Multi-Criteria Assessment of Agriculture and Practices for Soil Improving Cropping Systems

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Agroecology programme. The position is available from 1 August 2017 or later.

Multi-Criteria Assessment of Agriculture and Practices for Soil Improving Cropping Systems

Research area and project description:
Prospective studies of future sustainable development pathways for agriculture is a core research area for the Department of Agroecology, and is a pivotal element in the national and international activities of the department. Specific projects within this area include the Research Alliance, the Velux Foundation Denmark funded project on Future Farming (, international activities in relation to The United Nations Global Environmental Facility, and the Task Force on Reactive Nitrogen.

The PhD scholarship will thus be embedded within a diverse portfolio of projects related to Agroecology and Sustainable Management (, and the research section for Agricultural Systems and Sustainability.

In our research, a need for developing methods for multi-criteria sustainability assessment of new agricultural practices has been identified, and will be the core area for the present PhD. The PhD will be afiliated with the Pan-European project SoilCare ( which focus on the development of Soil Improving Cropping Practices. The tasks of the PhD project will include a review of multiple methods for multi-criteria assessment. These methods will be assessed in relation to specific cases in Danish areas with intensive agricultural production. One example is the Danish SoilCare case area of Samsø, in addition to other selected sites in Western Denmark. The methods deployed in the PhD can include GIS-based spatial analysis, life-cycle analysis, , as well as impact assessments of policy scenarios, and other approaches applied in or relevant for the SoilCare project.

In terms of profile, the PhD candidate is expected to have competencies to develop the above mentioned research approaches, to be motivated to work in an interdisciplinary and international research environment, to have knowledge about agricultural systems (e.g. soil improving cropping systems), and to have the ability to publish in highly ranked peer-reviewed journals.

Qualifications and specific competences:
We look for candidates with an M.Sc. (for a 3-years scholarship) or a bachelor degree (for a so called 4+4 or 3+5 year scholarship), and with a specialization in fields such as agricultural sciences, geography, natural resource management, biology, bio-systems engineering, resource economy, planning or similar.

Place of Employment and Place of Work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Department of Agroecology, Research Centre Foulum, Blichers Alle 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark.


Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Professor Tommy Dalgaard, e-mail:, telephone: (+45) 20706132

Application procedures

Before you apply

Information and attachments:

Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.

Documentation of language skills:

The English language requirement at Graduates School of Science and Technology is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” is documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test, minimum score: 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test)
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 6.5 points
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate  with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, or United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at Aarhus University for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants able to document that English was the language of instruction during the whole period of their Bachelor’s and/or Master’s programme. This must be documented by uploading an official document from the institution stating this under “language skills documentation”.

The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

How to apply:

1)      Find the application form:
Go to
Choose May 2017 Call with deadline 1 May 2017 at 11.59 PM MET.
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme 'Agroecology'

2)      Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (if any)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: "Multi-Criteria Assessment of Agriculture and Practices for Soil Improving Cropping Systems"
  • Source (how you found out about the call)

Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

3)      Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

Please note that all information in the application must be in Danish or English.

As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):

·         Project description (½-4 pages). For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. When - as here - you apply for a specific project, please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found.  Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.

  • Documentation of language skills if required.

After submission of the application you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed. The e-mail will also include a link to the application – GSST urges you to check that all mandatory data, marked with an asterisk (*), is registered correctly and all attached files are readable. In case of significant errors, you should reply to the confirmation e-mail with the correct details before the application deadline.

GSST reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made. 
  • For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSST application guide here  

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.