Doctoral Position in Social Anthropology with a Focus on Development and Environmental Risk in

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 28 Feb 2021

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 53 500 students and 6 500 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

At the School of Global Studies, research in Social Anthropology is conducted on a host of themes related to the cultural and social phenomena in today’s globalized world. Topics include climate change, migration, religion, gender, cultural heritage, sustainability and consumption, health and indigenous peoples. Traditionally, extended periods of fieldwork and participatory observation have been hallmarks of the discipline. Its research methods explore how the practices and experiences of people’s everyday lives interplay with overarching social processes.

Social Anthropology at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, announces a doctoral position within the Swedish Research Council financed research project “Gas Gospels: Un/Sustainable Development and Environmental Risk in Mozambique”. This project studies the intersection of sustainable development strategies and economic growth, offering an in-depth empirical study of the challenges posed by the extractive industry in Mozambique. In recent years, Mozambique has experienced several climate related environmental disasters, including the recent dramatic cyclone flooding. In response, the government set up a Post Cyclone Idai and Kenneth Reconstruction Office to oversee reconstruction in areas affected by the two powerful cyclones. But, having recently adopted the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals, Mozambique is identified as an emerging economy, with high potential in what concerns extractive industry, in particular liquefied natural gas and hydrocarbons. In the project we explore how these opposing movements and strategies are being perceived and addressed at the local level, and how different stakeholders (governmental, development agencies, activist and civic mobilizations) are participating in the discussion. We will conduct on-site case studies in regions of the country (Center, North) where the intersection of environmental disaster and extractive projects are most visible.

Job assignments

The purpose of undertaking doctoral studies is to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for conducting independent research within the field of Social Anthropology. The doctoral studies comprise one year of coursework and three years of research, culminating in the production of a dissertation that makes a significant and original contribution to the research field. The knowledge and skills that are acquired during the studies should be applicable to postdoctoral research or other professional work. The position is salaried and covers four years (full-time equivalent, fixed term), beginning in August 2021. The doctoral candidate may undertake departmental duties corresponding to up to 20% of a full-time position, in which case the duration of the appointment will be extended accordingly. There are no tuition fees. The candidate is expected to work in Gothenburg in the project team, and start with both course work and project related work during the first year.

We are looking for a candidate with a background in social anthropology and ethnographic methods, and demonstrated knowledge of Mozambique or alternatively Lusophone or Southern Africa. S/he will be responsible for a case study involving ethnographic fieldwork in Beira, as well as for communication and dissemination activities in the project. The candidate must be fluent in Portuguese (or alternatively Spanish).


Applicants must fulfil both general and specific entry requirements.

An applicant meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle studies if they have obtained (Higher Education Ordinance Ch.7, Sec.39):

1. a degree at the second-cycle level,
2. at least 240 Higher Education Credits, of which at least 60 must be at the second-cycle level, or
3. largely equivalent knowledge in other ways in Sweden or abroad.

An applicant meets the specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies if they have obtained (Higher Education Ordinance Ch.7, Sec.40) at least 90 higher education credits in the field of Social Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology or Ethnology.


Applicants will be assessed based on the general and specific eligibility requirements and their estimated ability to benefit from the study programme. The assessment places particular focus on:

1. A proposal/introduction letter (max 2,000 words plus references) that formulates some preliminary ideas of how the applicant envisions that his/her PhD work will contribute to the research project in question.
2. A Master's thesis, academic papers and/or other relevant works. These will be used to assess the applicant’s ability to formulate and delimit research tasks and analyse and present research results.
3. A CV summarizing relevant work experience, language proficiency and other skills.
4. Grades achieved in undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
5. Interviews will be held with shortlisted applicants.

The applicant’s skills, experience, creativity and excellence in research are also assessed on the basis of the points above.

Decisions on the shortlist will be made latest in April and final decisions in May 2021.

The Head of Department is in charge of all admission decisions at the third-cycle level. This decision cannot be appealed.

For further information regarding the position

Ruy Blanes, Associate Professor, +351 93345281,


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

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How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system.

The application must include:

1) A proposal/introduction letter of maximum 2,000 words.
2) A Master’s thesis and/or any other relevant papers or publications. Submitted texts must be written in Swedish or English. Any translated versions must be accompanied by the original text.
3) A CV.
4) Copies of diplomas and/or academic transcripts verifying that the general and specific entry requirements stated above have been met. Evidence of other relevant qualifications.

Reference letters can be submitted by the applicant, but are not mandatory.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete. No changes or additions are allowed after the final submission date.

For questions regarding the handling of the application portal or technical problems, please contact

Closing date: 28 of February 2021

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Salaries for doctoral students are regulated in a local agreement at the University.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

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