PhD fellowship in Value chain and market analysis for organic aquaculture in Europe

Updated: over 3 years ago
Deadline: 31 Jan 2014

Department of Food And Resource Economics
Faculty of Science
University of Copenhagen

Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, Section of Environment and Natural Resources, at University of Copenhagen are offering a PhD scholarship within "Value chain and Market analysis for organic aquaculture in Europe". The PhD scholarship is part of the interdisciplinary research program "New possibilities for growth and robustness on organic aquaculture". The project is funded by the Green Development and Demonstration Program under the Ministry of Food Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark. The scholarship starts from the 1st of May 2014 or soon thereafter. The application deadline is 31st January 2014.

Project description
Globally, aquaculture is the fastest growing animal food producing sector in the world and is seen as a vital sector to meet the growing global demand for fish as a healthy source of food and livelihood in both developed and developing countries. At the same time, aquaculture production in countries inside the European Union has been stagnated for the past decades. The main reason seems to be strict environmental regulations. Growth in aquaculture is desirable, because global demand is growing, however aquaculture production activities often generates harmful side-effects (externalities) that are discharged to the environment, such as nitrogen, phosphor, chemicals, antibiotics and spreading of diseases. An increase in production will in most cases lead to an increase in the level of harmful externalities. Organic aquaculture in EU is seen as a solution to meet some of these challenges leading to a more sustainable production to meet the environmental challenges and at the same time provide healthy food. A new regulation is implemented in EU to harmonize the concept on how to produce organic fish in aquaculture. The new regulation implies stricter rules on input use in the production, such as, medicine, chemicals, organic feed and fish fry to secure a sustainable production.

A part of the research program for "New possibilities for growth and robustness on organic aquaculture" focus on value chain and market analysis for organic aquaculture in Europe using production of organic trout in Denmark as a case study. The project should provide the basis for production growth in the organic aquaculture sector based on organic principles and at the same time balancing environmental, ethical and economic concerns of aquaculture production. The project focus on how the new set of rules for organic production will affect robustness of the fish against diseases and fish health. The market for organic trout will be identified and how this market will react to a potential increase in supply in terms of prices and consumer behavior and attitudes towards aquaculture products is examined.

The PhD student is expected to engage in the value chain and market analysis, which is concerned with investigating the European market for farmed organic trout, including examining price formation and market structure for organic fish, and consumer attitudes towards organic aquaculture markets. The task of the Ph.D. student is to examine how prices of organic fish in Europe react to a changing supply situation and how the aquaculture industry can reap the potential of the organic market. The methodological foundation is consumer and industrial economics using econometrics. Demand systems must be identified and market integration studies of prices performed. Applicants with a background in economics (social sciences) are preferred. Experience from working with food markets, value chain analysis and consumer choice/preferences is an advantage. Experience with or some insights into the aquaculture sector and fish markets are also advantages.

Principal supervisor is associate Professor Max Nielsen, Department of Food and Resource Economics,, Direct Phone: +45 3533 6894.

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at Faculty of Science are:

Formal requirements

The position is available for a 3-year period for applicants holding a relevant master´s degree or for a 4-year period for applicants who are already enrolled or are accepted to be enrolled at one of the Faculty´s master´s programmes.

At the time of commencement, applicants for the 4-year period must have approximately one year of study remaining before graduating from their MSc programme.

The successful applicant of the PhD scholarship must pass an enrolment in the Faculty of Science Graduate School before the Faculty can finish the letter of employment.

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.
Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 304,000 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 42,000). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Application Procedure
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY ONLINE below.

Please include

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation Executive Order no. 1039 of 27 August 2013

PhD Order


The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

By the end of March 2014, all applicants will have received information regarding the evaluation of their application.

The deadline for applications is 31st January 2014. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.

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

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