PhD Positions in Ecological Economics and Political Ecology: Impact of AI on Environmental Sustainability and Human Wellbeing

PhD Position in Ecological Economics and Political Ecology at the University of Barcelona (Spain)

Postdoctoral Researcher

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Environmental Sustainability and Human Wellbeing

We are seeking applications for an outstanding PhD candidate to work on an exciting new project on the impact that trends in digitalisation, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) could have on environmental sustainability and human wellbeing.

The development of AI is already beginning to have an impact on society, and this impact is likely to increase exponentially in the coming years. AI is likely to have profound effects on employment, environmental resource use, and ultimately, human wellbeing. To date, these effects, and how to manage them, remain vastly under-researched.

The project will estimate the impact of different scenarios of digitalisation, automation, and artificial intelligence on the labour and resource use requirements of economic activity, and estimate the potential impact of these trends on human wellbeing. The project will explore policy interventions that help direct AI technologies towards achieving a good life for all within planetary boundaries.

The ideal candidate will have a background in an area such as ecological economics, computer science, environmental studies, or other relevant natural/social sciences. Expertise in quantitative research methods is essential. Knowledge of methods such as machine learning, environmentally extended input–output analysis, time-use surveys, and measures of human wellbeing is desirable.

A first-class BSc and MSc degree (by the end of 2023) are required. Candidates must have top grades to be considered (e.g. an average of A- or higher).

The position will be based in the Faculty of Economics, at the University of Barcelona (Spain), under the primary supervision of Dr Dan O’Neill.

Deadline: 19 May 2023
Start date: Spring/Summer 2024
Salary: Approximately €22,000 per year (funding to be confirmed Summer 2023)

How to apply: Please submit your CV, transcripts from previous degrees, and a motivation statement (max 500 words) to Dr Dan O’Neill at by 19 May 2023, 23:59 CET. The subject of your email should be: “Application for PhD on Impact of Artificial Intelligence”.

Online interviews will be held on 24 May 2023. Candidates invited to interview will be asked for two reference letters. The successful candidate will then be invited to submit an application for admission to the PhD programme at the University of Barcelona by 31 May 2023.


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