Doctoral Student Call:  Women and Bees

Doctoral Student Call: Women and Bees

By Victoria Reyes-García
on 2022-05-11
  • Research
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Environmental governance
  • Indigenous and local knowledge

Project description: We invite applications for a doctoral position in a UNESCO program on women beekeeping entrepreneurship. The selected student will register in the PhD program of the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology at UAB and work under Prof. V. Reyes-García supervision, in close cooperation with UNESCO. Focusing on native and local bee conservation, welfare and repopulation, as well as capacity-building on bees and sustainable beekeeping in UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves, the program aims 1) to enable women’s social emancipation through an expertise-driven sustainable beekeeping, and 2) to raise awareness of the importance of native and local bees as pollinators.  The position will be located at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB).


Functions: The selected student will be responsible for the collection of primary and secondary data on women’s experiences with beekeeping in UNESCO designated biosphere reserves around the world. For instance, good practices related to pollination services, such as hive location analysis, interactions between wild and managed bees, or pollinator-friendly/integrated habitat management are often ignored in beekeeping activities. However, due to gender role re-distribution and increasing involvement in beekeeping, women may have an important role in improving awareness to enhance sustainability of practices. Data will be analysed to provide an overview of 1) current participation of women in beekeeping and 2) challenges and opportunities for nature and society of enhancing women’s role in beekeeping. The student will also be expected (1) to collaborate for training workshops and (2) to participate in dissemination of the project’s results in the policy sphere, e.g., recommendations related to strategies for empowering women in beekeeping science, practice and policy. The student will be encouraged to pursue his/her own research ideas, within the topic of the project.

Profile: Candidates should have an official master’s degree in a field relevant for this research (i.e., anthropology, geography, environmental sciences, or biology). Candidates should be fluent in written and spoken English (fluency in other languages is a plus). Candidates should also 1) be able to travel internationally for long periods (i.e., minimum fieldwork duration 4 months), 2) have the ability to work across disciplines, and 3) be comfortable with the idea of living in remote areas (e.g., heat, cold, monotonous diet, bad communications). Candidates should also show interest to learn from other cultures. Previous field experience would be highly valued. Candidates should be familiar with the use of ICT. Statistical training is a plus.


Contract terms: The student will be hired through UNESCO, following UNESCO online bidding process, and will register at UAB PhD program. The annual gross salary is of 20.000€. Field medical insurance and expenses will be covered by UNESCO.


To apply: Applicants should send a cover letter and examples of their previous work (e.g., Master thesis) and an updated CV to by 30 June 2022. The cover letter should include a personal statement explaining the applicant’s interest in the project and the name, position and e-mail contact of three potential referees. Candidates that do not fill the requirements will not be considered.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in July, and a final decision will be communicated soon after. Selected students are expected to join during September 2022.




This project is funded by an ongoing UNESCO project on bees and pollinators.


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