1 PhD student in the research education subject: Crop Production Science, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Department of Crop Production Ecology in Uppsala
Evaluation of climate-smart agricultural methods and their implications for sustainability and resilience
This position will be associated with the recently started project “Transformational climate-smart options for sustainable agriculture and resilience on smallholder farms in area with coarse-textures soils” which is a collaboration between SLU, CIAT, Michigan State University and Bandura University Zimbabwe.
Coarse-textured soils are a major cause of rural poverty under semi-arid conditions in sub-Saharan Africa. These soils do not hold rainwater and applied nutrients long enough to adequately support plant development. In addition, the farming practices of most smallholder farmers cause nutrient mining, as they apply less nutrient than what is taken up by plant. Consequently, frequent irrigation and fertilization are needed to supplement water and nutrients lost, thus increasing production costs. Higher inputs into low producing sandy soils are often beyond the economic options for smallholder farmers. This project is designed to test and implement climate-smart agriculture (CSA) options to support the transformations of droughty and nutrient deficient fields into sustainable production. The CSA options will have the potential to provide optimal soil conditions to support crop establishment and growth. To establish and retain these soil investments will have high potential to reverse the cause of rural poverty in the semi-arid regions of Zimbabwe, and similar areas. On-farm experiments aimed at evaluating the different CSA options will be conducted on coarse-textured soils in Manicaland province in Zimbabwe. Biophysical, socio-economic, and environmental parameters collected through this project will be fundamental for identifying best-fit CSA options to support advances in cultivation of food crops and their impacts on economic, social and environmental sustainability and resilience at household, local and regional scale.
The PhD student will be based at the Department of Crop Production Ecology in Uppsala, Sweden, with field research in Zimbabwe. The research and teaching conducted within the department aims at improving crop productivity and sustainability, considering the interactions with the surrounding environment. The department is part of the Ecology Center, which offers a stimulating research environment, involving scientists with diverse expertise.
Starting date: By agreement
The candidate should have a background in agronomy, agricultural engineering, environmental sciences, soil and water management, ecology or related fields. A documented knowledge in the relevant field of research, and written and oral proficiency in English are expected. Experience and interest in field-based research and a good understanding of the agricultural sector and its development under semi-arid conditions, especially on smallholder farms, is a merit. The selection among the eligible applicants will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training, their ability to collaborate, as well as their creativity, initiative, and independence. Particular emphasis will be placed on the candidate’s written motivation (to be supplied via the application form or as cover letter), describing why you are interested in the field/project described and what make you a suitable candidate for this position and project.
Forms for funding or employment: Employment as PhD student limited to 4 years
SLU is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
A person has basic eligibility for third cycle education if he or she has taken a second cycle qualification or has completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second cycle education. Upper secondary school grades equivalent to English B/English 6 are a basic requirement.
Selection among applicants meeting the requirements is made with reference to written application including curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree, a list of at least two references familiar with the applicant's qualifications, certified knowledge of the English language and an interview.
Applicant that will be invited for an interview will be asked to bring certified copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree. In addition, for applicant without Swedish Citizenship, a passport copy of the page with photo and personal details will be asked.
Read about the PhD education at SLU at www.slu.se/en/phd
Ingrid Öborn, email@example.com
Academic union representatives
SACO Saco-S SLU +46 (0)18 67 10 85
SEKO Linda Thörnström +46 (0)18 67 10 57
ST Lotta Olsson +46 (0)18 67 15 36
Applications, marked with ref no SLU ua 2019.2.5.1-143, must have arrived at the Registrar of SLU, P.O. Box 7070, SE-750 07 Uppsala or firstname.lastname@example.org
no later than 2019-02-25.