PhD Position in Agricultural Economics

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 15 Aug 2019

PhD position at UCLouvain (2x2 years) in the project on

Agri-food systems in transition: Food safety in northern Vietnam

The Earth and Life Institute (ELI) of UCLouvain (UCL) is hiring a doctoral researcher for a research project on sustainable agri-food systems and how certification can contribute to this transition in Vietnam.

The position is fixed-term (2 years + 2 years). The doctoral researcher will work under the supervision of Goedele Van den Broeck, Professor of agricultural and rural economics (UCL). The deadline for application is August 15 2019. The scholarship will start on October 1st 2019 (or later depending on the applicant’s availability).

Research project

Food safety is an increasingly important issue in developing regions. To offer an alternative for third-party standards that are often too complex and costly for farmers and consumers in local agri-food systems, the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) has been recently promoted by policy makers and NGOs. However, evidence on the implications of PGS is very scarce.

This PhD project will investigate the implications of PGS for farmers, cooperatives and traders in the domestic vegetable sector in northern Vietnam. The doctoral researcher will collect quantitative and qualitative data by conducting a farmer and trader survey, discrete choice experiments, and semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with key stakeholders. A first survey round has been conducted, so the doctoral researcher can build further on an existing database. The data will be econometrically analyzed and results will be interpreted to formulate policy and research recommendations, which are reported in scientific articles and policy briefs.

Profile

  • Holder of a Master degree in Bio-Science Engineering, Economics, Development Studies or a related discipline. Second-year master students are encouraged to apply, on the condition that they obtain their Master degree before the start of the scholarship.
  • Interest in scientific research on agri-food systems, food safety and rural development in developing countries.
  • A strong command of English, both in writing and speaking; knowledge of French and Vietnamese is an advantage.
  • Skilled in statistical, econometric and quantitative data analysis and experience with statistical software.
  • Experience with field research in developing countries, and with household or farm-survey data collection and analysis.
  • Readiness to conduct fieldwork and research stays abroad.
  • The candidate is flexible, pro-active, critical thinking, persistent, problem-solving oriented, able to work independently as well as in a team, and interested to work in a multi-cultural environment.

Our offer

  • A competitive full-time doctoral researcher position (monthly salary is 1940€ after tax, including social benefits).
  • The possibility to follow academic and skills training courses at UCL.
  • A dynamic and multi-cultural work environment.
  • Participation in international research projects and conferences.

Applications should include (to be sent in one PDF file):

1. A motivation letter (max 2 pages) explaining how your profile fits the research project

2. A full CV (including degrees obtained for each study year, the title and supervisor(s) of your Master thesis, and, when applicable, a list of publications, relevant courses taken, and conference presentations)

3. Abstract of your Master thesis

Additional information

Applications should be sent to goedele.vandenbroeck@kuleuven.be . Short-listed candidates will be contacted on August 21. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed by Prof. Goedele Van den Broeck between September 3 and September 6 by Skype or on campus in Louvain-la-Neuve. The selected applicant will start his/her PhD on October 1st.

The selected applicant will have to apply for the FNRS-PhD funding at the end of the first year.

Candidates who want more information about the research project or the recruitment process should contact Prof. Goedele Van den Broeck before August 15. More information about the PhD training at UCL here: https://uclouvain.be/en/research/phd-training.html .


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