ChangeEat: Dietary behavior changes – barriers, motivations and strategies to succeed: Applicants are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Food Science programme. The position is available from 01 September 2023 or later. Title: ChangeEat: Dietary behavior changes – barriers, motivations and strategies to succeed

Research area and project description: Food is the single strongest lever to optimize human health and environmental sustainability. A healthy diet should optimize health, defined broadly as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and a sustainable food production should transit from land use being a net source of carbon to becoming a net sink of carbon.

However, current food practices are not always in line with ‘a healthy sustainable diet’, and a transformation to healthy sustainable diets require, on a global level, substantial dietary shifts. From an individual perspective ‘a healthy sustainable diet’ will require an increase in intake of some foods (often fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts), while reducing intake of others (often sugars and red meat).

However, food is not only source to good health and climate, meals are also sources to pleasure, and our current food related lifestyle is the result of life-long learning about personal- and cultural preferences. Therefore, changing food choices requires an effort, but is never the less needed for a balanced healthy and sustainable diet.

From previous research, we know that the behaviour change process is divided into five different stages, ranging from ‘pre-contemplation’ to ‘maintenance’. A critical element in supporting dietary changes is knowing, what is hindering and motivating the individual in moving to the next stage in the behavior change process, and how indviduals can be supported in making dietary behaviour changes.

In the current PhD project, we pursue thorough understanding of the behaviour change process in two food related contexts; when the change is motivated by an individual (e.g. health) or collective (e.g. climate) need, respectively. These two aspects are aligned with focus in “The Official Dietary Guidelines –good for Health and Climate”. We will clarify commonalities/differences in barriers and motivations between the two behaviour change processes, and identify key strategies to succeed with dietary changes.

Project description. For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. Please simply copy the project description above and upload it as a PDF in the application.

Qualifications and specific competences:

Applicants to the PhD position must have a relevant Master’s degree in Food Science, Sensory Science, Nutritional Science or equivalent.

Competencies in sensory and consumer analyses, nutritional science, cross-cultural research, and knowledge about food-related pleasures would be an advantage. Candidates must demonstrate evidence of creativity, independent learning, and a willingness to embrace an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving.

Place of employment and place of work:

The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Department of Food Science, Agrofood park 48, 8200 Aarhus N., Denmark. Please be aware, that the PhD project involves funding from Sino Danish Center/SDC, and it is therefore required that:

  • the PhD student must spend time in a Chinese research environment. The specific period depends on the funding model.
  • PhD students funded by the Danish SDC office are expected to contribute to the educational activities on the SDC Master’s programmes in Beijing during their stay in China..

Contacts: Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact: Professor Derek V. Byrne,

How to apply:

Please follow this link to submit your application. Application deadline is 22 June 2023 at 23:59 . Preferred starting date is 01 September 2023.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • Shortlisting will be used, which means that the evaluation committee only will evaluate the most relevant applications.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Salary and terms of employment are in accordance with applicable collective agreement. 

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