Ph.D. studentship: Gender equality and climate resilience of West African cacao-dependent households

The Department of Forest Economics is engaged in research and education in circular bioeconomy with focus on business administration, natural resource economics, economics, and policy, with a particular focus on the sustainable development of forest-related natural resources. The Department contributes to education at the Faculty of Forest Sciences, and is responsible for Bachelor and Master degree programs as well as offering Ph.D. education in business administration and economics. The Department is located at two campuses: Ultuna (Uppsala) and Umeå. The Department has strong research domestic and international connections: we hold the editorial office of the Journal of Forest Economics; we are a key partner in the joint SLU/Umeå University - Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics; we host the head office of European Forest Institute’s Forest Bioeconomy Network, among many others.

Department of Forest Economics

We are searching for a Doctoral student to join the Department of Forest Economics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Umeå. The student will work on the project “Gender equality and climate resilience of West African cacao-dependent households’ funded by the Swedish Research Council. Candidates are encouraged to review research by Francisco X. Aguilar, Professor, Department of Forest Economics, available at and on Google Scholar before applying. 

Read more about our benefits and what it's like to work at SLU at

Gender equality and climate resilience of West African cacao-dependent households


Over two million families whose livelihoods depend on cacao farming in West Africa need to adapt to a changing climate. Cacao is perceived as a male crop and women are often marginalized from access to livelihood assets, such as financial resources. Scientific contributions from this Ph.D. research include the generation of robust empirical evidence of gender equality-climate resilience effects, and on the conceptual development of 'Socioecological Livelihoods' as an analytical framework. It aims to create a pathway for positive change. The selected candidate will be involved in quantitative and qualitative research. The profile of that student is of a person fully committed to development research with foundational training in research methods and background appreciation of farming dynamics in developing countries. The candidate will be responsible for: integrating economics and forest resource management knowledge into relevant research design; developing relevant research questions; applying appropriate econometric and qualitative analytical tools; writing scientific manuscripts and compile a Ph.D. thesis suitable for examination. Coursework is included in the Ph.D. program.

The Ph.D. program consists of 4-year full-time studies with the position contracted based on annual evaluations.


To be eligible, the candidate should hold at least a Master’s degree in economics or related field (e.g. agricultural economics, development economics, natural resource economics, forest economics), or a strong quantitative interdisciplinary program in which economics are included. Knowledge in natural resource economics, demonstrated capacity to integrate forestry and economics concepts are considered extra merit. Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are required. Working knowledge of French is preferable but not mandatory.

Of extra merit is experience writing scientific manuscripts. Advanced documented knowledge in the use of R, SAS, Stata or other analytical software is considered extra merit.

Place of work:           

Umeå, Sweden

Forms for funding or employment:

employment up to 4 years as Ph.D. student, with yearly evaluations.

Starting date:

As soon as possible, negotiable, upon agreement.  



We welcome applications until February 10th, 2023 using the button below.

Individuals have basic eligibility for third cycle education if they have 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.

Applicants must submit:

  • a CV
  • a two-page proposed research statement
  • copies of degrees and transcripts of all academic records
  • one copy of the MS thesis
  • contact information of at least two referees familiar with the applicant's qualifications
  • certified knowledge of the English language
  • if relevant, copies of relevant publications

Final selection will be conducted after an interview. By the time of the interview, shortlisted applicants shall provide certified true copies of certificates, diplomas and transcripts from previous studies at an internationally recognized higher education institution (university or university college) and transcripts. If the applicant is a foreign citizen, SLU requires a certified copy of the passport page disclosing personal data and photograph.

Details about Ph.D. education at SLU are available at

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is a world-class international university with research, education and environmental assessment within the sciences for sustainable life. Its principal sites are in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, but activities are also conducted at research stations, experimental parks and educational establishments throughout Sweden. We bring together people who have different perspectives, but they all have one and the same goal: to create the best conditions for a sustainable, thriving and better world.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses.

Contact persons

Francisco Aguilar


+46 (0)72-247 95 38

Camilla Widmark

Department Head


Job opening | 4 January 2023