Federal University of Toulouse, INSA, Engineering of biological systems and processes (LISBP)

You dream to carry out research that will have real impact? You want to contribute to a cutting-edge “Make Our Planet Great Again” project and to develop the most comprehensive and integrated bioeconomy strategy in Europe? Here is your chance!

The Cambioscop team at the Department of Engineering of biological systems and processes (LISBP) is recruiting a doctoral researcher (PhD) to pursue applied research at the interface of disciplines that include consequential Life Cycle Assessment, Agroecology as well as Environmental & Natural resources economics. We are seeking exceptional early-career scholars committed to connecting interdisciplinary research to important sustainability challenges.

About the position and required qualifications
The PhD candidate will focus on developing methodologies for prospective Life Cycle Assessment, with focus on the future bioeconomy landscape. The vision is to build time-dependant inventories and be able to quantify the advantage of using biogenic carbon for bioeconomy products (and circulating the carbon within the technosphere for as long as possible). The vision is also to propose when in time the different investments in bioeconomy should be made in order to optimize the overall environmental performance of the French bioeconomy. See additional details under “main responsibilities”.
The ideal candidate will hold a M.Sc in Environmental Engineering or a related field, be comfortable working in an interdisciplinary team & collaborating with practitioners and managers. Candidates should also be creative, possess strong analytical & system-thinking skills, have strong communication (spoken and written) & interpersonal skills, and the ability to work independently and as part of a team. Experience with Life cycle Assessment, environmental economics and/or land use changes is a strong plus. The PhD student will be supervised by Drs. Lorie Hamelin and Ligia Barna. Proficiency in English is a requirement; knowledge of French is an advantage (but not a requirement).

The position is available for 3 years, and is based at INSA-Toulouse. Salary follows national directives including full social and health benefits, and is adjusted for work experience. The successful applicant will have opportunities for professional development (e.g., media and communications training) offered by INSA-Toulouse, for presenting his/her research results at international conferences, and for research stays with the Cambioscop partners. Expected start date: September 2019.

Project Context
Cambioscop is among the 18 first projects selected within the framework of the “Make Our Planet Great Again” initiative launched by the French President in 2017. The overall aim is to build a foundation for establishing geo-localized, time-dependent and sustainable strategies for the development of bioeconomy in France, which strive to optimize carbon circularity. Among others, the environmental- and cost-efficiency of 300 bioeconomy conversion pathways will be assessed, towards the horizon 2050. The vision is to contribute to the most comprehensive and integrated bioeconomy strategy in Europe. The project benefits from an advisory board including JRC-Sevilla (Circular Economy and Bioeconomy units), Utrecht University (Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development), IINAS, University of Minnesota and Aarhus University (Centre for a Circular Bioeconomy). The project involves a total of 20 researchers (agronomists, engineers, biochemists, economists) from LISBP, INRA-Rennes, INRA-Grignon and Toulouse School of Economics.

To apply, please submit the following by email to using Cambioscop PhD PDF APPLICATION in the subject line of your email:

  1. Cover letter describing your interest in, and fit for, the project
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Names and contact information of 2 referees

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled, but those received by February 17th, 2019 will be guaranteed full consideration. Only short-listed applicants will be contacted.

Main responsibilities
The successful candidate will:
• Review French and European published targets in terms of overall environmental ambitions (renewable energy, waste management, food systems)
• Review existing prospective scenarios (global and French) touching both renewable energy, agriculture and future food & arable land demand
• Quantify the demand in time (2020 – 2050) for the key bioeconomy products (PBIOs) identified within Cambioscop (background scenarios)
• Analyze the future supply risk for some biomasses (quantify the probability of occurrences for “bad years”, and determine the environmental performance of these bad years)
• Model the environmental performance of key Cambioscop bioeconomy strategies in time (prospective LCA based on own background scenarios)
• Prepare articles to be published in international academic journals

Research in France
For more information about life and research in France, you may refer to the Campus France website: or to the Business France website: