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Job: Postdoctoral researcher, Sustainable sourcing policies for biodiversity protection, climate mitigation, and improved livelihoods in the cocoa sector, UCLouvain & Trase, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Université Catholique de Louvain

Advertiser's description (via UCLouvain & Trase)

The Earth and Life Institute at UCLouvain in Belgium, with SEI and the Trase initiative, seeks highly qualified and motivated candidates for

One Postdoctoral researcher (2 years) position, on “Sustainable sourcing policies for biodiversity protection, climate mitigation, and improved livelihoods in the cocoa sector”

Researchers will contribute to the Biodiversa SUSTAIN-COCOA project on “Sustainable sourcing policies for biodiversity protection, climate mitigation, and improved livelihoods in the cocoa sector”, a collaboration between ETH-Zurich, SEI-Stockholm, UCLouvain, Alliance for Biodiversity and CIAT, and University of Queensland.

The UCLouvain – SEI team is led by Profs Patrick Meyfroidt and Goedele Van den Broeck, and Dr Erasmus zu Ermgassen at UCLouvain, and Dr. Toby Gardner at SEI. You will be part of a leading, multinational, multidisciplinary, and multilingual team of experts. We value diversity, inclusivity and creativity and we welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Contracts will be based on Belgian regulations, depending on prior research experience, and will include the benefits of Belgian social security such as health insurance. You do not need to be a Belgian- or EU citizen, nor have a work/residence permit in order to apply for a job at UCLouvain.

Objectives: To investigate and foster the conditions under which supply chain sustainability initiatives (SSIs) can lead to reduced deforestation and increased shade-tree cover in cocoa production systems and, in turn, a triple-win of increased biodiversity, climate change mitigation, and livelihood resilience, in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.

Research description: Within the project, the postdoc, in collaboration with the SEI-UCLouvain team and the Trase initiative, will be in charge of several key tasks, mainly:

  • Improving and updating the model of subnational to export market cocoa supply chains in Côte d'Ivoire, including by improving the model design, translating the code from R to Python, and updating the model with new data (see some results of this model here: )
  • Engaging and liaising with multiple actors in Côte d’Ivoire and internationally (NGOs, companies, public actors) to unlock data and information in order to improve and update the model of Côte d’Ivoire (e.g. by fostering the release of companies’ supplier lists) and ensuring the uptake and use of the results in the Ivorian and international policy context.
  • Assess the possibilities for improving the transparency context and building similar subnational supply chain models for other countries in the region such as Ghana or Cameroon, and act upon these possibilities.

Profiles required: A researcher holding a PhD degree in geography, natural sciences, economics, business, data science, social sciences, or equivalent, with a background in data analysis, sustainability issues, land use, impact evaluation, agricultural economics, development, or related areas of research.

Read more here. Applications are accepted until 24 June 2022.