on institutional economics and related fields to think about common pool resources (CPRs) and the role of social capital within rural and dispersed communities that rely on aquifers for water consumption and irrigation in dry forest areas. The project uses participatory cartography, customary law toolkits and framed field experiments to collect data and address the questions above.

Terms of employment

Fixed-term employment, maximum four years (full-time studies).

Only those admitted to third-cycle courses and study programmes at a higher education may beappointed to doctoral student.

For regulations concerning employment of doctoral students etc., see the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 5, Sections 1-7.

For regulations concerning admission to third-cycle courses and study programs, see the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 5, Sections 34-41.

Application procedure

Please use Lund University job application portal when applying: Work at Lund University

The application must be written in English.

The application should contain:

  • Personal letter in which the applicant gives a short description of him/herself and his/her researchinterests and its relevance for the project, maximum 3 pages.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Grade transcripts.
  • Master thesis or similar degree projects.
  • If appropriate, documented language skills relevant for third-cycle studies.
  • Other documents that the applicant wishes to submit.

The applicant is encouraged to provide the names of a maximum of two teachers or researchers who are willing to provide references and the department can contact, but recommendation letters should not be included in the application.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. 

Last application date: 16 October 2023

More information:


Action and update of the Greek Economic History Association website, is funded by the Ioannis S.Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, under the 2016 Support Program for Scientific Companies