PhD position in Data-driven solution for sustainable food systems

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 11 Jun 2024

Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Data-driven solution for sustainable food systems transition. Start date is expected to be 15th September 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project

The topical area for the research is the agri-food system that faces numerous challenges including those related to public health, individual nutrition, environmental impacts, food waste and overall food system sustainability. At present the interoperability and data sharing across agri-food supply networks is limited. However data has the potential can revolutionise decisions and planning in the food and nutrition sector and make an important contribution to more inclusive and sustainable food systems. Data can be used to inform stakeholders in making informed decisions on how to operate in a more sustainable and inclusive manner as well as facilitate end consumer to have better and informed decision. In this way, they can increase the efficiency of the food industry through the optimisation of relevant operations and the reduction of food waste, increase food literacy, promoting transparency and demonstrate their commitment to ethical and sustainable production. However data-sharing can raise ethical, legal and policy issues due to the Personal Data Protection regulations (eg. GDPR).

The PhD project should lead to contemporary solutions for urban food system planners to address food-nutrition and health related challenges by diving deep into the ethical, legal and policy framework on personal data sharing across agri-food chain, use of digital technologies for smart learning tools, and engagement, education and empowerment for citizens. The focus should be development of data-driven food literacy tools with gamification and possibly Artificial Intelligence (AI) concepts targeted to young people and their families, where reduction of  food waste and healthier food choices are considered as a representative examples

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for candidates within the field(s) of food science and technology or related areas and a strong methodological background in both qualitative and quantitative approaches to research method. The PhD project will evolve within the framework of two living labs that are organised at schools so good insight in how teachers’, pupil’s and headmaster interacts as well as on the importance of school organisational culture is essential. The PhD position will run in parallel through four different EU HORIZON projects that all deals with how local food community, schools and young people can be evoked in the context of sustainable food systems transformation. A good understanding of how to work in international research projects is essential. Therefore, we are looking for a candidate with following qualities:

  • MSc in Food science, Food technology or a related fields.
  • Strong background in food and big-data related research and food environment intervention especially toward young people.
  • Demonstrated experience in analyzing food-related data, developing data models, and designing data-driven digital learning solutions.
  • Experience of working on EU/international projects, and project management skills will be beneficial as so development of research protocols that comply with ethical requirement of research with personal data collection.
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills, with the ability to work effectively in multidisciplinary field of Food-Nutrition and Data science.
  • The candidate should show the ability to work as a mentor to young people at a school level and competence in developing and maintaining living labs in school environment.
  • The candidate should demonstrate the competences of dissemination of the project results to the relevant stakeholders.
  • As criteria for assessing the candidate´s qualifications, emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any), relevant work experience and the quality of the applicants proposed non-binding research idea.

Our group and research- and what do we offer?

The project is organized within a research group that attached to the section of Landscape Architecture and Planning – Society. The group focuses on delivering excellent research, knowledge and methodologies that have an impact on landscape architecture and health design, naturebased solutions and natural environments, governance and planning practices, architectural history writing and community engagement all with the goal of developing more sustainable and inclusive cities and landscapes for the benefit of society and future generations.

The research group is a part of Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. We are located in Copenhagen.

We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment.

  • Principal supervisor is Bent Egberg Mikkelsen,  Professor, Urban Food Systems Transformation, Landscape Architecture, Planning and Society, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Email: [email protected] Phone: +4535337464/25 38 43 66

The PhD programme is a three year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme).

Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. Food Science. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database .

Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Responsibilities and tasks in the PhD programme

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

Application and Assessment Procedure

 Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  • Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  • Publication list (if possible)
  • Reference letters (if available)
  • Application deadline:

    The deadline for applications is 11 June 2024, 23:59 GMT +2.

    We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

    The further process
    After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

    The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at .

    Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in week 26.

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

    General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website: .

    The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 

    Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

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