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Monday, December 06, 2010

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PhD scholarship at DIIS and RUC on value chain analysis of aquaculture products

The ‘Global Economy, Regulation and Development’ research unit at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and the Graduate School of International Development Studies at the Institute of Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University (RUC), seek applicants for a PhD scholarship funded jointly by RUC and a large EU FP7 research programme entitled ‘Sustaining Ethical Aquaculture Trade’ (SEAT). SEAT involves 14 European and Asian partner institutions, including DIIS.

Trade in aquatic products is the largest global food sector, by value, with Asia representing the main external source of aquatic products into the EU. Current EU policy supporting international trade between Asia and Europe concentrates on issues of food safety as measures of quality, while market-forces drive development of standards and labels that identify social and environmental parameters. The SEAT project proposes to establish an evidence-based framework to support current and future stakeholder dialogues organised by a third party certifier. It seeks to contribute to harmonising standards, helping consumers to make fully informed choices with regards to the sustainability and safety of their seafood, and to develop an ‘Ethical Aquatic Food Index’ (EAFI), a qualitative holistic measure of overall sustainability to support consumers’ purchasing decisions.

The successful PhD candidate will be working under two SEAT Work Packages that examine: (1) the social and economic dynamics of value chains for selected aquaculture products; and (2) the role of standards and certifications in governing such value chains. The overall objectives of this work are:

  • Examine the configuration of global value chains for aquatic products originating in two Asian countries, their governance structures and upgrading possibilities, and the role of standards in shaping governance and upgrading; assess the entry barriers, structure of rewards and demands on quality and logistics that arise for actors at different levels.
  • Compare different institutional arrangements to link small and medium producers to these value chains and evaluate how national and international policy and regulatory frameworks for fisheries and trade facilitate or hinder integration in value chains for aquatic products.
  •  Analyse the costs and benefits, and inclusion and exclusion thresholds, for particular groups of producers (i.e. small and medium producers), countries or regions for production and marketing of cultured seafood.
It is anticipated that the successful candidate will be enrolled at the Graduate School of International Development Studies at Roskilde University.

PhD candidates are paid salary according to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The PhD candidate has a work obligation of up to 840 hours over the 3-year period without additional pay.

The scholarship will be available from 1 February 2011.
The application should be in English and include a CV, documentation (copies) of examinations passed and a short statement on how the candidate’s previous studies, research and experience will contribute to the project (max 2 pages).

Applications must be submitted in three copies marked ‘PhD – Global Economy’, should be addressed to Director Nanna Hvidt, DIIS, Strandgade 56, DK-1401 Copenhagen K, Denmark, and should reach DIIS no later than Monday, 20 December 2010 at 12.00 noon. Electronic applications or enclosures will not be accepted.

All qualified applicants – regardless of national, ethnic or religious background, gender, age or sexual orientation – are encouraged to apply.

For any further question, please contact Stefano Ponte ( or Christian Lund (
The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) is an independent research institution engaged in research in international affairs. The institute draws up reports and analyses and follows developments in international affairs continuously in order to assess the security and foreign policy situation of Denmark, e.g. aspects of relevance with regard to development policy. DIIS also communicates research findings, analyses and knowledge and performs functions concerning documentation, information and library services.
Furthermore, DIIS contributes to the education of researchers, supports the development of research capacity in developing countries and establishes contacts between Danish and international research environments. DIIS and the Danish Institute for Human Rights together constitute the Danish Centre for International Studies and Human Rights (DCISM), sharing a common administration and library.

For further information, please see


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