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Job ID: 117883

PhD position in sustainable global food supply
Aalto University School of Engineering

Date Posted Jan. 2, 2019
Title PhD position in sustainable global food supply
University Aalto University School of Engineering
Helsinki, Finland
Department Department of Built Environment
Application Deadline Jan. 29, 2019
Position Start Date Jan. 2, 2019
  • Graduate Student
  • Geography
    Environmental Sciences/Ecology/Forestry
    Earth Sciences
Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto University has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and nearly 400 professors. Our campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland.

Water & Development Research Group ( at Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Built Environment invites applications for:

A PhD position in sustainable global food supply

We seek a highly qualified and motivated individual with an enthusiastic attitude towards high-quality interdisciplinary research to undertake a PhD position for a period of 1+3 years, starting from June 2019.

Project description: The PhD research will be part of the ERC funded research project SOS.aquaterra (, led by Aalto’s Assistant Professor Matti Kummu. The project aims to globally assess what are the feasible opportunities to meet the future food demand with sustainable use of natural resources. The five-year project develops novel integrated food system model and other related data analysis methods to fully exploit the global open spatio-temporal datasets together with outputs from global agrological and hydrological models.

Main responsibilities: The objective of the doctoral work is to assess global potential in alternative protein sources and future innovations towards sustainable food supply. The work will consist of assessing resource use efficiency in future food opportunities - such as vegetarian protein substitutions, vertical & urban farming, and cultured meat - by using existing literature, here conducted case studies and potentially also modelling. The other part of the work will consist of building future scenarios towards understanding the global potential of these opportunities and their impacts on resource smart food supply.

Research environment: The successful candidate will work within a multidisciplinary team of enthusiastic researchers. The Water & Development Research Group is among the world leading groups in global water and food issues. The key focus of the group is on integrating water with other topical global challenges, such as food security, urbanisation and energy generation. The group is energetic with good and supportive working atmosphere.

Qualification requirements: The applicant must have completed Master of Science degree in a related field. The applicant is expected to have a strong drive towards excellence in science and have an ability for innovative thinking both individually and within a team. Excellent skills in spoken and written English are required.

The applicant must also fulfil the requirements for entitlement to do postgraduate studies at Aalto University:

Assessment criteria: In the evaluation process, attention will be given to relevant MSc studies, success in studies, as well as research related work experience.

The following are particularly meriting
i)     Strong quantitative skills with relevant studies
ii)     Good background in food systems and food supply studies
iii)     Programming skills and experience with programming languages such as Python, R, or Matlab
iv)     Experience and interest in working in a multidisciplinary project

To apply, an application must include:
-     Motivation Letter, including full contact information (max one A4 page)
-     CV including possible publications and contact information for 2 reference persons (max two A4 pages)
-     Summary of the MSc Thesis (max one A4 page)
-     Copies of Master's and Bachelor's degree certificates and official transcripts of records, and their translations, if the originals are not in Finnish, Swedish or English.
-     A proof of proficiency in Finnish, Swedish or English, if the applicant is not a native speaker or educated in any of them.

All material should be submitted in English in a single pdf-file (in the order listed above).

The application should be submitted through the eRecruitment system no later than 29th of January 2019:

For more information: Assistant Professor Matti Kummu ( / +358-50-407 5171 - possible queries will be replied only after 9th of January), and in questions related to the recruitment process, HR Coordinator Päivi Rundgren ( / +358-50-379 8020).

General information for international candidates:
As a living and working environment, Finland consistently ranks high in quality-of-life. For more information about living in Finland:

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Assistant Professor Matti Kummu
    Department of Built Environment
    Aalto University School of Engineering
    Tietotie 1, Espoo
  • +358 50 407 5171


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