Organisation/CompanyVidzeme        University of Applied Sciences
Research Field                                      Economics » Tourism studies
Researcher Profile                                First Stage Researcher (R1)
Country                                                 Latvia
Application Deadline                           
Type of Contract                                  Temporary
Job Status                                            Full-time
Offer Starting Date                              
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?       HE / MSCA
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?       No

Offer Description

Institute of Social, Economic and Humanities Research (HESPI) at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (ViA) invites applicants for a PhD fellowship aimed at studying challenges and opportunities related to managing and funding public goods that support nature-based recreation and tourism in the Nordic-Baltic region. The project is part of the research project VIMAS (Visitor monitoring and management in protected and recreational areas: new challenges, novel solutions for the Anthropocene) which is financed by the European Union’s MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ACTIONS, Doctoral Networks (DN), Call: HORIZON-MSCA-2022-DN-01-01. VIMAS will 1) develop new, effective monitoring combining digital and traditional methods, 2) explore how better monitoring contributes to increase social and economic benefits and reduce unwanted environmental impacts, and 3) develop new, multidimensional governance-relevant indicators, based on collaborative and participatory principles.

The VIMAS consortium consists of seven full partners in six European countries, together with 14 academic and non-academic associated partners. A total of 10 PhD candidates will be engaged in the project. The PhD fellow at ViA will be embedded in the network across the Nordic region with the nine other doctoral candidates in the VIMAS project. Common training schools and temporary change of study location (secondments) will be arranged and conducted. For a general description of the VIMAS project and the description of all PhD positions, please visit the VIMAS project website: www.nmbu.no/en/research/projects/vimas

Applicants are made aware that an application for a PhD fellowship at ViA is at the same time an application for the admission to a joint PhD programme in Economics and Business at the institution.


Research Field          Economics » Tourism studies
Education Level        Master Degree or equivalent


We are looking for a candidate within the field(s) of sustainable tourism and public finances. Applicants can have a background in economics and business, tourism, geography, environmental sciences, nature management, or similar. 

A successful applicant must meet the conditions required for admission to a PhD programme at ViA. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a three-year BSc and two-year MSc, with a learning outcome corresponding to the descriptions in the Latvian Qualification Framework, second cycle. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and be able to document proficiency in both written and oral English.

The following experiences and skills should be emphasized:

  • Experience with mixed research methods;
  • GIS; geodata; spatial analytics;
  • Modelling techniques;
  • Engagement of local community, social sciences.

Additional competences:

  • Applicants that are not native English speakers and their previous education has not been in English must provide a proof of their English language proficiency as established through an internationally recognized qualification system (at least B2 level);
  • Good communication and writing skills;
  • The candidate should be a good team player as well as being able to work independently, efficiently and with dedication;
  • Candidates with a solid understanding and ability to use the Latvian language will be regarded favourably;
  • The candidate should be highly motivated and show interest and enthusiasm towards the PhD project.

Please note that according to the MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ACTIONS (MSCA), Doctoral Networks’ mobility rules, PhD fellows must not have resided or carried out their main activity (e.g., work, studies) in Latvia for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their recruitment date.

The PhD fellow should be prepared to spend short periods abroad during secondments to partner institutions within the VIMAS consortium.

Specific Requirements

PhD project

In the framework of the PhD project on Challenges and solutions of financing public goods related to outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism, the PhD fellow is expected to 1) identify and evaluate diverse existing funding models for common goods related to outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism identified in literature and strategy documents, and by using a case study approach 2) examine diverse funding sources and mechanisms and assess their feasibility, and 3) assess their applicability by evaluating trade-off between the identified economic and societal benefits and inputs/investments on outdoor recreation at the regional level. The candidate will also assess management and funding of public goods in the light of the common right of access.

Start date is (expected to be) between 1 April and 1 May 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Main Supervisor: Professor Agita Līviņa, [email protected]

    Languages  ENGLISH
    Level           Good

    Additional Information


    Terms of employment

    Employment as a PhD fellow is full time and for maximum three years. It is subject to a three-month probationary period according to the national legislation.

    Employment is conditional upon your successful enrollment as a PhD student at the PhD programme in Economics and Business at the Institute of Social, Economic and Humanities Research, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for a specific project formulated by the applicant.

    The salary of the position is based on the salary system of MSCA. The salary consists of a living allowance and a mobility allowance. The mobility allowance covers the researcher’s additional mobility-related costs (e.g., travel and accommodation costs).

    Host institution

    The PhD fellow will be affiliated with the research Laboratories of Sustainable Planning and Spatial Development. The laboratories are part of the Institute of Social, Economic and Humanities Research (www.hespi.lv), Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (www.va.lv) located in Valmiera (Latvia).

    We offer creative working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment. The University is a member of the European University Alliance E³UDRES² (https://eudres.eu/), involved in Eco School Programme and running two UNESCO Chairs.

    Eligibility criteria

    Joint PhD Study Programme in Economics and Business

    To be eligible for the PhD programme in Economics and Business at the Institute of Social, Economic and Humanities Research, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, the candidate must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Lavian master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g., economy, business, nature management, social sciences, or similar. For information on the eligibility of the completed study programmes and other general information, see https://va.lv/en/study-here/phd-degree/economics-and-business/about-programme

    Responsibilities and tasks in the PhD programme:

    • Conduct an independent research project under supervision and in cooperation with the VIMAS project;
    • Complete PhD courses;
    • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another relevant institution;
    • Take part in teaching and knowledge dissemination activities;
    • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals;
    • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project;
    • This may also include administrative tasks and other duties up to 20%.

    Selection process

    After the deadline, a number of applicants that have met the admission requirements will be selected for the academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You will be notified whether you will be passed for further assessment.

    The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above-mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified.

    Interviews with the selected candidates are expected to be held during February 2024.

    Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

    • Demonstrated motivation, interest and capacity in the field of the position described above (submitted motivation letter). In scale from 1 to 10 (40%);
    • Interview about the topic of the PhD project, knowledge and abilities that indicate readiness to conduct research at the PhD level. In scale from 1 to 10 (30%);
    • Assessment of Master’s Thesis. In scale from 1 to 10 (10%);
    • Number of publications, participation in conferences, research projects in the last six years (1 point per activity; maximum is 10 points) (20%).

    Additional comments

    Application procedure

    The application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically: look below at "Where to apply".  The documentation that is necessary to ensure that the admission requirements are met must be uploaded as an attachment of pdf files.

    Application documents include: 

    • Motivation letter (max. 2 pages) stating why the applicant is interested in the specific PhD project, what the applicant has to offer in designing and executing the project, as well as what his/her expectations are for the doctoral studies;
    • Curriculum vitae (CV) including information about the education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position;
    • Original diplomas for the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Latvian. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or the supervisor is accepted;
    • Publication list (if possible/relevant);
    • Two reference letters including the contact information for the two referees;
    • Copy of a valid passport;
    • Confirmation certificate of English language proficiency as established through an internationally recognized qualification system (at least B2 level) issued in last five years for participants who are not native English speakers and whose previous education has not been in English;
    • Proposal of the prospective doctoral thesis (including a short description of the topic with references).

    Application deadline:
    The deadline for applications is 31 January 2024, 23:59 (GMT +1). The application system does not accept submissions after the deadline. Applications that do not meet the above-mentioned requirements will not be considered.


    For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the main supervisor, Professor Agita Līviņa, [email protected]

    Website for additional job details