Job ID: 234246

PhD Position in Energy, Environment and Ocean’s Law

University of Copenhagen

  • Apr. 5, 2024
  • PhD Position in Energy, Environment and Ocean’s Law
  • Faculty of Law
  • University of Copenhagen
    Copenhagen, Zealand
  • May 1, 2024
  • Sep. 1, 2024
  • Graduate Student
  • Environmental/Natural Resource Law

The Center for Climate Change Law and Governance (CLIMA) at the Faculty of Law of the University of Copenhagen in collaboration with The Ocean Institute (Tænketanken Hav) is seeking applicants for a PhD position on the topic of ‘Reconciling the Development of Offshore Wind Energy and the Protection of the Oceans in the EU’

The position is available from 1st September 2024 for a 3 year-period, and the candidate will be equally located at CLIMA and The Ocean Institute.

About the project:
The development of offshore wind is a high priority for the achievement of the Paris Agreement mitigation goals. It is estimated that, for a trajectory consistent with the target of net-zero emissions by 2050, global wind energy capacity must increase 11-fold by 2050, with the offshore component reaching 20% of global wind installations. The European Union, in particular, has recently adopted its first offshore wind strategy, setting the target of at least 300 GW installed capacity by 2050. Beyond the need to tackle climate change, expanding the offshore wind power capacity is paramount for the EU to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels and strengthen its energy security, especially in light of the recent geopolitical tensions with Russia. At the same time, the development of offshore wind at the planned scale will have an impact on ocean dynamics as well as marine biodiversity and habitats, at a time when the ocean is already facing numerous challenges.

Thus, it is crucial to determine how the rapid deployment of offshore wind can minimize the negative impact on the marine environment on one hand whilst on the other potentially helping to restore marine habitats and biodiversity on the other. To this end, numerous EU legal instruments have been adopted over time that all play an important role in ensuring the consideration of biodiversity when conducting activities in the marine environment, such as offshore wind. A clear understanding of the various EU regulations relevant to conserving marine biodiversity during the establishment of offshore wind energy structures, as well as insight into how these regulations interconnect, is vital for ensuring effective and sound legal governance in this domain.

The PhD project aims to explore environmental challenges, interconnections and opportunities, from a regulatory perspective, arising from the development and deployment of offshore wind energy which is expanding rapidly. Thus, the project will focus on legal perspectives of preservation and sustainable use of the oceans, relevant to the increasing scale of offshore wind energy development and deployment. Projects that have a focus on the European region, include a regional and/or Danish case study, and/or have a wind energy business perspective are welcomed.

Enrolment in the PhD program at the University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law implies that the PhD candidate completes and successfully defends the PhD thesis according to the requirements set by the university according to the requirements of the Danish PhD executive order (see below). The collaboration between the Ocean Institute and the Faculty of Law will provide valuable insights to ensure that the project remains relevant for academia and society alike.

About the position
We are seeking an enthusiastic and outstanding Phd candidate with a strong interest in energy, environment, oceans and climate change law. The ideal candidate must hold a relevant academic degree (in law or in another social science discipline, provided the applicant can also document sufficient knowledge in law), and possess the appropriate theoretical and methodological tools to carry out the research. Crucially, the successful candidate will have the ability to work in a collaborative environment both independently and as part of the team. Since the project aims to maintain relevance for both academia and society, the ideal candidate should possess keenness and capability to convert academic research into practical and pertinent messages tailored for civil society, decision-makers, and businesses.

The PhD will be part of the larger research team at CLIMA ( and The Ocean Institute ( CLIMA carries out research on climate change and sustainability. The center offers a nurturing, lively and expanding research environment that has developed frameworks that enable researchers to receive feedback on their ongoing work and interact with other researchers in their field. The Ocean Institute is an independent and knowledge-based think tank, working at the front of cooperation between companies, organisations and decision-makers contributing to a clean, healthy ocean. Through its work, The Ocean Institute sheds light on how businesses operations can be carried out in a manner that considers ocean health, how decision-makers can support the blue transition, and how civil society organisations can contribute to increased public awareness of the crisis of the marine environment and the solutions needed.

Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the faculty’s research areas and education programmes by visiting the Faculty’s website:, and with the Ocean Institute at

The PhD programme
Founded in 1479 as one of the four original faculties of the University of Copenhagen, the Faculty of Law boasts a long-standing reputation for excellence in teaching and research. The Faculty offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degree programmes in law. Through research-based education the Faculty ensures that law graduates acquire the necessary skills to succeed in their legal careers in the private or public sector both at home and abroad. With 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students, 60 PhD fellows, and an academic staff of 135 members, the Faculty of Law at the University of Copenhagen is a vibrant, diverse, and intellectually stimulating academic environment.  

The goal of the PhD programme is threefold: to prepare candidates for a continuing career in teaching and research; to educate a new generation of scholars to produce high-quality independent research; and to equip them with the analytical and problem-solving skills required for a successful career in both the public and private sectors.   

The Faculty of Law offers supervision by highly qualified academics and provides an excellent opportunity to research contemporary legal issues in an intellectually stimulating environment. 

