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Postdoc in livestock farming systems for an integrated, resilient and efficient agriculture

Faculty of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University Foulum, is looking for dedicated candidates for up to two three-year post-doc positions at the Department of Agroecology, starting on 01-06-2021, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Research area
The successful candidate will be part of section on Agricultural Systems and Sustainability, where the position aims to strengthen the integration of livestock based agriculture in the food system, for a more resilient and efficient production, as part of a circular economy with lower emissions and a higher overall resource use efficiency.

The research includes 1) the role of livestock (primarily ruminant) in the food system, 2) livestock farming systems assessments, analysis and development with focus on productivity, environmental load, climate impact and food production, 3) interaction between land utilisation and livestock, 4) management and production strategies, 5) innovation within dairy farming – feeding, rearing and management, as well as on farm experiments, 6) farm level data analysis and modelling.

The post-doc work will be connected to one or more of the following recently initiated research projects on sustainable, livestock-based agriculture: 1) CIRKULÆR: Development of a model combining production of fodder, livestock products, food and energy in a circular system based on locally produced biomass, 2) MIXED: Multi-actor and transdisciplinary development of efficient and resilient mixed farming and agroforestry systems (, and 3) among others a project on farm system analysis of prolonged lactation based on data from on farm experiments.

The CIRKULÆR project aims at the development of zero emission agricultural systems, including the development of a model combining production of fodder, livestock products, food and energy in a circular system based on locally produced biomass. A major task will be to take the lead in programming based on a combination of excel and R, and potential links to Geographical Information Systems. The model includes assessment of productivity, matter flows (N, P and C), emissions (N and GHG), leaching (N) and soil carbon change based on farm specific information combined with effect of new technologies and product expected to be included in a circular bio-economy. Moreover, the task will be to publish scenarios for the implementation of alternative agricultural production systems and methods, in general for Denmark and from a site-specific perspective, based on the model.

We seek a candidate with good analytical skills along with experience in model development and farming system analysis, in combination with a broad knowledge about agriculture, especially livestock based systems, including the environmental impacts along the whole production chain.

Required qualifications
We seek a committed person, who possess the following professional and personal qualifications:

  • PhD degree in agronomy, geography, engineering or similar fields
  • Scientific proven knowledge within the fields of livestock management and nutrition (preferable dairy), grassland based systems, farm scale and system analysis
  • Experience with modelling and statistical calculation methods
  • Good publishing, communication and networking skills
  • Good collaborative skill and ability to work with others in a multidisciplinary research team
  • Feel comfortable with working independently and in different cultural contexts
  • Experience and/or interest in research based university teaching

Furthermore, we are looking for a responsible and social person who can contribute to a good working environment, and who is comfortable with working across scientific disciplines.

The Department of Agroecology
At the Department of Agroecology we study interactions between soil, plants, animals, humans and the environment in different agroecosystems for the production of food, feed, biomaterials and energy. Thus, we contribute to both fundamental knowledge generation and the attainment of sustainable production systems via state-of-the-art research, contracted policy advice, and education. We offer state-of-the-art laboratory, green house, semi-field and field scale research facilities, advanced computing capacities as well as an extensive national and international researcher network. The department has a staff of approximately 275 people including 56 senior academics, 37 junior researchers and postdocs as well as 56 PhD students. More information can be found here.

The Department of Agroecology offers
  • An informal and multicultural research environment with high professionalism, where accountability, commitment, helpfulness, flexibility and close collaboration is a prerequisite solving the core tasks
  • A good social environment with activities and routines that make it possible to talk across and strengthen the collegial relationship, and where mutual trust, respect, kindness and professional sparring are emphasized
  • A flexible workplace with good work-life balance
  • Possibility of membership of staff association, access to gym and free fruit scheme
  • An exciting and varied working environment, where two days rarely resemble each other. We are often busy and we work creatively for solutions to societal challenges

Place of work and area of employment
The place of work is Blichers Allé 20, Postboks 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments.

Further information on the position may be obtained from Senior Researcher Troels Kristensen ( or Head of research, professor Tommy Dalgaard (, tel. +45 2070 6132.

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range
Technical Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at

Deadline: 31 March 2021


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