Opportunities for MSc Theses within PerForm

Bioeconomy emerged as a concept in the early 2000s and has progressively taken centre stage within many political strategies. So far, about 50 countries worldwide – including 15 European ones and the European Union itself – have developed national policies and/or strategies on bioeconomy, aiming to set course for a more innovative, low-emission, resource-efficient and sustainable economy. Governments and public organizations, private sector as well as civil society actors, consumers and researchers are all looking with growing interest at both the challenges and opportunities that the bioeconomy concept offers. Not least the European forest sector.

Given the complexity of the concept and its recent emersion within the policy arena, different perceptions exist across countries and stakeholder groups. The PerForm project aims to better understand regional disparities of national bioeconomy policies. The project partners from eight European countries will jointly will explore the diversity of perceptions and acceptance of a forest-based bioeconomy in order to foster participation of different forest stakeholders and the broader public through an informed and open dialogue.

Research topics for MSc theses

PerForm now offers master thesis opportunities at project partner institutions within three different research topics. To begin with, the project is searching for one student per research topic in individual countries. In some countries it might be possible to merge two research topics, but that is to be negotiated with the supervisor. Cooperation between students in the different countries will be facilitated by the project coordination partner.

Research topic Available for students at partner institutions in the following countries (see contacts at end of announcement)
Quantitative analysis (online survey) and comparison of perceptions and acceptance among the next generation forest stakeholders (forestry students). Finland (recruited), Germany, Sweden, others to be announced.
Qualitative analysis (interviews) and comparison of perceptions and acceptance of different forest stakeholder groups. Finland, others to be announced.
Quantitative analysis (via questionnaires) and comparison of knowledge, perceptions and acceptance of urban consumers concerning a forest-based bioeconomy, with a special focus on multi-storey wood construction buildings. Finland, Germany, Sweden, others to be announced.

Students willing to develop other bioeconomy-related ideas/topics can contact PerForm staff at their respective institution for preliminary discussion (see contact details below).

While developing their MSc thesis, students will be given access to central literature and references. Additional information can be delivered during courses, vis-a-vis meetings and individual coaching.

Developing research within an Europe-wide research network

Students contributing to the PerForm project through their MSc thesis will become an integral part of an international project ran by top-ranked European research institutions and funded by the EFI Network Fund. The work will allow networking with researchers and other MSc students at all partner institutions.

Important! Data collection for an MSc thesis within PerForm is expected to occur between October 2018 and March/April 2019. Specific schedule and deadlines for thesis activities are to be agreed with the scientific supervisor(s). Research activities will contribute to the development of scientific/conference papers and technical reports within PerForm project. Project-specific information, support and training will be provided regarding for example the research tools to be used.

Student profile

  • Basic knowledge of bioeconomy and bioeconomy-related topics/issues
  • High capacity for independent work and studies
  • Ability to collaborate in an international team
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Proficiency in English
  • Fluent in the language used for interviews/surveys
  • Familiarity with basic statistics
  • Good interpersonal skills


Application procedure

Students can register for a PerForm master thesis through their respective institution and according to normal procedures for master thesis application and registration at the same institution (see contact list below).

Contact persons at partner institutions

For further information please contact:

 ufreiburg_logo1 Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, Freiburg (Germany)


Ida Wallin (ida.wallin@ifp.uni-freiburg.de)

BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) – Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy, Vienna (Austria)

Helga Pülzl (helga.puelzl@boku.ac.at)
Lea Ranacher (lea.ranacher@boku.ac.at)Marcel Mallow (marcel.mallow@boku.ac.at)

 IRSTEA National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture, Antony (France)

Arnaud Sergent (arnaud.sergent@irstea.fr)

 SLU Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development, Division of Environmental Communication, Uppsala (Sweden)

Sara Holmgren (sara.holmgren@slu.se)

 FTU Saint-Petersburg State Forest Technical University, St. Petersburg (Russia)

Alexander Dobrovolsky (alexander-83@ya.ru)

 Padova University of Padova, Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, Padova (Italy)

Laura Secco (laura.secco@unipd.it)
Mauro Masiero (mauro.masiero@unipd.it)

 TUZ Technical University in Zvolen, Forestry Faculty, Chair of Forest Economics and Management, Zvolen (Slovakia)

Jaroslav Šálka (salka@tuzvo.sk)

 UHEL University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, group: Forest Bioeconomy, Business and Sustainability (Finland)

Lauri Valsta (lauri.valsta@helsinki.fi)
Jaana Korhonen (jaana.e.korhonen@helsinki.fi)
Arttu Malkamäki (arttu.malkamaki@helsinki.fi)
Dalia D’Amato (dalia.damato@helsinki.fi)


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