Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD21-54: Territorial Life Cycle Assessment and dynamics of climate change impacts of forest resources

This job offer has expired

    Université Gustave Eiffel
    Agricultural sciencesForest sciences
    Environmental scienceGlobal change
    Environmental scienceNatural resources management
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    21/03/2022 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Nantes
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND



Wood, considered as a renewable and carbon-storing resource, is identified as one of the important ways to reduce environmental pressures, particularly on resources and climate change. Wood production in France has increased by about 15% in 8 years: from 41.8 in 2012 to 49 million cubic metres in 2020. This considerable leap is linked to the multiple demands of the many economic markets, energy, heating, but also construction wood and everyday wooden objects. In this context, the limits of the renewability of this resource, and consequently on climate change, can be questioned in the medium term if economic trends continue.

In the long term, a virtuous management of the wood resource is a crucial issue to preserve the resource, fight against climate change and preserve an economic activity in a sustainable way. In order to promote a virtuous management of the resource while fighting against climate change, one of the promising ways is to extend the use of this resource as a material, in a circular economy perspective, by successive material valuations and thus postpone as much as possible its incineration and the release of the carbon stored in the atmosphere. Although many recovery solutions already exist, the potential is far from having reached its maximum. However, new recovery solutions are struggling to take root due to uncertainties about the stability of primary and secondary resource flows. The players in the wood processing and recovery sector are reluctant to enter this unknown context.

On the other hand, the different production chains are linked to each other when they are derived from the same resource (whether primary or secondary). These relationships are complex, both physical (for example, there are mass relationships between a given mass of timber and the masses of other products resulting from the recovery of sawdust and shavings), economic (for example, a producer's margin may vary from one year to the next depending on the different products derived from his raw material, and thus directing them towards one customer or another) or even regulatory (recovery thresholds, taxes, etc.) Thus, developing a new sector, or even favouring an existing one, can have consequences on other sectors due to the relationships that exist between them, and generate sometimes undesirable rebound effects.

Thus, the evaluation of the environmental interest of a new recovery solution must be based on a detailed knowledge of existing material flows and the physical, economic and regulatory relationships that link them. These relationships are often specific to a given territorial context depending on local wood resources and the activities linked to its transformation, and they also vary over time depending on the economic and regulatory context.

The proposed research work is part of a long-term objective to develop an integrated and territorial management model for wood resources, from forestry to incineration, taking into account their environmental impacts on their life cycle, and particularly climate change. This model must be based on a dynamic territorial Material Flow Analysis (MFA), integrating the economic and regulatory mechanisms underlying the choices of the actors. This model should also be coupled with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), in order to assess the environmental effects of the scenarios envisaged for a more virtuous management, in particular by using a dynamic assessment of the effects on climate change. The organisation of the different sectors must be compared with a non-exploitation scenario, which is the reference for natural phenomena in the biogeochemical carbon cycle, and which gives the objective to be matched or exceeded.

There is now an online tool for regional MFA of the wood resource, resulting from research conducted at INRIA. The proposed research can therefore be based on this tool. The approach to be taken is based on three components:

1. Connecting existing MFA models to LCA and assessing their effects on climate change in a dynamic way

2. Investigate and integrate socio-economic mechanisms into existing MFA models

3. Integrate the two previous components into a single model that will allow for a posteriori assessment of past years, and for testing prospective scenarios for the deployment of new circular economy solutions.

The ambition is to set up a research project integrating all three subjects, the first action concerning the territorial dynamic evaluation being declined in the form of a thesis and detailed below.


Dynamic Life Cycle Assessment concerns research mainly developed on the issue of climate change. Indeed, biobased materials are considered as carbon stocks, in particular those with a long-life span such as timber.

Various methods coexist today to assess this dynamic effect at the LCA scale of products and only on climate change. However, this approach has not been carried out at the territorial scale, nor on the evaluation of biotic resource indicators. These two aspects are crucial, however, because forest areas could be managed not only with a view to preserving the resource, but also to maximising carbon storage over time.

Based on the existing results of dynamic territorial MFAs, dynamic inventories of the life cycle of the various products derived from forestry operations should be generated for each region. This approach should make it possible to carry out balances by region and by year, and then to deduce the effects over time on climate change. Based on the balance sheet for the various years considered, a reflection could be made on future economic and regulatory changes, or new territorial channels in the circular economy, in order to assess their environmental impact on the resource and climate change."

International Mobility:

To be discussed with the PhD thesis supervisor.


More Information


  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.

Eligibility criteria

  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree. At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline.
  • Applicants must be available to start the programme on schedule (around 1st October 2022).

Selection process

Additional comments

  • The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.
  • Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.
  • There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.
  • Support service is available during every step of the application process by email: clear-doc@univ-eiffel.fr

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    Environmental science: Master Degree or equivalent
    Agricultural sciences: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent
    FRENCH: Basic


  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.


Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université Gustave Eiffel
Allée des Ponts et Chaussées

EURAXESS offer ID: 717328


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