World Maritime University (WMU)

Research Associate, Environmental policy: fisheries, biodiversity and carbon governance

World Maritime University (WMU)

Malmö, Sweden

The World Maritime University (WMU) is a postgraduate and research university established in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization, the maritime agency of the United Nations. WMU offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs, postgraduate diplomas, and Professional Development Courses with the highest standards in maritime and oceans education and training. The incumbent will be working within the Research Unit of the Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute at WMU’s headquarters in Malmö, Sweden.

We currently seek a post-doctoral research associate with expertise in policy analysis, qualitative research methods (e.g,. interviews and transcript analysis) and environmental governance to contribute to a Horizon 2020 project (MEESO) focussed on assessing options for the governance and management of a potential mesopelagic fishery.

Mesopelagic organisms occur at a depth ranging from 200-1000M, and are understood to be the World’s largest unexploited ecosystem in the World’s oceans, with a recent biomass estimate at 10 billion metric tons. The overall goal of MEESO is to quantify the spatio-temporal distributions of biomass, production and ecosystem role of mesopelagic resources and to assess options to sustainably manage and govern their potential exploitation.

To reach this goal, MEESO will create new knowledge and data on the mesopelagic community, its biodiversity, its role in carbon sequestration, and its role in the oceanic ecosystem. For the first time leading experts in science, engineering, fisheries, and ocean governance will come together in MEESO to develop commercial fishing and processing technologies and explore the basis for a viable fishery. The new tools and technologies used to exploit this as yet poorly understood resource, will need to assess the trade-offs between exploitation. Assessment and management roadmaps will be developed in MEESO, helping to create conditions for sustainable and viable use of mesopelagic resources, and identify options for its governance.

This project has received funding from the European Commission – Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 817669.

The successful candidate will assess the ‘policy landscape’ for mesopelagic resource utilization, conservation, and carbon management. The analysis will compare and contrast regulatory regimes and mandates, non-regulatory policy mandates, and agreements at the national and international levels, with the goal of identifying potential conflicts or synergies that might impede or catalyse the use of mesopelagic resources in the study region. The analysis will use a combination of desk-based policy analysis and semi-structured interviews with international experts (n~25) in ocean governance. The interviews will articulate the risks and opportunities arising from the use of mesopelagic resources under various governance trajectories (i.e., precautionary to innovation-oriented), the potential for new technologies to monitor and support compliance, and options to increase policy coherence and reduce regulatory uncertainty for resource users. The results will be published in international scientific journals.


Essential: PhD in public or environmental policy, environmental governance, or similar.



1. Experience in qualitative research methods (i.e. policy analysis, analysis of interviews).
2. Ability to collaborate across disciplines including natural scientists, environmental economists, policy researchers, and a diversity of stakeholders and decision makers to inform the development of decision-making scenarios.
3. The successful applicant is required to be resident at WMU in Malmö, Sweden for the duration of the programme, and able to undertake research trips.

▪ Experience in contributing to research projects in relation to EU framework and project managerial skills.
▪ Experience in environmental science and ecosystem services, environmental economics, and/or North Atlantic ocean governance/policy is considered beneficial.


▪ Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English.

Knowledge and skills

▪ Excellent communications skills.
▪ Ability to work independently and as part of a professional/academic team.
▪ Effective organizational skills to manage time, set priorities and undertake administrative tasks.
▪ Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.
▪ Ability to deal with administrative and research matters as appropriate to status and with reference to other colleagues within WMU.

This vacancy is open to male and female candidates. WMU seeks to increase the number of women at all levels and, therefore, qualified women are particularly encouraged to apply. WMU will make every effort to facilitate the employment of persons with disabilities.

The Post-Doctoral position provides for a monthly stipend of approximately 42,000 SEK (free of income tax in Sweden) and medical and life insurance coverage by Cigna International.
Applicants must fill in the Personal History Form, which can be found at, provide a letter of interest explaining why you are the right person for this position, CV, a list of publications, copies of degree certificates, and the contact information of three referees to Marco Batista, Head of Human Resources ( Candidates will be contacted if they are short-listed.


Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

Research Associate, Environmental policy: fisheries, biodiversity and carbon governance