At present, the Faculty of Law is particularly interested in proposals for PhD projects falling within research areas covered by the compulsory courses of the Danish Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) (see further The Bachelor Degree (LL.B.) – University of Copenhagen (

Successful PhD candidates are required to:  

  • Actively engage in the research environment at the University of Copenhagen; participate in international conferences, courses, and meetings relevant to their research project. 
  • Comply with the formal requirements of the PhD programme.
  • Contribute to teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in Danish or English offered by the Faculty of Law.
  • Conduct independent and high-quality research under the supervision of a senior member of academic staff at the faculty.
  • The PhD candidate will actively contribute to the work of the Ocean Institute.


  • Applicants must have obtained a degree that corresponds to the Danish Master of Laws degree which is a second cycle 120 ECTS degree (two years of full-time studies) that builds on a 180 ECTS Bachelor’s degree (three years of full-time studies) or equivalent qualifications. Applicants with a non-Danish Master's degree will have their degree assessed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science in order to establish if the Master's degree is equivalent to a Danish Master's degree. 
  • Applicants must have obtained a minimum overall grade average of 8.2 or above at the Master’s level in accordance with the Danish grading scale (for Danish scale, see here) as well as a Master’s thesis graded at 10 or higher (or equivalent for applicants with a foreign educational background).
  • Applicants may submit their application before they have completed their Master’s degree. The Master’s degree must be obtained before the start date.
  • Applicants must document an aptitude for research through the meritorious assessment of their final thesis, publications, or academic recommendations in order to show that they are capable of undertaking the demanding task of writing a PhD thesis. 
  • Applicants must have excellent language skills in English and have excellent communications skills. Applicants must be able to teach at an academic level in Danish or English and to follow PhD courses in English. Documentation of English level can for instance be documented by an excellent IELTS or TOEFL test. More information is available here:  


Application procedure 
Click ’Apply now’ below to be taken to the online application form.  

We advise you to have the following documents ready before you begin your online application:  

  • Research project proposal: This should include the following: (1) objective(s) of the research, (2) major research questions, (3) review of relevant literature, (4) methodology to be applied in the research, and (5) a timetable that plans for all course requirements to have been met within three years. The project description must elaborate on the value of the proposed research project in terms of its relevance to existing and future research in the field. It is recommended that the project proposal does not exceed 6 A4 pages (excluding bibliography). The document must be in Times New Roman, font size 12, spacing 1.5 with all margins (right, left, top and bottom) set to 2 cm.
  • Curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages). 
  • Diplomas and transcripts. Certified copies of original diploma(s) and transcripts (both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree) in the original language and an authorized English translation if they are issued in other language than English or Danish. 
  • Grading scale. A certified explanation of grading scale in the original language and an authorized English translation if it is available in other language than English or Danish. 
  • Suggested supervisor. The name of a member of academic staff whom you wish to have assigned as your supervisor. You do not need to contact the supervisor but simply make a request in your application. 
  • Letter of motivation.  Explaining the choice of the Faculty of Law at the University of Copenhagen as a host institution for the proposed project and outlines how the project fits within the research priorities at the Faculty (maximum 1 page). 
  • Documentation of English level. Documentation of English level can for instance be documented by an excellent IELTS or TOEFL test.   

Submit your application electronically in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, or English.   

University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society and therefore encourages all interested parties regardless of personal background to apply for the position.

The recruitment process
Following the application deadline the Associate Dean of Research will pre-select PhD applications that will proceed to the assessment stage upon the recommendation of the Appointment Committee. Applicants are pre-selected for further assessment in line with the Faculty’s recruitment needs as described in this job advertisement. This is carried out based on the overall assessment of the applicant’s educational qualifications, the quality of the submitted research proposal and its relevance to the Faculty’s research agenda, and other relevant qualifications (e.g. relevant professional experience, any previous academic publications etc.). 

All applicants are then notified by the HR Centre as to whether their application has proceeded to the assessment stage. This assessment is carried out by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants will be notified of the composition of the assessment committee. When the committee has completed its assessment, each applicant can comment on the assessment. A number of qualified applicants will be invited for an interview. 

Terms of employment
Successful candidates will be employed in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and the Ministry of Finance concerning the salary of PhD students. If you are offered a PhD position, you will receive a regular monthly salary in accordance with Danish law and you will be entitled to an annual research budget. The salary range starts at DKK 28,993 (EUR approx. 3,880) per month before taxes. The Faculty does not provide accommodation. 
The PhD student has a work obligation of up to 840 hours over the 3-year period without additional pay. The work obligation can include for instance teaching. 

General information about the PhD programme and the requirements can be found here:

For further information about the positions, please contact Associate Professor Beatriz Martinez Romera

Further information about the recruitment process is available from HR, e-mail: Please refer to ID number: 211-1787/24-2H #1.

Closing date for applications
The closing date for applications is 1st of May 2024, 23:59 CET.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. If all the required documents are not applied, your application will be rejected. 

Interviews are expected to take place end-May.

University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society and therefore encourages all interested parties regardless of personal background to apply for the position.

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information


  • Denmark

New Search | Previous