PhD within International Environment and Development Studies - Migration in the Sahel

Deadline: 22.03.2023

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU's focus is a joint effort for a sustainable future. Our university will contribute to securing the future of life, through outstanding research, education, communication and innovation.

NMBU has 1,900 employees of which about 500 phd scholarships and 6,700 students. The university is divided into seven faculties.

NMBU believes that a good working environment is characterised by diversity.

We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, functional ability, cultural background or whether you have been outside the labour market for a period. If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at www.nmbu.no.

About the Faculty of Landscape and Society

The Faculty of Landscape and Society is home to some of Norway's foremost academic environments within international environment and development studies, public health science, landscape architecture, landscape engineering, urban and regional planning, property development and property law. The Faculty has 1300 students and 180 employees divided into five departments and a Faculty administration. It offers popular, forward-focused Bachelor, Master’s and PhD programmes. The Faculty is interdisciplinary and works with sustainable social development, both nationally and internationally.

About the position

The Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Faculty of Landscape and Society (LANDSAM) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant 3-year PhD–position in International Environment and Development Studies.

We invite candidates to develop their research proposal on migration from rural to urban areas in the Sahel or on migration out of the region with a focus on land dispossession as a potential driver. This PhD position will be part of a new five-year project funded by an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) entitled LANDRESPONSE, which will study conflict and migration in the Sahel as parallel processes with potentially similar causes.

The PhD candidate will be part of a team led by Prof. Tor A. Benjaminsen.ttachment.

The department assembles scholars in international relations, political science, human geography, anthropology, as well as natural scientists who represent an interdisciplinary and experienced academic community eager to interact with the successful candidate.

The applicant is made aware that an application for a PhD position at NMBU is at the same time an application for admission to a PhD programme at the institution. The documentation that is necessary to ensure that the admission requirements are met must be uploaded as an a

Main tasks

The appointed candidate is admitted to the PhD programme in International Environment and Development Studies at the faculty. The PhD programme consists of mandatory and elective courses (30 ECTS) with written and oral examinations, and a major research component. The PhD candidate will develop a full research proposal and progress plan for the PhD scholarship period during the first months of the appointment.

For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the supplementary provisions for the faculty’s PhD programmes.


The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at the Faculty. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year Norwegian degree programme.

Required academic qualifications are:

  • A Master degree in social sciences such as human geography, anthropology, international relations or environment and development studies.
  • Documented strong academic background from previous studies (Master degree GPA: B or better; Master thesis B or better)
  • Documented fluency in English.

In addition to the required qualifications, the following qualifications or skills are desired:

  • Fluency in French
  • Ability to communicate in at least one Sahelian language (e.g. Bambara, Fulfulde, Tamashaq, Arabic, Haoussa etc).
  • Experience with field work and qualitative methods
  • Knowledge of the Sahel
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively within a research group

In the evaluation of the applicants that fulfil the academic requirements, emphasis will be placed on the desired qualifications specified above, as well as the quality of the research proposal (max. 1500 words)

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD Fellow. PhD Fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 501 200) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

Employment is conducted according to national guidelines for University and Technical College PhD scholars.

The successful applicant is expected to start in the position 1 September 2023 at the latest and be regularly present on the NMBU campus.

For further information, please contact:

For general questions about the PhD programme, please contact the PhD programme coordinator at landsam-phd@nmbu.no

Information for PhD applicants and general information to applicants


Please register your application electronically under 'Apply for this job'. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

In the electronic application process, the candidate must confirm that information and documentation (in the form of attachments) submitted via the job application can also be used by NMBU in a possible admission process.

Application deadline: March 22, 2023.

It is up to the applicant to make sure the application is complete. No changes/additions are allowed after the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The shortlisted applicants will be called for an interview as a part of the evaluation. Applicants invited for an interview are expected to present original diplomas and certificates.

For the application to be considered it must include:

  • Application letter describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position.
  • Research outline (max. 1500 words) indicating how the applicant can contribute to the LANDRESPONSE project, including relevant research questions and theoretical and methodological approaches (which will be further developed after employment) (see guideline for research outline).
  • Curriculum Vitae (complete list of education, positions, teaching experience, administrative experience, and other qualifying activities).
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and transcripts. Diplomas, transcripts and diploma supplements that are not in Norwegian or English must be uploaded in the original language. An English translation of these documents must also be attached. Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement, or a similar document, which describes in detail the study programme and grading system.
  • One written sample, for example Master thesis, academic paper or article, book chapter, or equivalent
  • Documentation of proficiency in written and oral English (alternatively in French)
  • Names and contact details for two references (no recommendation letters required at this stage)

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