PhD doctoral contract in sociology

PhD doctoral contract in sociology
1. Job Information
 Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le
développement (CIRAD, Montpellier, France)
 Mines Paris, Université PSL (Paris, France)
 Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo (CIMMYT, Mexico)
Research Field
Science, innovation and technology studies (sociology / anthropology)
France / Mexico
Application Deadline
Type of Contract
PhD contract, 36 months (3 years)
Delivered degree
PhD in sociology, delivered by Université de Montpellier, École Doctorale 60
Job Status
Full-time, 35 hours per week
Offer Starting Date
2. Offer Description
Position available within the research project entitled Coevolution of Equipment, Digital
Technologies and Agroecological models (CoEditAg), funded by French National Research
Agency (ANR). The CoEDiTAg project aims to understand the co-evolution between 1) the
trajectories of development of equipment and digital technologies, and 2) the transformations
of the structures, arrangements and organizations that frame agroecological transitions. This
project posits that the direction of this co-evolution is not predetermined and depends, to a
large extent, on the strategies of actors, their socio-economic interactions and public policies.
Indeed, CoEDiTAg gathers research in different social sciences to understand the
mechanisms of this co-evolution.
The doctoral student is expected to formulate and conduct individual research addressing the
topic “Digital platforms and access to agri-equipment for Mexican family farmers”. This
doctoral research is situated at the intersection of two fields of social science research: science
and technology studies (STS) and digital studies. It will contribute to analyse the drivers for
farmers and providers to adopt a digital tool that offers increased access to agricultural
equipment. In particular, it will provide a better understanding of how such a digital farm
equipment rental platform fits into conventional rural community systems. The lessons from
this analysis will provide insights on how, and with what effects, a bundle of socio-technical
tools and knowlegde products are inserted within the daily life of Mexican familiy farms, with a
particular focus on the co-evolution of access to scale-appropiate agro-equipment and farming
This research will be based on the case of the Tractilus application, which is being developed
in Mexico within the framework of a public-private partnership between Cimmyt and the private
think tank and investor Verne Venture, specialised in the social economy and inclusion. This
application is being developed as part of a series of initiatives for scale-appropriate
mechanization aimed at facilitating access to agro-equipment for family farmers, led by
CIMMYT and in collaboration with representatives of the local machine value chain. The
research will focus on 1) review the interaction components in the App design and understand
how and to what extent it incorporates the specific characteristics of the target audiences and
the agro-equipment proposed, 2) analyse the way in which this application constructs and
meets – or does not meet – the needs and interests of farmers and other rural development
actors, and how it contributes to organize a market for agricultural equipement rental.
This research will be based on classic methods of social science research, namely:
ethnographic observation of the practices of actors dealing with the application and agroequipment, semi-directive interviews with the agro-equipment providers/operators and with
farmers, and actors of rural development, and digital technologies and markets. The fieldwork
will be conducted in collaboration with the developers of the application, and in regions where
family farming predominates within the innovation hub network of CIMMYT. It will be based on
an in-depth analysis of the literature on STS approaches to agricultural technologies and
markets, and agtech innovation in particular, on digital technologies in agriculture, as well as
on digital applications, their design and their uses (App studies).
The doctoral student will be hosted in France at the Centre de Sociologie de l’innovation (CSI)
– Mines Paris, Université PSL, in Paris, with administrative affiliation at CIRAD-UMR
Innovation, Université de Montpellier, France. During the stays in Mexico for fieldwork, he/she
will be hosted at Cimmyt, near Mexico City.
He/she will work under the supervision of Frédéric Goulet (Cirad), Jelle Van Loon (Cimmyt)
and Liliana Doganova (Mines Paris). He/she will be integrated to the Centre de Sociologie de
l’Innovation at Mines Paris, (UMR Innovation) and to Cimmyt’s Sustainable Agrifood Systems
Program (SAS).
Responsibilities include:
• Implementation of the PhD project and writing of the PhD dissertation
• Being an active part in the research and educational environment of CoEditAg
• Being an active part in the CSI doctoral program (including the participation to seminars
and teaching activities) and SAS program, and to contribute to the development of
scientific articles and reports.
The applicant should fulfill the following requirements:
• a very good university degree qualifying for a doctorate at Université de Montpellier in
• the methodological and scholarly maturity suitable for implementing a doctoral project
within the fellowship’s duration; and the documented experience of practicing, studying
and/or researching any of the themes described in the doctoral project above;
• the willingness to conduct research in an interdisciplinary team and to communicate
research results to stakeholders and the broader public;
• the ability to express oneself in written and spoken English and French, and spoken
• a willingness to alternate stays between France and Mexico, and to conduct fieldwork
in rural Mexico
You can expect:
• Insertion in scientific networks of excellence in STS and agricultural research
• A dynamic and motivated work environment at Cirad, Mines Paris and Cimmyt
• Internal and external training opportunities
Candidates must send application documents (cover letter, CV, certificates including your
Master’s certificate) to by 15th of May, 2023, compiled as a single PDF
3. Requirements
Research Field
Science, innovation and technology studies (sociology / anthropology)
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent
Languages – Level
ENGLISH – Excellent

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Cuba, La Habana. Investigador del Centro de Investigaciones Pesqueras, doctor en Ciencias en el Uso, Manejo y Preservación de los Recursos, y maestro en Ciencias del Agua.

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