PhD Position in Industrial Engineering and Management
Uppsala University Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering

PhD Position in Industrial Engineering & Management: Sustainability transitions in the Swedish food system

Published: 2020-12-10

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 46.000 students, 7.300 employees and a turnover of SEK 7.3 billion.

The Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering consists of three divisions: Industrial Engineering, Quality Science and Management, and Civil Engineering and Built Environment. The department has a strong and international research environment and has approximately 80 employees with research and education both at the Ångström Laboratory in Uppsala and at Campus Gotland. This position will be located at the division of Industrial Engineering in Uppsala. For more information, see the web of the department at

Project description: The food system faces unprecedented challenges, but also very great opportunities. Challenges, of enormous dignity and on many levels that cannot be handled with old solutions but require interaction. Opportunities, to contribute with our food production solutions to help meet the SDG (the UN Sustainability Development Goals) and to sustainable consumption, for our own health and for a sustainable world. Here, the food system of Sweden can make a difference, but then we need to act vigorously and together.

In this PhD position, you will be part of the FORMAS center “Food Innovation Enabling Sustainable Transition – FINEST”, which gathers 17 stakeholders within academia, industry and the public sector. FINEST is aimed at playing a decisive role in product and system innovation within the food system and support both radical and efficient transformation and innovation in the system. The center will be an important actor in order both to understand system transition in the Swedish food context and at the same time supporting and accelerating the specific transition(s) in place represented by three cases: 1) an efficient and sustainable Swedish forest berry chain promoting health products, 2) efficient and sustainable protein crop supply chains leading to meat and dairy substitutes, 3) the experimental power-to-food concept with the potential to largely reduce environmental impact of food production. The center is built around the following core competences: System transition, innovation management, raw material and ingredients, process and product design, food safety and consumer knowledge.

The particular PhD positions is in the field of industrial engineering and management, particularly sustainable system transitions. The PhD project will primarily be concerned theoretical approaches such as the multi-level perspective, transition management, strategic niche management, technological innovation systems, and the social practice approach. Empirically, the PhD project is concerned with studying the food supply system in Sweden, particularly in relation to the three cases within the center. The purpose of this empirical study is to get an understanding of the food system that the innovative solutions presented in this project are expected to transform. To understand the potentiality of system transitions, it is important to understand the growth and development of the current system. Therefore, a longitudinal, retrospective approach will be adopted in the project, in order to learn about path dependencies.

Duties: The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Requirements: As a candidate for this position, you should have a Master’s degree (MSc) in Industrial Management, Innovation, Business and administration, or an equivalent degree. You have good knowledge in qualitative methods (e.g., interviewing, participant observation) and basic understanding in quantitative methods (e.g., analysis of questionnaire data). Very good skills in written and spoken English and Swedish are required.

Others/meritorious: Documented knowledge or practical experience within sustainability, and more particularly within the sustainability transitions field, is meritorious. So is also documented knowledge or experience within the food supply chain, as well as studies of public documentation, archival studies, discourse analysis. You should be ambitious, productive, and have a thorough interest in science and technology as well as business and industry. Personal qualities, ability to work independently and at the same time be able to interact with other researchers both nationally and internationally is very important.

Admission requirements: A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programs if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines

Application: Applications should include a cover letter, including a brief description of experience relevant to the position and the candidate criteria stated above, a CV, copies of diplomas and certificates (important!), preferably a master thesis (or a draft thereof) and other relevant documents. The candidates are encouraged to provide letter(s) of recommendation and should provide contact information to at least two reference persons. All applications should be submitted through the Uppsala University job portal.

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date: As soon as possible.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: Prof. Thomas Lennerfors (, telephone +46 (0) 70 167 9553.

Please submit your application by 5 January 2021, UFV-PA 2020/4718.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Saco-rådet
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2020/4718

Last application date: 2021-01-05

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