PhD within International Environment and Development Studies

Deadline: 30.11.2022

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU has a particular responsibility for research and education that secures the basis for the life of future generations. Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we deliver knowledge for life. 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 Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric) is a leading education and research institution in Norway, conducting world class and highly internationalized critical interdisciplinary research across the fields of International Relations, Global Development and Environmental Studies, focusing on global challenges at the intersection between social and natural processes. The department is organized in four research clusters: rights and power in development; climate change and agricultural development; conflict and human security; and environmental governance. The Department comprises around 30 academic staff, 25 PhD candidates and 400 fulltime students, and is responsible for one Bachelor program and three Master programs and a PhD program. For further information about Noragric, see the website.

The Department is a unit in the Faculty of Landscape and Society, which in addition to Noragric, is home to four other departments, including public health science; landscape architecture; urban and regional planning; and property development and property law. The Faculty has 1300 students and 180 employees and offers popular, forward-focused Bachelor, Master and PhD programs.

PhD within International Environment and Development Studies - Violent Resistance and Land Governance in the Sahel

We invite candidates to develop their research ideas on the links between land dispossession, elite capture and growth of jihadist groups in the West African Sahel.

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 4-year PhD–position in International Environment and Development Studies with one year of project work included.

We invite candidates to develop their research ideas on the links between land dispossession, elite capture and growth of jihadist groups in the West African Sahel. Recent research has pointed at land dispossession and elite capture in explaining why many people in the Sahel decide to join armed insurgency groups. 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.

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 program at the institution. The documentation that is necessary to ensure that the admission requirements are met must be uploaded as an attachment.

Main tasks

The appointed candidate is admitted to a PhD program at the faculty. The PhD program 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 the project work beyond the PhD research (altogether one year work during the appointment period) the candidate will be associated with project specific activities. Specific activities, for example organizing workshops / meetings and general project administration, will be agreed upon in collaboration with the successful candidate.


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

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.

Preferred qualifications are:

  • Fluency in French
  • Ability to communicate in at least one Sahelian language (e.g. Bambara, Fulfulde, Tamashaq, Arabic, Haoussa etc).
  • Some experience with project administration

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

In the evaluation of the applications, emphasis will be placed on:

  • The applicant’s academic qualifications
  • The quality of the research proposal (max. 1500 words)
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively within a research group

Remuneration and further information

he 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 as soon as possible in 2023 and be regularly present on the NMBU campus.

For further information, please contact:

For general questions about the PhD program, please contact the PhD program coordinator at [email protected]

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.

Application deadline: 30.11.2022

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.

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). A short description of five pages of the LANDRESPONSE project is available here.
  • 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 program and grading system.
  • One writing 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)

Apply for this job

Powered by Labrador CMS