Postdoc position in relation to choice of livelihood strategies in the Greater Serengeti Mara Ecosystem

Department for Food and Resource Economics
Faculty of Science
University of Copenhagen

A two year Post-Doctoral position is available at the University of Copenhagen. The position is a part of the large EU Horizon 2020 funded project “AfricanBioServices – Linking biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services in the Serengeti-Mara Region, East Africa: Drivers of change, causalities and sustainable management strategies”, that will be running from September 1st 2015-2019.

Information about the global development section and AfricanBioServices
The Post doc will be working within the Global Development Section in the Department for Food and Resource Economics. The section engages in inter-disciplinary research on economic, political, environmental, and institutional dynamics in developing countries. Research areas include issues of livelihoods, small-scale industry, trade, and labour; of climate change mitigation and adaptation; of forest and natural resource management; of resource conflicts and land grabbing; and of governance, state formation, and corruption. The post doc will be associated with the AfricanBioServices project under the supervision of Martin Reinhardt Nielsen, and will investigate household choice of livelihood strategies in relation to changing ecosystem services in the Greater Serengeti Mara Ecosystem in Tanzania and Kenya as an output of work package 5 of the AfricanBioServices project (

Further information on the Department is linked at Inquiries about the position can be made to Martin Reinhardt Nielsen (

The position is open from 1 May 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job description
The Post Doc will be the core researcher in a work package sub-task aiming to assess household’s preferences and trade-offs in choices regarding changing ecosystem services, policies and management strategies and to determine what incentives best encourage households to choose livelihood strategies that are compatible with maintaining ecosystem function and ecosystem service delivery. The Post Doc will be responsible for designing, coordinating and implementing large scale household level choice experiments in districts bordering the Serengeti-Mara national parks in collaboration with Tanzanian and Kenyan research institutions. The Post Doc will also be responsible for database management and conducting the analysis including modelling the results of the choice experiments and writing up scientific papers for international peer reviewed journals.

The post doc will, as part of Work Package 5 in AfricanBioServices, be expected to work closely together with another Post Doc at the University of Copenhagen as well as the 6 senior researchers and their junior researchers participating in this work package. The Post Doc will also closely collaborate and contribute to the work of a bushmeat research group where a smaller number of researchers from Work Packages 1, 2 and 4 focus on the ecological impact and socioeconomic importance and drivers of poaching and bushmeat hunting in the Greater Serengeti Mara Ecosystem (GSME). The Post doc position will be based at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark but will undertake fieldwork of at least 5 months duration spanning the first two years (multiple trips) and participate in meetings at least once per year in the GSME. Fieldwork is conducted in remote rural areas inhabited by Sukuma and Massai agro-pastoralists and will require cultural insight and sensitivity and good physical condition.

Applicants for the Post Doctor position must have a PhD degree in development or environmental economics or related fields. Applicants should have an up-to-date knowledge about choice experiments and experience using spatial sorting models is an advantage. Similarly prior experience conducting field economic experiments in a remote rural location is an advantage. The candidate must document an ability to work independently and in collaboration with other groups, strong oral and written communication skills in English, high motivation, excellent analytical skills and the ability to write and publish high quality scientific papers.

Applications from PhD candidates who will graduate in the spring of 2016 with promising publication records will also be considered.

Terms of employment
The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently up to DKK 405,501 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 69,341). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include 

  • Curriculum vita
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan – description of current and future research plans
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of 3 particularly relevant papers

The deadline for applications is Sunday 15th February 2016

Interview will be held Wednesday 16 March 2016. For applicants not living in Denmark, the interview will be held via Skype.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at