Applicants are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Agroecology programme. The position is available from 1 December 2023 or later. Title: PhD in Sustainability analysis of renewable energy production at farm field level

Research area and project description: In order to de-fossilise the agricultural sector, the local incorporation of renewable energy technologies matching local farmers’ needs in terms of electricity, heat, mobility, renewable energy (RE), waste and land management is key.

In this context, the EU VALUE4FARM project gathers 14 partners to demonstrate the effectiveness, sustainability and replicability of three renewable-based local value chains based on photovoltaic and biogas, and coupling sustainable food and RE production without jeopardizing environment, climate or biodiversity.

The PhD project will analyse both crop and electricity production from an established agrivoltaic platform at AU Viborg in order to establish Land Equivalent Ratios for different combinations of crops with and without PV-panels integrated. Nitrate leaching and soil carbon impact of the crop production will be measured in order to establish C and N budgets to be compared between crops. This data will be used for an overall discussion and analysis of the sustainability of new production concepts including renewable energy at the farm level.

Interaction with researchers at the AU Dept. of Biological and Chemical Engineering (BCE) as well as from other EU partners is foreseen, in order to understand the full implications of utilising different biomass components as well as different RE carriers in the society. BCE will use grass-clover for biorefining to extract protein concentrate, while other plant components may be used for energy or materials. Straw use for biogas or other energy carriers will be analysed, as well as the circularity of nutrients and carbon back to the soil.

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 must have a relevant Master’s degree within agronomy, biology, engineering or similar. Good analytical skills of processes as well as on the holistic system evaluationare required. Furthermore, one or more of the following will count positive:

  • Understanding the principles of energy, carbon and nutrient cycling
  • Experience with investigation of nutrient balances in plants and soils
  • Experience with investigating crop productivity and/or GHG balance
  • Interest in managing and participation in field work
  • Experience or interest in agrivoltaics
  • Experience with data handling from different data streams
  • Having affinity with modelling, e.g. crop/carbon modelling
  • Motivation for academic writing
  • Ability to work independently.

Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is AU Viborg, Blichers Allé 20, Dk-8830 Tjele

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

How to apply:
Please follow this link to submit your application. Application deadline is 25 August 2023 at 23:59 CEST. Preferred starting date is 1 December 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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