The Department of Urban and Rural Development is a multi- and interdisciplinary department focusing on the societal aspects of SLU’s areas of responsibility. The research and teaching are grounded in social sciences, humanities and landscape design principles, but is also characterised by interdisciplinary approaches in which natural sciences are important. 

The announced postdoctoral position belongs to the Division of Agrarian History at the Department of Urban and Rural Development. The research subject Agrarian History, studies the development from ancient times to the present and covers agricultural production and technological change, social and economic conditions, people in the rural society and their relation to nature, the landscape and to society at large.

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Background and Duties:

At the Division of Agrarian History, a world history research project is being carried out with the overall objective of mapping Eurasia’s agricultural history and to relate it to natural conditions. The primary period aimed for spans from c. 1000 CE to 1800 CE. The purpose of the current sub-project, to which we seek a postdoctoral fellow, is to complement the agricultural history mapping with a mapping of the climate history for some of the geographical areas and time intervals that the agricultural mapping covers. The intention is to enable a comparison between the agricultural and the climate history and to analyse a possible interplay between these factors.

The postdoctoral project consists of two parts:

  1. To collect and compile information of existing and scientifically robust climate data from regions in Asia that are included in the agricultural history mapping project.
  2. To contribute to an interdisciplinary and non-deterministic comparison and analysis of the multiple factors that may have influenced the development of agriculture in time and space.

The postdoctoral fellow will work independently within the framework of the climate history sub-project, for which Karin Holmgren, professor of Physical Geography, is responsible. Collaboration will take place, among others with Janken Myrdal, professor emeritus of Agrarian History, who is responsible for mapping Eurasia’s agricultural history.

The holder of the postdoctoral fellow is expected to be present at the workplace in Uppsala to a large extent. The employment may involve some teaching and / or supervision of bachelor’s and master’s theses and / or other departmental tasks.  Further, the postdoctoral fellow is expected to publish in peer reviewed journals and write applications for future external research funding during the postdoctoral period.


The successful applicant should have demonstrated scientific skills of high quality, as evidenced by the PhD thesis and by scientific publications. The applicant should hold a PhD in physical geography, agrarian history, human geography or another related subject area. The position is aimed for applicants who received a PhD no longer than three years prior to the application deadline (considering career breaks, e.g. due to parental leave). Applications will be accepted from applicants who have not yet completed their PhD, but this condition must be completed at the time of employment.

In addition, the following merits will be assessed:

  • Good knowledge of the principles and methods of paleoclimate reconstructions.
  • Documented interest in history
  • Experiences from interdisciplinary research collaboration
  • Good skills in English (both written and oral)

Good social skills and ability to take initiative and work independently

Place of work:

SLU, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Uppsala, Sweden.

Form of employment:

Fixed term employment of 24 months, teaching up to 20% can be included.



Starting date:

According to agreement. 


We welcome your application no later than 2022-08-22, use the button below.

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is a world-class international university with research, education and environmental assessment within the sciences for sustainable life. Its principal sites are in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, but activities are also conducted at research stations, experimental parks and educational establishments throughout Sweden. We bring together people who have different perspectives, but they all have one and the same goal: to create the best conditions for a sustainable, thriving and better world.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses.

Contact person

Karin Holmgren

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