Doctoral Student in Digital Technologies for Sustainable Agricultural Development

Company:University of Lausanne

Location:Switzerland / Lausanne

Discipline:Digital Technologies for Sustainable Agricultural Development

Employment Type:1-year contract (can be renewed for 2 x 2 years)


Doctoral Student in "Digital Technologies for Sustainable Agricultural Development" (17649)


UNIL is a leading international teaching and research institution, with over 5,000 employees and 17,000 students split between its Dorigny campus, CHUV and Epalinges. As an employer, UNIL encourages excellence, individual recognition and responsibility.

Job information

Starting date: By agreement, earliest October 2021.

Employement Rate: Full time

Contract duration: The initial contract is 1 year. The contract can be renewed for 2 x 2 years. The maximum funding period is 5 years.

Location: University of Lausanne, Faculty of Business and Economics, (HEC) Department of Strategy, Globalization, and Society (SGS).

Supervisor: Professor Sonja Vogt (joining SGS in September 2021, holding the Chair in Grand Challenges).

Salary: External funding with the same salary scale as SNSF doctoral student position (viz. under Assistant Doctorant FNS)

Project Background "AgriPath"

We are offering a PhD position for a researcher with an interest and experiences in conducting empirical research on applying digital solutions for promoting sustainable agricultural development. AgriPath aims to bring sustainable agriculture to scale by identifying, evaluating, and promoting promising pathways for digitally supported agricultural advisory services that effectively and efficiently empower female and male small-holders to make informed decisions and sustainably increase their agricultural productivity, income, and climate resilience through the uptake of sustainable farming practices. The entire projects lasts 5 years, comprises several PhD and postdoc positions. A special focus will be on understanding the role of gender, age differences, and social networks in the uptake and engagement with digital solutions. The study will take place in India, Nepal, Burkina Faso, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Your responsibilities

The successful candidate will run field and/or lab experiments and analyse digital trace data (e.g. mobile app analytics) linked to the development of digital agricultural solutions in India, Nepal, Burkina Faso, Uganda and Tanzania. The Swiss based team will receive support on the logistics from local partners in each country.

  • 100% of the doctoral student’s time will be dedicated to completion of doctoral studies either in Management or Economics within the project framework.


  • A master’s degree related to agricultural economics, development economics, development studies, cognitive psychology, management, digital technologies, social policy, or a related discipline.
  • Experience with collecting quantitative data in the Global South via labs and/or field experiments.
  • Experience collecting data through digital technologies (web, smartphones).
  • Experiences in programming experiments (e.g. Otree, Prolific).
  • The candidate should be comfortable with econometric and statistical methods (with R or Stata).
  • Excellent oral and written English communication skills.
  • Interest in traveling for work to the Global South (assuming the Covid-19 situation allows for it).


  • Being familiar with agricultural digital solutions or agricultural research in the Global South.
  • Experience or willingness in analysing user analytics data, experience sampling, cross-cultural comparison.
  • Good training in experimental design and causal inference models.

What we offer

We offer a highly interdisciplinary research environment with a strong focus on research on sustainability and development in the Global South. “AgriPath” is a Consortium of scientists from the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE, University of Bern) and HEC (University of Lausanne), digital agriculture innovation leader Grameen Foundation USA (Grameen), Grameen Foundation India (GFI), the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), and the technology start-up Farmbetter Ltd (farmbetter). The primary point of contact will be Professor Sonja Vogt, who will join SGS at HEC, University of Lausanne.  Moreover, the PhD candidate will be co-supervised by Professor Ridhi Kashyap, University of Oxford.

How to apply

The position will be open until filled. To receive full consideration, applications should be submitted by 15st of August 2021, 6 PM CET. If you are interested, please send one PDF document including the following documents to  Pavla Le Moing (

  • a cover letter motivating your application detailing your suitability against the listed qualifications (max. 2 pages),
  • a research statement describing your research interests and achievements (max. 2 pages),
  • a CV including a publication list,
  • a writing sample (MSC thesis or an example of a research project),
  • copies of diplomas, degrees, transcripts (indicating grades achieved).

Moreover, please ask two reviewers to submit a letter of recommendation to before 15st of August 2021, 6 PM CET.

Informal inquiries about the position can be send to and will be answered by Pavla Le Moing and Prof Sonja Vogt.

Additional information

Information about the Faculty of Business and Economics is available here:

Information on the Department of Strategy, Globalisation and Society (SGS) is available here:

Information on the doctoral program in Management is available here:

Information about Sonja Vogt is available here:

UNIL is committed to equal opportunities and diversity.

UNIL supports early career researchers.


Contact Person:If you wish to apply for this position, please specify that you saw it on AKADEUS.

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