Postdoc position on food retail engagement for food system transformation at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

The Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere Programme (GEDB) at The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is hiring a Postdoctoral Fellow to work with the “Retail for Sustainability – Mid-value chain engagement for food system transformation” (ReSus) project. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is an independent organisation whose task is to promote the sciences and strengthen their influence in society. Do you want to contribute to strengthening our voice and our operations?

About the position

The ReSus project under the Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere (GEDB) programme is advertising a two 2-year postdoc position, which will focus on analysing how to improve the effectiveness of retail-led sustainability (and health) initiatives, in Sweden and internationally. Specifically, the postdoc will work on identifying barriers and enablers (e.g., legal and/or organisational) for the successful implementation of sustainability initiatives and pre-competitive collaboration for sustainability in the retail sector. Examples of methods could include semistructured interviews, stakeholder dialogues and mental model mapping. The postdoctoral researcher will also assist in facilitating transdisciplinary dialogues with food retailers in the project’s industry reference group. Moreover, we expect the researcher to help develop proposals and apply for funding to further the research centered on mid-value chain actors. As the topic is highly interdisciplinary, we will welcome applications from candidates from a diversity of disciplinary and methodological backgrounds.

About the call

 The retail sector sits at the heart of the food system. Given that only three actors represent 90% of the sales value in Swedish retail, increased engagement from these actors could lead to large scale production improvements. Corporate biosphere stewardship is a burgeoning concept gaining momentum as the private sector mobilises to reach key sustainability targets, and adhering retailers have recently launched numerous supply side sustainability initiatives. In this project we aim to analyse (i) the effectiveness of existing and emerging retail led sustainability initiatives and (ii) how to enable retailers to facilitate for producers to shift to more plant-based and organic production in Sweden. A third objective (iii) is to explore how pre-competitive collaboration could be implemented in Swedish retail as an engine for change. This transdisciplinary project involves researchers and public and private sector partners, including active collaboration from the largest retailers in Sweden. We will concretely develop case studies and a dialogue space which leverages the retail sector’s capacity to enable the acceleration towards food system transformation.

About you

Applicants are expected to hold a PhD or equivalent degree in a relevant discipline/field (e.g. sustainability science, food systems, economics or environmental psychology).

In the appointment process, special attention will be given to research skills. The following criteria will be used for assessing candidates:

  • Research expertise: A track record demonstrating excellence in sustainability science research, environmental psychology or environmental or ecological economics. Experience in handling both quantitative and qualitative data is valued (but not mandatory).
  • Independence: Ability to formulate own original research ideas and conduct research independently.
  • Collaborative abilities: Ability to work as a part of a team, and evidence of active involvement in collaborative research projects.
  • Communication abilities: Ability to fluently communicate research ideas and results. This should include both written outputs and presentations at top conference venues. Excellent command and high proficiency in spoken and written English.

Preferred qualifications

  • Professional working proficiency in Swedish
  • Experience of supervising student work

Great emphasis will be placed on personal qualities.

About us

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences offers a unique workplace. We are a dedicated team that works with Sweden’s foremost researchers in most subject areas. A task-based work organisation with freedom under responsibility and good benefits creates an inspiring work environment.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was founded in 1739 and is an independent organisation whose overall goal is to promote the sciences and strengthen their influence in society. The Academy promotes science of the highest quality by stimulating the development and renewal of Swedish research, strengthens the position of science in society by drawing attention to important social issues and examining them from a scientific perspective, and participates in collaboration on global issues, with the aim of being an international, scientific actor for sustainable development.

Terms of employment

The position involves full-time employment for two years. Start date 2023-02-15, or as per agreement.


We look forward to your application no later than 2022-12-31. Please include the following information with your application:

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents:

  • Cover letter including:
    • Why you are interested in the advertised project
    • What makes you a suitable candidate
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience
  • Exam certificates and grades that prove you fulfill the requirements
  • Publications in support of your application (no more than 5 files).

Interviews and selection take place continuously. Mark your application with “Postdoc ReSus” and send by e-mail to:


For questions, contact Malin Jonell (, project leader of ReSus and Theme Leader for the Food for Resilience theme at Stockholm Resilience Centre.