Farmlands, or agricultural landscapes, captures the interest of a number of researchers based at the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University. On this blog we share information about research findings, activities, events and comments related to our work.

Our interest in farmlands has three roots: farming, landscape and society.
Farming as a practice, including farmers knowledge and labour investments
Landscape as society-nature relations, congealed history, and as space and place
Society as a short form for institutions, gender relations, political economy and scientific relevance

Most Welcome to FarmLandS!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More PhD positions in new ITN network

Two PhD positions in Social and Cultural Anthropology: “Globalisation, Landscape Fragmentation and Resilience in East African Landscapes”

At the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Cologne
Deadline for applications is June 23rd, 2013

The department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Cologne, announces 2 PhD-positions within a multidisciplinary and multi-partner research project titled Resilience in East African Landscapes: Identifying critical thresholds and sustainable trajectories – past, present and future (REAL). This is an EU funded Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN). The project has been invited to negotiations by the European Commission (proposal 606879, REAL). To fulfil Marie Curie mobility requirements applicants must at the time of recruitment by the host organisation not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. Interviews with shortlisted candidates are expected to be conducted between 11-12 July, 2013, via skype.

The overall project focus is on the temporal, spatial and social dynamics of human-landscape interaction in East Africa over the last millennia, with particular reference to the Ewaso Basin and Eastern Rift Valley in central Kenya, and the Pangani Basin & Amboseli catchment in north-eastern Tanzania & south-eastern Kenya. The anthropological sub-projects focus on (1) “Changing patterns of land use between town and hinterland: the expansion of horticultural industry, commoditized food production and natural-resource harvesting for global markets” and (2) “Landscape and land use fragmentation in the Ewaso Catchment/Laikipia Plateau”. While sub-project (1) will be located in the Naivasha basin subproject (2) will be situated in Northern Kenya’s Laikipiak District. Both areas cover a range of land use patterns (from highly commoditized to subsistence orientated), social-ecological histories (from communal ‘tribal reservation’ to freehold farmland) and are currently shaped by various forms of conflict and cooperation. In both areas the social relations are shaped by a high degree of inter-regional mobility. A core consideration of the project will be on how actors negotiate access to and forms of land use in a situation shaped by intense cross-scale dynamics, co-management of local, national and international actors, the ethnicization of resource conflicts and increasing social inequality.

PhD-candidates in this multi-partner project will be part of a network of early stage researchers and senior researchers involving several European and African universities and institutions (e.g. University of Uppsala, University of York, University of Cologne, Ghent University, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, University of Dar es Salaam) as well as industry partners. A number of doctoral courses and training events will be organised within the project.

Each position will be attached to one of the research projects (A or B) described below. Positions are expected to commence 1 September 2013, provided that the required funding is available. Applicants must clearly state which project they are primarily interested in. Both positions will include several months of fieldwork in relatively remote rural locations in Kenya and Tanzania.

For further information, please contact: Prof. Dr. Michael Bollig, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Cologne, 50923 Cologne,

General conditions and requirements
Research at the department follows two research themes (for further information see the department’s web page). The announced positions are most closely related to the research theme on Historical Geography and Landscape Research.

Applicants must be, at the time of recruitment by the host organization, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree. According to the Marie-Curie Initial Training Network guideline a Monthly Living and Mobility Allowance will be paid salary will be paid according to the Marie-Curie Initial Training Network guidelines.

The duration of employment as PhD candidate corresponds to four years of PhD education, with some prolongation to accommodate for a share of teaching and other duties at the department. In addition to the standard evaluation criteria, the applicant’s merits in relation to the specific project themes presented below will be given weight. The doctoral thesis will be written in English and good skills in English are thus required.

Applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of their prospective  host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date.

Who is eligible to apply?
The applicant is required to fulfil the general eligibility requirement for Phd studies (a master or ”magister” exam). Additionally, the applicant should fulfil the special eligibility requirement i.e. to have achieved pass grades in at least 60 course points in the discipline of social anthropology or in an equivalent discipline (e.g. development studies, environmental change and management, related interdisciplinary courses on social-ecological relations etc). Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:
- practical experience and academic background of relevance for the project, e.g. interview based fieldwork in East Africa or in a comparable rural environment
- knowledge of scientific theory and method of relevance to the research projects
- analytical ability and skills in writing, as demonstrated by a scientific report, paper or degree project thesis
- the applicants potential to contribute to and utilise the research environment at the department
- the applicants personal references

How do I apply?
A complete application should arrive at the following address no later than 23rd June, 2013:
Prof. Dr. Michael Bollig
Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology
University of Cologne
50923 Cologne

Or, as one pdf-file by email to:

The application must include the following documentation:
• Curriculum Vitae
• A short (1-2 pages) personal presentation (letter of intent) that explain why you are interested in studying for a PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology, which project(s) you are interested in, why you are interested in this specific research task and what skills you can bring to the project(s)
• Verified copies of education certificates supporting general and special admission requirements (e.g. Marie Curie mobility requirements) to the PhD student programme
• One example of an independently written paper or thesis authored by the applicant within the framework of his/her bachelor or masters level university education (if no thesis or paper is submitted your application will not be evaluated)
• References from two university lecturers or professors (with phone numbers and email addresses) who have taught the applicant and who have a good knowledge of the applicant’s academic achievements
• Ancillary documentation that the applicant wishes to be taken into consideration (e.g. other
reference letters).

Further information on the web:
- University of Cologne Graduate Education (web-site)
- Institute for Social Anthropology (web-site)

Project A: Changing patterns of land use between town and hinterland: the expansion of horticultural industry, commoditized food production and natural-resource harvesting for national and global markets
The ESR recruited to this project will study changing livelihood patterns in three settlements along the shore of Lake Naivasha over the last 50-100 years. Particular attention will be given to investigating a) the effects that large-scale agro-industrial production changes have had on land-use patterns and livelihoods; b) the socio-ecological consequences of peri-urban encroachment of Naivasha wetlands and its partial conversion to agricultural land and residential areas; and c) transformation of household economies through expansion of local market-oriented food production for the rapidly growing urban population. Methodologically, the project will combine local oral history, documentary sources (including grey literature), interviews with focus groups and individual stakeholders and social actors, and remote sensing data. These will be combined within a participatory GIS, following the model developed for ESR 8.

Project B: Land fragmentation in the Ewaso Catchment/Laikipia Plateau
Focusing on the Laikipia Plateau, Kenya, this project’s rationale derives from the observation that the pressure of decentralization, increasing mobility, and newly instituted mechanisms of communal management, is breaking up formerly more homogenous land use patterns. Where once private and communal farms and protected zones were clearly juxtaposed, there are now manifold types of land resource property, access rights and administration from commercial farms, conservancies constituted by private farms, and communal land with informal private titling, to private and state-owned conservation areas. This fragmentation renders any attempt at institutionalized regulation problematic and challenging. However, loose networks of local stakeholders increasingly cross-cut the boundaries of this fragmented land-use system to manage resources profitably and/or sustainably, occasionally partnering with governmental institutions but also often by-passing them. The ESR undertaking this project will study this land-use fragmentation across the Laikipia Plateau using published, archival and remote-sensing data sources, formal and informal interviews with the various stakeholders, and analysis of current attempts to negotiate new forms of tenure adapted to the changed social, economic and environmental contexts.

For further information, please contact: Prof. M. Bollig, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Cologe,  

1 comment:

  1. That's look great that people would love to share their educational matters and experience on internet.