PhD position in sustainability science at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research : Analysis and modelling of plastic waste value networks in Asian developing countries .
The 2020-2025 Asian Scientific Alliance for Plastic Pollution (ASAP) is a 5 years research programme funded by the Norwegian Research Council and hosted by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA).
The mission of NIVA is to advance research for environmental stewardship and innovation. NIVA is a multidisciplinary research institute oriented to world-class science on topics related to sustainability, biodiversity protection, environmental quality assessment and management.
The ASAP programme addresses the socioeconomic drivers and environmental implications of plastic pollution and strives to find solutions to curb environmental releases with a core focus on Asian developing countries.
Asia accounts for a predominant fraction of plastic pollution released to the global oceans, a problem that generates sever environmental and economic impacts at the global scale.
ASAP is also home of an international knowledge-hub gathering international and local expertise and interests on circular economy, plastic waste management and pollution controls.
Several research and capacity building projects currently on going in several Asian countries and managed by NIVA and partners are core initiatives within the knowledge hub.
Research within ASAP applies a social-ecological perspective to generate knowledge and understanding to enable social transformations towards sustainable use and management of plastics.
The programme relies on transdisciplinary collaboration with international leading researchers and environmental actors in both the governmental and non-governmental sectors.
As part of ASAP we are now hiring a PhD student to work on modelling plastic waste value networks in Asian developing countries, with a core focus on value chains involving the informal waste management sector as a key player in plastic circularity in these countries.
The PhD will be hosted at NIVA and the candidate will have a formal affiliation in a Norwegian or international University.
The PhD project
In ASAP we adopt a value networks modelling approach which is anchored in agent-based / system dynamics to describe waste flows in Asian scenarios, capture the value creation / exchange and material flows within the recycling loop through both formal and informal networks and describe the link between waste management processes and environmental releases of plastic.
The aim of this modelling work is to enable exploring policies, actions or economic triggers that can reduce plastic pollution on land and the oceans and support national and international environmental policies.
The PhD student is expected to join this exciting endeavour and be involved in tasks concerning both the conceptual model development, data processing, and the model implementation phase.
A team of scientists leading the research stream on environmental assessments, environmental economics, modelling and sustainability science from NIVA and Stockholm Resilience Centre, will function as the supervisory team for the PhD candidate.
As part of the PhD curriculum the student will undertake courses in relevant fields in the hosting University. She / he will be encouraged to develop new approaches that integrate methods and concepts from the social, natural and applied sciences.
The technical development of the computational model will be facilitated by the collaboration with experienced programmers.
Emphasis is placed on developing student ability to define a problem, develop research methods, and communicate research findings within international scientific and science-policy discussions.
The duration of the PhD contract is 3 years.
To be admitted as a PhD student the applicant must hold a master’s degree at grade B or above.
The candidate’s background should primarily be in sustainability science, economics, quantitative social science or related fields.
Candidates with a background in computer sciences or mathematics and with a strong motivation to continue their career in the area of sustainability and social-ecological systems will be considered.
Proficiency in oral and written English is a requirement.
The successful candidate needs to be proactive, independent, creative and cooperative, and wishes to work in a broad scientific group in an international research environment.
The ability to conduct good teamwork and share resources with other researchers will be important.