SLU news

PhD positions available in Drylands Transform

Published: 13 July 2021
A tree in a very eroded landscape in Kenya.

Drylands Transform, an SLU led project, is looking for PhD candidates on the topics: 1. Household resilience to climate variability: “Impacts, adaptation and resilience to climate variability and droughts” 2. Climate variability and conflicts: “Effects of Climate Variability on the rise of social conflicts at the household and community level”

Within the overall aim of the project; to contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the East African drylands, the PhD research fellows are expected to conduct their research with a specific focus on  studying impacts of seasonality and climate variability on food and livelihood strategies, well-being and resilience. Two fellowships are available: One of the fellows will be enrolled at the Makerere University, Uganda, in Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics. The other PhD fellow will be enrolled at the University of Nairobi, Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology or the Department of Food Science Technology and Nutrition. The PhD fellows will be jointly supervised by researchers from University of Nairobi, Makerere University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Umea University and Linnaeus University, Sweden.

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Drylands Transform – Pathways and challenges toward a socio-ecological transformation of landscapes, livestock and livelihoods in the East African drylands, is a multidisciplinary research project (2020 – 2024) led by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). The geographical focus of Drylands Transform is the cross-boundary area between Kenya and Uganda, part of the Karamoja cluster. The project is funded by the Swedish research council FORMAS and involves scholars from seven different universities and organizations in Sweden and the East African region. Dryland Transform is part of the Triple L research initiative.

The project aims to investigate the links between land health, livestock-based livelihoods, human well-being, and land management and governance. We will contribute with new knowledge for transformative change and sustainable development of rangelands in the drylands of East Africa.

Through strong stakeholder engagement in interdisciplinary research, we set out to explore the challenges and pathways towards a social-ecological transformation in drylands that optimizes synergies among the sustainable development goals (SDGs) while minimizing the trade-offs. We will use innovative field research approaches focusing on livelihood improvement through rangeland restoration and governance interventions in four sites in the border region between Kenya and Uganda.

The entry point of Drylands Transform is the urgent need to identify and enhance synergies between food and nutrition security (SDG2), land and ecosystem health (SDG15) and governance and justice (SDG16) for sustainable dryland development, while minimizing trade-offs between agricultural productivity (SDG2), natural resources management (SDG15) and climate change (SDG13).

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