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PhD position at SLU: Environmental communication in Global South contexts

July 13, 2022

PhD position at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Photo: Unsplash / Kasturi Laxmi Mohit

Communication research is often equated to media studies, and much of applied communication research evaluates the effectiveness of information transmission or persuasion. At the Division of Environmental Communication, we focus less on such instrumental perspectives of communication. Instead, we start from an understanding of communication as the joint construction of meaning – a process that is multilateral and multimodal, and in which disagreement, conflict and power relationships play important roles, which we aim to elucidate through both our research and teaching. We apply such perspectives to a wide variety of issues of global relevance, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, land use, urban planning and land rights. However, at present, most work at the Division of Environmental Communication focuses on Nordic contexts.

To further strengthen environmental communication as a field of research, we are now recruiting a PhD student to explore together with researchers at the Division of Environmental Communication in which ways ideas about environmental communication can be fruitfully applied, made sense of and developed in Global South contexts – and in which ways perspectives from the Global North (that tend to dominate the environmental communication literature) can be re-thought by learning from approaches and understandings coming from the Global South.

We therefore invite short concept notes (1-2 pages) from interested applicants that propose environmental communication-related research questions and a possible empirical approach to address these, situated in a selected context in the Global South. Further information and instructions for the concept note can be found below.

The PhD project aims to critically and creatively investigate communication in theory and practice, in a suitable empirical context in the Global South. Within this framework, the PhD student will shape the research in collaboration with the supervisory team, which will be selected from the Division of Environmental Communication based on the conceptual and contextual direction of the project. The PhD project will be funded by the Department of Urban and Rural Development, and benefit from a vibrant and collegial research environment.


We are looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated and creative candidate with a Masters degree and a strong background in a relevant social science (such as sociology, anthropology, human geography, communication or political sciences), as well as experience in theoretically grounded, qualitative empirical research. Excellent English skills, both written and spoken, are essential. Experience in working in Global South contexts would be an asset. Fieldwork abroad will be required. Personal suitability is taken into account.


Located in Uppsala for 4 years. Starting date according to agreement.

Department of Urban and Rural Development

The Department of Urban and Rural Development at SLU offers a strong social science research environment in the subjects of environmental communication, rural development, landscape architecture and agrarian history. We are now recruiting a PhD candidate in the Division of Environmental Communication, where we investigate the communicative aspects of environmental and sustainability issues. We consider communication as the joint construction of meaning rather than as the transmission of information, and conduct primarily qualitative social science research concerned with themes such as legitimacy, participation, power, resistance, conflict and learning in decision making and change processes from a communication perspective. Our research spans a wide range of contexts such as nature conservation, forestry, food production, climate change, game management, mining and the urban planning. Read more about our research here.