PhD position Frontier settlements: Territories of artisanal mining labour in Africa

Job assignments: The candidate will work on a four-year project on artisanal gold mining labour in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (North, South Kivu and Ituri). The position is part of a wider research project entitled “Frontier settlement: Territories of artisanal mining labour in Africa”, that takes a comparative look at gold mining and artisanal gold miners’ labour dynamics in Burkina Faso, the DRC and Zimbabwe. It is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and co-hosted by the Department of Human Geography, Lund University, and it is in partnership with the University of Zimbabwe, the University of Ouagadougou I, the Institut National des Sciences des Sociétés in Burkina Faso, and the Groupe d’Etudes sur les Conflits et la Sécurité Humaine (GEC-SH) based at CERUKI/ISP in Bukavu, DRC. The PhD candidate will be expected to define her/his own focus of research interest from the case of DRC, within the scope of the project which includes (but is not limited to): • artisanal gold mining labour recruitment, labour rights and general regulation, amidst current formalization and other transnational mineral governance policies • the formal and informal dimensions of artisanal gold mining labour regulation in a local context, especially in relation to a wider global gold supply chain • urbanization dynamics in relation to artisanal gold mining • the political ecology of extractive labour in the context of historical and contemporary goldmining rushes The doctoral candidate will be integrated into the Graduate School for doctoral students in Geography at Zürich University, which comprises some compulsory course work as well as active participation in the research and teaching environment of the department. The study formally ends with the doctoral candidate publicly defending his/her printed doctoral thesis.

Requirements: Applications should have completed a MA/MSc degree in geography or any relevant social science domain. They should carry evidence of their capability (and, if possible, prior experience) to do qualitative research in the subject domain. They should be willing to spend extended periods in the field. Proficiency in French and English (equivalent of grade C in the Cambridge advanced English test), is required, active knowledge of Kiswahili, German, as well as cultural knowledge of the study region will be regarded as an additional asset.

Application The application must contain: • A cover letter, which includes a brief presentation of yourself and your qualifications, as well as a brief explanation of why you are interested in the position (10000 words max) • A curriculum vitae • Copies of grades and examination certificates of Bachelor and Master degrees • Master’s thesis, or a writing sample of between 5 to 10 pages, in human geography or in a social science discipline judged as relevant to human geography (French or English) • A concise research plan (maximum 2000 words including references): your plan should explicitly make clear how the proposed research relates to the project • Name and contact information of two personal references • Other qualifications of relevance for the position. Please send your application, in English (except for the writing sample, as indicated above) and in one single pdf file, no later than 30 September 2020 to the project leader Timothy Raeymaekers at


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