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PhD position in the EU funded project H2020-MSCA-ITN SAPIENS "Sustainability And Procurement in...

The University of Copenhagen (Denmark), Faculty of Law, is seeking a highly motivated and mobile candidate with a strong academic record holding a Master’s Degree in Law or other relevant field, fluency in English and some subject knowledge of public procurement, policy and sustainability.

The ESR will work within the Faculty of Law, The University of Copenhagen on the PhD research project “Sustainability and Procurement - tools to fight climate change”.

The ESR will work under the supervision of Associate Professor Marta Andhov and will be offered an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral training and will include a structured mobility to up 10 months in the Universities and Partner Organisations of the Consortium for the entire project duration that will include:

  • the University of Hasselt (3 months resident work with co-supervisor)
  • Agency for Nature and Forest in Belgium (1m hands on research on climate friendly SPP practices)
  • Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM) in Belgium (2m research on energy efficient buildings and intelligent networks for a sustainable urban environment)
  • Rikiskaup – Central Purchasing Body in Iceland (2m practice in climate mitigation PP clauses
  • The selected candidate will pursue a PhD as Early Stage Researcher – ESR within the EU-funded H2020-MSCA-ITN Project “Sustainability And Procurement in International, European, and National Systems” (acronym SAPIENS – GA n. 956696).

    The project’s objective is to foster interdisciplinary research into the evolving use of public procurement (PP) to address the social and environmental challenges of the 21st century with a view to create a significantly increased European knowledge base and research capacity on the law, the economics and the business sciences of Sustainable Public Procurement. The ESR will contribute to ambitious and carefully planned research, outreach, impact, and dissemination activities benefiting from the expertise of world-leading senior academics.

    The offered positions are available with a fixed starting date in September 2021 for a maximum duration of 36 months with a full-time commitment to work exclusively under the action.

    Applicants may be of any nationality and shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation (September 2021), be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of his or her research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

    ESR shall not have resided or carried out his or her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date.


    The ESR will be part of a community of ESRs based in 10 SAPIENS partner universities and will benefit from an international and interdisciplinary training programme featuring local, ITN-wide, and external activities with an exposure to intersectoral and international working environments. Training will take place through Advanced Training Courses, a Summer School, and a topical conference organised by ITN partners across Europe (Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Romania, Hungary, UK).

    Candidates will get a very attractive salary plus an allowances package in accordance with the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) rules and the personal circumstances of the applicant.

    Eligibility criteria

    To be eligible, the candidate:

  • must hold a Master’s Degree or equivalent qualifications (candidates with pending Master’s degrees will be considered, but the award will be conditioned on them being awarded the title by end of July). Candidates should ideally possess a Master’s degree or a different degree provided that that allows them to enlist in a PhD (applications from candidates who already possess a doctoral degree cannot be considered);
  • must be in the first four years of her/his research career;
  • must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc. ) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date;
  • must be willing to live in the Host Institution country during the 3 years appointment and travel to the other Universities and Partner Organisations of the network for training activities and secondments (according to the details provided in each job post);
  • must not hold a PhD;
  • must have solid written and oral communication skills in English.
  • The ideal candidate should have Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience Required


  • Obtained a degree that corresponds to the Danish Master or equivalent qualifications in relevant subject area. Please visit for more information. Applicants must have obtained a high overall grade average at the Master’s level.
  • May submit their application before they have completed their Master’s Degree. In that case, they must have submitted their final thesis before 1st of July 2021.
  • Document an aptitude for research through the meritorious assessment of their final thesis, publications or academic recommendations in order to show that they are capable of undertaking the demanding task of writing a PhD thesis.
  • Excellent language skills in English and have excellent communications skills. Applicants must be able to teach at an academic level in English or Danish and to follow PhD courses in English.
  • Basic understanding of public procurement law and policy
  • Basic understanding of sustainability
  • High level analytical ability
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use the resources effectively
  • Excellent IT skills across all core Microsoft Office products
  • Ability to work as part of a team and work independently using own initiative
  • Desirable

    Thorough understanding and direct relevant experience of research methods

  • Advanced understanding of public procurement law and policy
  • Advanced understanding of sustainability issues
  • Advanced understanding of climate change issues

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