PhD Position in Sustainability and Procurement in International, European, and National Systems

University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law

PhD position in the EU funded project H2020-MSCA-ITN SAPIENS “Sustainability And Procurement in International, European, and National Systems” 



Faculty of Law University of Copenhagen






Early Stage Researcher (ESR)



15th April 2021



Copenhagen Denmark



Temporary (36-months fixed duration)












H2020 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Innovative Training Network





The University of Copenhagen (Denmark), Faculty of Law, is seeking a highly motivated and mobile candidate with a strong academic record holding a Master’s Degree in Law or other relevant field, fluency in English and some subject knowledge of public procurement, policy and sustainability.

The ESR will work within the Faculty of Law, The University of Copenhagen on the PhD research project “Sustainability and Procurement - tools to fight climate change”.

The ESR will work under the supervision of Associate Professor Marta Andhov and will be offered an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral training and will include a structured mobility to up 10 months in the Universities and Partner Organisations of the Consortium for the entire project duration that will include:

  • the University of Hasselt (3 months resident work with co-supervisor)
  • Agency for Nature and Forest in Belgium (1m hands on research on climate friendly SPP practices)
  • Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM) in Belgium (2m research on energy efficient buildings and intelligent networks for a sustainable urban environment)
  • Rikiskaup – Central Purchasing Body in Iceland (2m practice in climate mitigation PP clauses

The selected candidate will pursue a PhD as Early Stage Researcher – ESR within the EU-funded H2020-MSCA-ITN Project “Sustainability And Procurement in International, European, and National Systems” (acronym SAPIENS – GA n. 956696).

The project’s objective is to foster interdisciplinary research into the evolving use of public procurement (PP) to address the social and environmental challenges of the 21st century with a view to create a significantly increased European knowledge base and research capacity on the law, the economics and the business sciences of Sustainable Public Procurement. The ESR will contribute to ambitious and carefully planned research, outreach, impact, and dissemination activities benefiting from the expertise of world-leading senior academics.

The offered positions are available with a fixed starting date in September 2021 for a maximum duration of 36 months with a full-time commitment to work exclusively under the action.

Applicants may be of any nationality and shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation (September 2021), be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of his or her research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

ESR shall not have resided or carried out his or her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date.


The ESR will be part of a community of ESRs based in 10 SAPIENS partner universities and will benefit from an international and interdisciplinary training programme featuring local, ITN-wide, and external activities with an exposure to intersectoral and international working environments. Training will take place through Advanced Training Courses, a Summer School, and a topical conference organised by ITN partners across Europe (Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Romania, Hungary, UK).

Candidates will get a very attractive salary plus an allowances package in accordance with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) rules and the personal circumstances of the applicant.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible, the candidate:

  • must hold a Master’s Degree or equivalent qualifications (candidates with pending Master’s degrees will be considered, but the award will be conditioned on them being awarded the title by end of July). Candidates should ideally possess a Master’s degree or a different degree provided that that allows them to enlist in a PhD (applications from candidates who already possess a doctoral degree cannot be considered);
  • must be in the first four years of her/his research career;
  • must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date;
  • must be willing to live in the Host Institution country during the 3 years appointment and travel to the other Universities and Partner Organisations of the network for training activities and secondments (according to the details provided in each job post);
  • must not hold a PhD;
  • must have solid written and oral communication skills in English.

The ideal candidate should have Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience Required


  • Obtained a degree that corresponds to the Danish Master or equivalent qualifications in relevant subject area. Please visit for more information. Applicants must have obtained a high overall grade average at the Master’s level.
  • May submit their application before they have completed their Master’s Degree. In that case, they must have submitted their final thesis before 1st of July 2021.
  • Document an aptitude for research through the meritorious assessment of their final thesis, publications or academic recommendations in order to show that they are capable of undertaking the demanding task of writing a PhD thesis.
  • Excellent language skills in English and have excellent communications skills. Applicants must be able to teach at an academic level in English or Danish and to follow PhD courses in English.
  • Basic understanding of public procurement law and policy
  • Basic understanding of sustainability
  • High level analytical ability
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use the resources effectively  
  • Excellent IT skills across all core Microsoft Office products
  • Ability to work as part of a team and work independently using own initiative


Thorough understanding and direct relevant experience of research methods

  • Advanced understanding of public procurement law and policy
  • Advanced understanding of sustainability issues
  • Advanced understanding of climate change issues

Application procedure

Click ’Apply now’ below to be taken to the online application form.  

We advise to have the following documents ready before you begin your online application:  

  • Research project proposal: This should include the following: (1) objective(s) of the research, (2) major research questions, (3) review of relevant literature, (4) methodology to be applied in the research, and (5) a timetable that plans for all course requirements to have been met within three years. The project description must elaborate on the value of the proposed research project in terms of its relevance to existing and future research in the field. The project proposal must not exceed 6 standard pages, corresponding to approx. 12,000 characters (including curriculum, title, punctuation, figures, footnotes and references, but excluding bibliography) A substantial breach of this will result in the application being excluded from consideration.
  • Curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages) including a list of publications if any
  • Diplomas and transcripts: Certified copies of original diploma(s) and transcripts (both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree) in the original language and an authorized English translation if they are issued in other language than English or Danish.
  • Grading scale: A certified explanation of grading scale in the original language and an authorized English translation if it is available in another language than English or Danish.
  • Letter of motivation: (maximum 1 page) briefly introducing yourself and explaining your reasons for applying for this particular PhD studentship
  • Master thesis
  • Documentation of English level: Documentation of English level can for instance be documented by an excellent IELTS or TOEFL test.

Submit your application electronically in English.

An Equal Opportunity Workplace

The University of Copenhagen is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to creating an inclusive working environment and therefore encourages all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of personal background, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity etc. For more on the diverse working place environment at the University and the University’s participation in the HRS4R HR Excellence in Research, see

Recruitment process

Following the application deadline, the Associate Dean of Research will pre-select PhD applications that will proceed to the assessment stage upon the recommendation of the Selection Committee. Applicants are pre-selected for further assessment in line with the Faculty’s recruitment needs as described in this job advertisement. This is carried out based on the overall assessment of the applicant’s educational qualifications, the quality of the submitted research proposal and its relevance to the Faculty’s research agenda, and other relevant qualifications (e.g. relevant professional experience, any previous academic publications etc.). All applicants are then notified by the HR Centre as to whether their application has proceeded to the assessment stage. The assessment is carried out by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants will be notified of the composition of the assessment committee. When the committee has completed its assessment, each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the assessment. A number of qualified applicants will be invited for an interview.

Terms of employment 

Successful candidates will be employed in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and the Ministry of Finance concerning the salary of PhD students. If you are offered a PhD position, you will receive a regular monthly salary in accordance with Danish law and you will be entitled to an annual research budget. The Faculty does not provide accommodation.

Additional Information

For questions regarding the research project, please contact Associate professor Marta Andhov email:

Contact information

Information about the recruitment process is available from Mette Christensen, HR, e-mail:, please refer to ID number: 211-0568/20-2H.

Closing date for applications  

The closing date for applications is 15 April 2021, 23:59 GMT+1.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 15-04-2021
Employment start: 01-09-2021
Department/Location: Det Juridiske Fakultet