PhD position: Sustainable sourcing policies for biodiversity protection, climate mitigation, and...

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Apr 2021

The Environmental Policy Lab and the Sustainable Agroecosystems Group invite applications for 1 PhD student, 3+ years – Start date: May 1, 2021 or by agreement (latest August 1, 2021).

For a large interdisciplinary project titled: SUSTAIN-COCOA: Sustainable sourcing policies for biodiversity protection, climate mitigation, and improved livelihoods in the cocoa sector, the new PhD student will contribute to understanding the impacts of forest-focused supply chain policies and agroforestry adoption on farmer well-being and climate resilience in Ghana and Ivory Coast with a focus on cocoa producing farms. At ETH, the student will be advised by Prof. Rachael D. Garrett and Prof. Johan Six.

Project background

A major driver of forest loss and degradation in the tropics is the production and trade of food commodities and associated land management practices, with cocoa being the leading forest-risk commodity in West Africa. Yet, cocoa production in agroforestry systems harbors the potential to partially restore biodiversity and improve climate resilience. In the proposed research we aim to investigate whether forest-focused supply chain policies can lead to reduced deforestation and increased shade-tree cover in cocoa production systems and, in turn, a triple-win of increased biodiversity, climate change mitigation, and livelihood benefits.

Job description

We offer an intellectually challenging full-time position in one of the leading research centers in Europe. The salary is according to the ETH standard payscale , and increases with seniority.

The PhD student would focus on quantifying the impacts of supply chain policies and shade-tree cover on farm-level biodiversity, carbon storage, food production, income, and climate resilience through household interviews and field measurements across Ghana and Ivory Coast. The student would be working in coordination with another PhD student conducting complementary fieldwork, as well as other team members.

Your profile

You should hold a MSc in public policy, economics, geography, agroecology, or agricultural sciences, but also have a vast interest in crossing disciplinary boundaries. Applicants are expected to have strong skills in quantitative methods, excellent writing, and a strong command of English and French. Applicants with experience conducting fieldwork in agricultural regions or in the field of supply chain policies, women, and/or members of under-represented groups in academia are particularly encouraged to apply.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis after April 1, with a firm deadline of April 15. In exceptional circumstances we will consider late applications.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. We ask for a cover letter expressing your interest and qualifications, CV, copies of transcripts, and 2 writing excerpts, as well as a list of potential references.

Further information about EPL can be found on our website: . For questions about the position, you may contact Prof. Rachael D. Garrett at (no applications).

View or Apply

Similar Positions