Vacancy: Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Global Economic Dynamics and Biosphere Program


Topic: Exploring links between the biosphere stewardship and human health through the global food system

Closing date: June 6th, 2019.

About the program

The Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere Program (GEDB) is an Academy research programme at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Programme addresses the economic dynamics of global change and its implications for a sustainable future, and is funded by the Erling-Persson Family Foundation. For more information about the programme see: http://kva.se/GEDB

In its next funding phase GEDB aims to perform science for change through frontier interdisciplinary research in largely unexplored areas searching for critical connections, causalities and new discoveries and at the same time engage with relevant stakeholders and actors in new forms of collaboration for concrete action.


The Industrial Revolution was a turning point in human history. The “great acceleration” of human presence and impact on Earth that took off in its wake resulted in a rapid expansion in knowledge development, wellbeing and prosperity. While this has delivered tremendous benefits for billions of people, human activities have now grown to a scale where they play a significant role in shaping the dynamics of the Earth System as a whole, matching the great forces of nature. A growing number of scientists therefore suggest we have entered a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene. This new epoch reflects a biosphere in which humanity and nature are truly intertwined. 

One of the grand challenges of the Anthropocene is to continue development in a way that enables existing and future generations to benefit from this development. A core task in this context is therefore to provide opportunities for prosperous social and economic development within the frames set by the capacity of the biosphere to sustain it. This calls for novel ways of looking at the world and how it is interlinked, uncovering and addressing unexpected connections and causalities while simultaneously creating space for innovation and new pathways of development operating in concert with the dynamics of the biosphere.

Two key issues that require urgent attention as part of the grand challenges ahead are rising global human health and biosphere integrity/sustainability issues, and the need to harness economic forces to ensure biosphere integrity. GEDB will address these through two research themes:

Biosphere Finance. This theme will conduct research that can help;

leverage the power of the financial sector for biosphere integrity and climate stability;

re-orient large-scale investment strategies for the benefit of human and biosphere health

Global Health and Biosphere Stewardship. This theme will conduct research that explores

Biosphere and human health impacts from non-linear global environmental change relating to food production and consumption

Critical pathways and food system leverage points for a rapid transition to healthy and sustainable diets for all humans

Antimicrobials as a global health ‘commons’ in need of stewardship and transformation

About the position

This is a 2-year postdoc position, which will focus on research primarily aligned with the programme theme of Global Health and Biosphere Stewardship. The specific research questions of the postdoctoral position will be refined together with the successful candidate and will depend on the profile of the successful candidate. We expect this candidate to be comfortable and interested in exploring new interdisciplinary perspectives within the broader area of research of GEDB and play an active role in linking/integrating various perspectives within the programme.

The successful candidate will have experience with modelling global environmental change, including, but not limited to, climate (e.g. general circulation) or biodiversity models, or alternatively, modelling of the global food system, or global health and well-being, or combinations thereof. A key component of the position will be to explore novel ways of linking the dynamics of the global environment, food and health, including by considering non-linearities or leverage points for stewardship/intervention, including effects of food system diversity and trade

Examples of possible research topics and components include:

Environmental (climate) tipping points, food systems and global health and well-being

Emerging infectious disease, climate and food systems

Modelling of biosphere stewardship impacts on health and well-being through food production and consumption. Integrating scenarios of biosphere stewardship in the global food system.

Using footprint modelling (e.g. MRIOs, LCA) to link health effects of global environmental change impacts on food production and consumption


Additional qualification requirements and selection
Applicants should be able to demonstrate a track record in research, including publications, related to sustainability and/or economics. Applicants who can demonstrate an engagement in several fields, or other interdisciplinary experience, will be prioritized. Demonstrated experience in working with large global data sets or models will also be favourably looked at.

The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on:

  • experience working with issues related to sustainability – more specifically various aspects of the interplay between global economic dynamics and environmental sustainability;
  • experience conducting interdisciplinary research;
  • demonstrated academic outputs in the form of scientific publications;
  • the applicants personal references;
  • willingness and ability to work as part of a transdisciplinary team;
  • communication and presentation skills.

Terms of employment
The term of the initial contract is two years with conditional extension of contract depending on evaluation of academic outputs.

Please note that selection decisions cannot be appealed.

For more information about the Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere Program, see: http://kva.se/GEDB

For specific questions about the fellowship, contact Peter S Jörgensen, psjorgensen@kva.se

Union representatives
At KVA - Magnus Lundgren (SACO), phone: 08-6739525 and Peter Jacobsson (ST), phone: 08-6739792.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.Please include the following information with your application. NOTE: consolidate your documents into ONE SINGLE pdf – multiple documents will not be accepted


  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references (NOTE: do not include reference letters. You will be asked to provide these if you are selected for interview)

In addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter, describing what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses/publications

Research proposal (no more than 1 page) describing:
– why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement
– why and how you might choose to complete the project

Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)

If you are selected for interview you will be asked to provide electronic copies of three of your most relevant works (degree projects or published articles) and letters of reference.

You are welcome to apply!

Closing date: June 6, 2019