Environmental Anthropology/Ecological Globalization (5+3)

2 PhD fellowships in the field of Environmental Anthropology/Ecological Globalization (5+3)

The Graduate School at Arts, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, in collaboration with the Carlsberg Foundation, invites applications for two fully-funded PhD fellowships in Environmental Anthropology/Ecological Globalization provided the necessary funding is available. These PhD fellowships are available as of 1 September 2018 for a period of up to three years (5+3). The candidates who are awarded the fellowships must commence their PhD degree programmes on 1 September 2018. 

The PhD fellowships will be financed by the 2 parties.

The candidates selected for these positions are expected to contribute to and take active part in the research group “Innovative Approaches to Ecological Globalization: Anthropology on the New Pangaea,” funded by the Carlsberg Foundation and situated within the Aarhus University Anthropology Department.


Research Group Description
Funded by a Carlsberg Foundation Distinguished Associate Professor Fellowship, this research group focuses on ecological globalization – i.e. on how practices of trade, development, and management remake landscape ecologies by connecting geographically distant places. For millennia, humans have moved animals and plants during their long-distance travels. But today, plants and animals are travelling at unprecedented rates – with new and sometimes unexpected effects. As ships and planes move growing quantities of goods, they connect ecological regions that have had little biological exchange between them. Supply chains typically transport more than they intend: jellyfish travel in ballast water, grass species in packing crates, and insects on nursery plants. Some scientists have referred to such events collectively as the emergence of a “New Pangaea” (Rosenzweig 2001). Yet in contrast to the crustal plate movements that formed the super-continent Pangaea on a scale of millions of years, the New Pangaea’s emergence has been distinctly sudden, with its patterns of species dispersal following paths of colonial settlement and industrial development. What, this research group asks, can anthropologists contribute to the understanding of these new transcontinental connections – driven by social processes – and their effects?


Key Research Questions
Applicants for these PhD positions should design projects that address one or more of the following questions, broadly interpreted:

1) Processes and politics of species movements. What social and historical factors shape species introductions (e.g. changes in transportation, business practices, and consumption)? 

2) Intertwined ecological and social effects of introduced species. What are the on the ground effects of new arrivals? How do new species fracture existing social and natural relationships and make new ones? 

3) Debates over species movements and the management of introduced species. What conflicts emerge over how to limit and/or live with animals and plants that arrive in new locales? 

See more about the group here: http://projects.au.dk/ecoglobal/​ 


Project Descriptions

This research group encourages applicants to propose projects that demonstrate creativity and cross disciplinary boundaries, and it welcomes projects that engage collaboratively with the natural sciences. Fieldwork and/or archival research about one or more specific empirical cases is expected. Regional focus is open.

The PhD students must complete the studies in accordance with the valid regulations for the PhD degree programme, currently the Ministerial Order of 27 August 2013 on the PhD degree programme at the universities: http://talent.au.dk/phd/arts/rulesandforms/thephddegreeprogramme/

Description of the graduate school’s PhD degree programme: http://talent.au.dk/phd/arts/phdstudystructure/

Rules and regulations for the PhD degree programme at the Graduate School at Arts: http://talent.au.dk/phd/arts/rulesandforms/thephddegreeprogramme/

The PhD fellows will be enrolled as PhD students at the Graduate School at Arts, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, with the aim of completing a PhD degree at the School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University. 

The PhD students will be affiliated with the PhD programme Anthropology, Global Studies and the Study of Religion.

The PhD students’ place of work will be the School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University. In general, the students is expected to be present at the school on an everyday basis.

The PhD degree programme is expected to include a lengthy research stay at a foreign institution, cf. Description of the graduate school’s PhD degree programme.

School of Culture and Society’s research programme:


5+3 programme

When you apply for a 3-year PhD fellowship (5+3), you must have completed your two year Master’s degree (120 ECTS) no later than 31 August 2018.

The PhD fellows will be employed as a PhD student at the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University. The terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (see section 6.1.4), as well as with the protocol to the agreement covering staff with university degrees in the state sector (see enclosure 5). The agreement and the protocol including amendments are available online: http://talent.au.dk/phd/arts/rulesandforms/thephddegreeprogramme/

Salary: http://talent.au.dk/phd/arts/rulesandforms/salary-and-employment/salary-5-3-programme-and-part-b-of-the-4-4-programme/


If you require professional guidance regarding your application for the PhD fellowship please contact the PhD programme director at Anthropology, Global Studies and the Study of Religion:  http://talent.au.dk/phd/arts/contacts/

For further information, please contact Associate Professor Heather Anne Swanson, School of Culture and Society, ikshswanson@cas.au.dk, Phone + 45 20 14 59 94.

All applicants must document English language qualifications comparable to an 'English B level' in the Danish upper secondary school ('gymnasium'). Please see this page for further information: http://talent.au.dk/phd/arts/application/english-test/

Applications for these positions must be submitted in English, and the PhD dissertations must be written in English.

Applications for the PhD fellowship and enrolment in the PhD degree programme can only be submitted via Aarhus University’s web-based facility.

Guidelines for the application facility: http://talent.au.dk/phd/arts/application/application-guide/

Deadline for applications: 15 March 2018 at 23.59 Danish time (CET/CETS).
Reference number: 2018-11

During the assessments, Aarhus University can conduct interviews with selected applicants.