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Call for Ph.D.-project applications

Danish enterprises increasingly participate in global value chains and production. Danish investments abroad and the share of Danish exports produced and sold outside Denmark is growing, including so-called merchanting and factory less production. This challenges the traditional approaches to and use of trade data.

Against this backdrop, the Department for Trade Policy and Analysis at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark experiences a need for a deeper understanding of the global value chains that are of relevance to Danish enterprises. The Government’s Action Plan for Economic Diplomacy (2022) includes an ambition to ”[…] increase analytical capacity in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and more joint work with external stakeholders to better understand how Danish enterprises participate in global value chains”.

For the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the objective of the project is two-fold: (i) Increase our knowledge and understanding of value chains to sharpen our continuous analytical work in the area; (ii) Underpin our capacity to provide timely advice to stakeholders inside and outside Government.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs invites applications from Danish research institutions for a grant collaboration project in economic research related to Danish companies’ international value chains.

The envisaged project should include periodical interaction and collaboration between the research department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to share information and discuss findings.


Funding and Project Duration

The total grant available for the project is a maximum of DKK 1.3 million. The expected duration of the collaboration project is approx. 3 years or the duration of the Ph.D. project. Due to budgetary and administrative regulations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the grant will cover project related expenses until end 2023. The applicant will cover project costs hereafter.


Expected Collaboration Output

The research department and its Ph.D. student will define the precise content of the Ph.D. project with input from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As part of the collaboration project, the following output is expected on a continuous basis during the project:

- (Primarily quantitative) analyses related to Danish companies’ international value chains, including merchanting, factory and factory-less production.

- Joint seminars and written communication etc. for relevant Danish stakeholders

A collaboration contract detailing the conditions and responsibilities of the two parties will be elaborated.



Research institutions domiciled in Denmark are eligible to submit applications. It is the research institution and not the individual researcher/Ph.D.-applicant who receives the grant.

Applicants must have documented research capacity and capability for quantitative analyses within Danish companies’ global value chains to undertake the project.

The research institution is required to have sufficient financial means to maintain co-financing of their project participation and to document their costs of participation.

Eligible costs include: (i) Salaries and emoluments; (ii) Tuition Fees; (iii) Travel related expenses; (iv) Data and other research related expenses; (v) Administration fees (overhead); (vi) External audits.


Project Application: Conditions and Assessment

The project coordinator on behalf of the research institution must submit the application. The project coordinator should hold a research position with documented relevant scientific merits and qualifications as well as a research background within quantitative research related to Danish companies’ global value chains.

The description of the project must be structured, clear and focused. There is no specific requirement regarding the length of the project description, but it should not exceed 10,000 characters (including spacing, but excluding references). Overall expected costs related to the project should be itemized and presented as an appendix along with a description of the applicant’s ability to cover costs related to the Ph.D. project beyond the grant, including costs after 2023.

The application will be assessed against the following broad criteria: (i) The research experience and qualifications of the project coordinator; (ii) The expected potential applicability of the insights of the research with respect to the thematic focus areas for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as described in this call; (iii) Extent of relevant prior experience from collaboration with public stakeholders; (iv) Ability to mobilize and start the project within the shortest possible time frame.


The deadline for submission of application is 11 August 2022 at 14:00hrs CET.

Applications must be submitted in Danish or English by email to [email protected]

Contact person: Deputy Director Eva Bisgaard Pedersen ([email protected])