PhD stipend within circular economy and empowerment of young citizens through participatory action research (20-21048)

Updated: 3 months ago

PhD stipend within circular economy and empowerment of young citizens through participatory action research (20-21048)

At the Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Department of Planning a PhD stipend is available within the doctoral programme Planning and Development. The stipend is open for appointment from 15 August 2021 or soon hereafter. At Department of Planning, we have about 200 employees situated at the Aalborg and Copenhagen campus. The department provides high-quality research and teaching in the field of planning, technology and society in order to create a more sustainable future. We are interdisciplinary in the technical, natural and social science disciplines and present a unique combination of social and technological understanding where digital and technological solutions merge with the needs of society. Our research creates the foundation for educating the future workforce, and as part of Aalborg University, the department rests on a socially engaging and problem-oriented approach. It is also at Department of Planning that the UNESCO Center for Problem-Based Learning is at home. That helps ensure, we create educations aimed at the job market and a society with increasing focus on technology, digitization, sustainability and partnerships for a sustainable transition.

Job description

A substantial number of young people in Europe are at risk of social exclusion. There is a pressing need to develop more knowledge and innovation to create more inclusive and youth-friendly societies. Citizen social science might contribute to these needs.

The EU-funded project YOUCOUNT will therefore, through participatory action research, produce new knowledge about positive drivers for social inclusion of youth at risk of social or material exclusion and with youth co-create innovations and governance proposals. The project includes a multiple case study of projects in nine countries across Europe where over 900 young citizen scientists and 9 local living labs will co-create innovations.

The activities should lead to knowledge and measures to promote youth citizen science and social change. One of the cases and living labs is based in South Harbour in Copenhagen and is coordinated by Aalborg University’s Department of Planning in cooperation with actors in the South Harbour neighborhood.

The focus is on circular economy as a possible strategy for empowering youth in relation to product obsolescence, development of local repairing and sharing activities, etc. and the roles citizen science can play. The PhD stipend will be part of the YOUCOUNT project and its co-design and implementation of strategies for empowerment of young citizens.

The PhD stipend will be part of a research group within sustainable production and consumption at Department of Planning at the Copenhagen campus of Aalborg University. The PhD stipend will also cooperate with the other local YOUCOUNT project groups.

Candidates for the PhD scholarship are expected to have a relevant education with focus on sustainable design and co-design. Competences in the performance of qualitative interviews are required as well as documented skills in written and spoken Danish at a proficient level, due to the local fieldwork in Copenhagen. Documented knowledge on methods and theories for analyses of social practices, action research and value chains is also a requirement. The applicant’s project description should be maximum 5 pages and consist of proposal for research question, theoretical approach, and empirical and methodological approach as well as an overall time plan. The YOUCOUNT project is financed by Horizon 2020 and involves cooperation between Aalborg University and a number of European universities. The PhD stipend should be able to start 15 August 2021.

You may obtain further information from Associate Professor Michael Søgaard Jørgensen, Department of Planning, phone: +45 21256815, email:, concerning the scientific aspects of the PhD project.


The application must consist of the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • Project description
  • CV
  • Copy of transcripts of educational achievements

PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed at regular points in time.
Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.
For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Camilla Hvass-Raun, The Doctoral School at The Technical Faculty of IT and Design, email: , phone: +45 9940 7406.
For more information of The Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design:
Aalborg University provides outstanding research and education. For the third year in a row we have placed Europe's best and the world's fourth best engineering university on the list of "Best Global Universities" published by the U.S. News & World Report. Our research and educations are multidisciplinary and build on close collaborations with business and industry. This also comes from our world-renowned PBL teaching model, which is based on solving the problems of reality. These collaborations and our acknowledged research contribute new insights, new solutions to societal matters and knowledge that are changing the world. More than 20,000 students are enrolled at Aalborg University, of which over 10% are international students from various countries worldwide. To support them, we have 3500 employees, divided between Aalborg University's main campus in Aalborg and our departments in Copenhagen and Esbjerg.

The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.
AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of 28 June 2019 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the current Circular of 11 December 2019 on the employment structure at Danish universities.

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