The deadline for applications has been extended until May 2!

The Stockholm Resilience Centre is a joint initiative between Stockholm University and the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics at The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Founded in 2007, the Centre is part of the Faculty of Science at Stockholm University.

The mission of the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) is to advance research for biosphere stewardship and innovation. Research at the SRC applies a social-ecological systems perspective and resilience thinking to generate knowledge and understanding to enable social-ecological transformations towards sustainable futures. Research is advanced through transdisciplinary collaboration with internationally leading researchers, research environments worldwide, and environmental actors.

The SRC aims to foster new generations of researchers and academic leaders through our Resilience Research School. The school equips students with a theoretical and practical foundation in Sustainability Science with a focus on resilience in social-ecological systems. Students are encouraged to develop new approaches that integrate methods and concepts from the social, natural, and applied sciences. Emphasis is placed on developing students ability to define a problem, develop research methods, and communicate research findings within international scientific and science-policy discussions.

Project description
We seek an enthusiastic and ambitious Ph.D. candidate to join us in the research project Advancing Black Sea Research and Innovation to Co-Develop Blue Growth within Resilient Ecosystems (BRIDGE-BS) ( international research project has 33 partners from 15 countries and is funded by the Horizon 2020-programme of the EU.

Oceans and seas cover over 70% of the Earth’s surface and are instrumental in providing nutrition, employment, and other well-being to humans. This makes the blue economy an integral part of the global sustainability agenda, and oceans are a focus of international initiatives, such as the ongoing UN Decade for Ocean Science. In the Black Sea, with unique habitats, abundant resources, and rich cultural heritage, the role of ocean-derived ecosystem services (ES) is of particular importance to its coastal communities and the broader population of 160 million inhabiting the watershed. At the same time, the ecosystem is vulnerable and susceptible to increasingly negative impacts from several human-induced stressors, such as eutrophication and hypoxia, overfishing, and the introduction of alien species. This Ph.D. project will focus on studying under which ecological and management conditions key marine ES can be produced sustainably and what are the attributes that contribute toward social-ecological resilience across selected case studies and beyond.

Specifically, we will: 1) explore the links between multiple stressors and ecosystem properties and functions that contribute towards maintaining a healthy and resilient ecosystem, 2) review, assess, and apply suitable methodologies for evaluating social-ecological resilience in relation to ecosystem service production, 3) identify potential future pathways for sustainable ES production in marine environments and needs for sustainability transitions. A key aspect of this project will be to communicate the results in a format relevant to managers and other stakeholders. Depending on the background of the successful candidate, the methods of analysis can include either a more quantitative (e.g., general additive modelling), or mixed methods approach.

The Ph.D. candidate will be closely linked to the “Human Ocean” research theme at Stockholm University, but the student should also be motivated to explore different research grounds and acquire knowledge and skills across the broad field of sustainability science. As part of the transdisciplinary environment of Stockholm’s Resilience Centre, the student will collaborate with and benefit from other students and researchers with diverse research interests and perspectives.

The immediate project team at SRC includes Dr. Susa Niiranen and Associate Professor Thorsten Blenckner. The Ph.D. student will work in very close collaboration with the international partners of the BRIDGE-BS project. The selected Ph.D. candidate will be employed at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University.

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

Specific entry requirements for admission to postgraduate studies in Sustainability Science are that the applicant has a total of at least 30 credits, or equivalent, at an advanced level in Natural Science, as well as a thesis of at least 30 credits at an advanced level in a relevant subject, or equivalent knowledge.

The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.

The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on:

  • Subject knowledge relevant to the research task, including academic/working experience in aquatic ecosystems and/or ecosystem service production
  • Analytical ability as demonstrated by a scientific report, paper, or degree project thesis.
  • Knowledge of scientific theory and methodology, specifically integrating qualitative and quantitative theories and methodologies.
  • Experience in data analysis
  • Skills in handling, organizing, and analyzing large heterogeneous data sets (good programming skills (e.g., R, Python, Julia) valued, but not required)
  • Willingness and ability to work as part of an international transdisciplinary team.
  • The applicant’s personal references.
  • Fluent in English.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: and regulations.

Terms of employment
Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20% of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

For more information and questions regarding the project, please contact the Main Supervisor Susa Niiranen, [email protected], telephone: +46 721 72 1770.

For more information about the Resilience Research School or Sustainability Science at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, please contact Associate Professor Magnus Nyström (Director of Ph.D. programme) telephone: +46 73 707 88 76, [email protected], or Professor Garry Peterson (Head of Subject), telephone: +46 73 707 85 92, [email protected].

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64, [email protected], Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89, [email protected][email protected] (SEKO), and PhD student representative, [email protected].

Apply for the Ph.D. student position at Stockholm University’s recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter (1-page maximum).
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience, and a list of degree projects/theses (2 pages max.).
  • Project proposal/Research proposal describing (2 pages max.):
    • why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement
    • why and how do you wish to complete the project
    • what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (please combine them into 1 file)
  • Letters of recommendation (max. 2, please combine into 1 file)
  • Degree projects/theses and publications (max. 3, please combine into one file).

The instructions for applicants are available at How to apply for a position.

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University contributes to the development of a sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment, and the pursuit of truth.

Closing date: 22/04/2022