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PhD position in Environmental Communication

  • Ort


  • Yrkesroll


  • Anställning

    Heltid, 6 månader eller längre

  • Lön

    Fast månads- vecko- eller timlön

  • Publicerad

    5 juli

  • Sök jobbet senast

    25 augusti

Om jobbet

The Department of Urban and Rural Development at SLU offers a strong social science research environment in the subjects of environmental communication, rural development, landscape architecture and agrarian history. We are now recruiting a PhD candidate in the Division of Environmental Communication, where we investigate the communicative aspects of environmental and sustainability issues. We consider communication as the joint construction of meaning rather than as the transmission of information, and conduct primarily qualitative social science research concerned with themes such as legitimacy, participation, power, resistance, conflict and learning in decision making and change processes from a communication perspective. Our research spans a wide range of contexts such as nature conservation, forestry, food production, climate change, game management, mining and the built environment.

Communication, representation and disagreement: Investigating the interactions between (environmental) NGOs and their constituencies in late modernity
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are commonly seen as the voice of their members, and as representing the views of their constituencies. This project focuses on environmental NGOs in the wider sense, that is, NGOs concerned with issues of nature conservation, land management such as hunting or farming, or sustainability questions, and asks how NGOs communicate with their constituencies, including both members and non-members.

We start from the assumption that such communication can be explicit (e.g., through membership magazines) and implicit (e.g., taking cues from decreasing or increasing membership numbers, donations or ‘likes’), and involves multiple voices both on the side of the NGOs and the side of the constituencies. Communication is both instrumental (e.g., with the aim to educate members on an environmental issue) and constitutive, i.e., creating discourses and different ways of making sense of environmental issues and the political contexts they are embedded in.

In a society which strives for deliberative democracy and involves stakeholders in participatory decision making, an important question is how interests, values and ideologies are developed in communication processes within and between civil society organisations. New forms of communication, e.g., through social media, emerge which might shape the character and content of discursive interactions, connected also to the ways in which NGOs influence and are influenced by processes of identity formation in late modernity.

The PhD project aims to critically and creatively investigate such communication practices, in particular, in relation to their role in terms of (political) representation and identity formation. Within this framework, there will be a lot of flexibility for the PhD student to shape the research in discussion with the supervisory team. Supervisors will include Professor Anke Fischer and Dr Lars Hallgren. 

The PhD project will be funded by SLU and benefit from a vibrant and collegial research environment, including the recently funded Mistra programme in environmental communication.


We are looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated and creative candidate with a Masters degree and a strong background in a relevant social science (such as sociology, political sciences or environmental communication), as well as experience in theoretically grounded, qualitative empirical research. Swedish language skills are an essential requirement as at least some of the empirical work will take place in Sweden, but we also expect the candidate to be strong in both written and spoken English. Experience with Swedish environmental or land-use related NGOs would be an asset.

Place of work:           
Uppsala, with occasional travel e.g., for fieldwork and conferences

Form of employment:

PhD candidate (4 years)

Starting date:

By agreement.


A person has basic eligibility for third cycle education if he or she has taken a second cycle qualification or has completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second cycle education. Upper secondary school grades equivalent to English B/English 6 are a basic requirement.

Selection among applicants meeting the requirements is made with reference to written application including curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree, a list of at least two references familiar with the applicant's qualifications, certified knowledge of the English language and an interview.

Please observe that applicant/s chosen to participate in an interview shall hand in certified true copies of certificates, diplomas and transcripts from previous studies at an internationally recognized higher education institution (university or university college) and transcripts in connection to the interview. If the applicant is a foreign citizen we require a certified copy of the page in your passport with your personal data and photography.

We welcome your application no later than 2019-08-25, use the button below.

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