Tuesday, March 09, 2010


SCHOLARSHIP: Governance of Natural Resources by Smallholders in the Brazilian Amazon

The Institute of Silviculture at the University of Freiburg is seeking candidates for two 3 years-PhD-scholarships available within the EU-funded research project "Governance of Natural Resources by Smallholders in the Brazilian Amazon" (Governança de Recursos Naturais por Pequenos Produtores Rurais da Amazônia). The PhD grants amount to about 1,075 EUR per month. In addition travel costs for field work in Brazil are funded. The topics of PhD research will be negotiated with the successful candidates and should be related to the context described below:

A significant proportion of the forests in the Brazilian Amazon is formally dedicated to poor smallholders including settlers and traditional communities. To effectively use the economic potential of these forests as well as other natural resources represents an enormous challenge for the families in the context of rapidly advancing agricultural frontiers dominated by powerful actor groups. In this situation, the families need to reorganize their strategies for using natural resources and have to find ways of getting these strategies formally acknowledged. As conventional expert driven approaches for market integration suffered from major incompatibilities with local realities, it is worthwhile to explore opportunities for the promotion of local initiatives developed by the smallholders themselves in accordance with their interests and capacities. But, little is known about how to make use of this potential. In this situation, the project brings together smallholders, governmental agencies and development organisation to work about local governance systems for the use of natural resources in the two municipalities Medicilândia and Porto de Moz located in the State of Pará in the Eastern Amazon.

Candidate's profile:

  • MSc (equivalent) degree
  • Good knowledge of English (compulsory)
  • Working knowledge of Portuguese (or at least Spanish)
  • Preferably with some field experience in the Amazon basin
  • Preferably with some background in tropical forestry, community forestry, rural development and transdisciplinary research
  • Fulfils faculty requirements for studies at PhD level
  • Willingness to travel frequently and to remote areas
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Preferably Brazilian citizen

Please, send or email a detailed letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of at least two references to Dr. Benno Pokorny using the contact information here.

Deadline: March 31, 2010

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