Two PhD positions in fisheries economics at the Department of Economics and Management (University of Helsinki)

Two PhD (early-stage researcher) positions at the Department of Economics and Management (University of Helsinki)

(NOTE: deadline passed but still accepting applications)

Basic information

1. The successful candidate will work within the project “MARine MAnagement and Ecosystem Dynamics under climate change (MARmaED)” an Innovative Training Network funded by the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action (The European Union’s Horizon 2020) under grant agreement No 675997 for the period 2015-2019. MARmaED is an international and interdisciplinary network that unifies specific and complementary competences in marine sciences from Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and France to investigate how the cumulative stress from biodiversity loss, climate change and harvesting will affect Europe’s complex marine systems and the consequences for optimal resource management.
The project’s main aim is to investigate how combined anthropogenic and climatic changes affect different harvested ecosystems (terrestrial, freshwater, and marine – particularly, but not only, in Arctic regions) and how management strategies can be improved to ensure sustainable exploitation and resilience. MARmaED will provide salary for 15 PhD projects.
More information about our department:
2. Starting date as of January 1st 2016, duration 3 years. Salary including mobility allowance ranges between 3250 euros/month (single rate) to 3635 euros/month (family rate) and is subject to income tax.

Position 1: Economic reference points under climate change.
Objective: To investigate how international marine fish populations can be exploited in order to maximise benefits from cooperation under climate change uncertainties.
Description: The project targets international fisheries with the aim of stabilising long-term agreements between harvesting nations under climate change. More specifically, how to maximise benefits of cooperation in international fisheries agreements under uncertainty on climate change. The problem is approached by stochastic coalition game modelling, which is a novel contribution to the previous literature on coalition games. We study economic reference points that take into account the aim of maximising participation in international fisheries agreements previous literature shows that these economic reference points may be higher than the corresponding biological reference points. Possible case studies include different Baltic fisheries – cod, herring, also other species may be considered. Further model extension includes a two-species extension to analyse how reference points interact; or in ecosystem context what are the most important indicator species to be monitored, is there only one such critical species or several.
Planned secondments: DTU Copenhagen 2 weeks; Wageningen University (WU) 4 weeks; WWF Finland 4 weeks.
Position 2: Optimal exploitation of ecosystems
Objective: To investigate optimal provision of ecosystem services from the viewpoint of several stakeholders
Description: The project involves dynamic economic optimisation of an ecosystem model including trophic interactions. The model includes, as a starting point, three trophic levels: marine mammals (like grey seals), fish (such as salmon) and some lower trophic level like plankton. The model will be extended to other directions involving not only commercial harvest, but also recreational harvest and semi-commercial harvest. Therefore, the aim is to seek the social optimum of a fishery including some of the various ecosystem services the sea is producing taking into account species and different use and non-use group interactions. The project also studies parallel fisheries agreements. That is, it studies whether it is better to negotiate several agreements simultaneously or just one species at a time. We apply partition function game theory to solve for equilibrium coalition structures if the international agreements. The parallel agreements may involve countries negotiating on issues concerning several trophic levels, e.g. marine mammals, fish stocks etc. Methods include numerical optimisation and game theory models to study strategic interactions between use groups.
Planned secondments: WU 4 weeks; University of Hamburg 2 weeks; WWF Finland 4 weeks.

Formal requirements

1. Obligatory secondments: Wageningen, Hamburg, Copenhagen, WWF Finland (see above).

2. The mobility rule is that the person must not have resided more than 12
months in Finland during last 3 years. This will be counted from the
date they are selected. Compulsory national service and/or short
stays such as holidays are not taken into account.

3. Applicants need to be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent
research experience) of their career and not awarded a PhD at the time
of their (first) recruitment. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited
4. The selected applicant must be accepted to our PhD programme, requirements include English language, grade of MSc thesis and studies. For details see

Scientific requirements
Please note that we will offer further training to each of these points below

1. Good knowledge of economics, in particular environmental & resource economics.

2. Numerical modelling, mathematical software like Matlab.

3. Game theory.

4. Fisheries and bioeconomic modelling.


The application must include:

  • Application letter (max one page)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work – scientific publications)
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript of records and letters of recommendation
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Names and contact details of 1-3 references (name, relation to candidate and e-mail)

Applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system. Please remember that all documents should be in English, Finnish or Swedish. Please indicate which of the positions you are interested in, if both please indicate the preferred position.

Send the application to by September 29.

More information:

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