Thesis / Research Internship Opportunity: Understanding the role of geographical indications for rural development in Ireland

Duration: 6 months

Languages: English

Start Date: As soon as possible

Are you looking for a fascinating thesis or research internship topic that cuts across multiple challenges at the heart of food system transformation, with the possibility to do funded fieldwork in Ireland?!?

The Rural Sociology (RSO), Environmental Policy (ENP) and Strategic Communications (COM) chair groups have vacancies for one to two students to join a project investigating the social, environmental and political dynamics of geographical indication (GI) food products in Ireland. GIs certify the connection between a unique food product and its place of origin. This phenomenon cuts across multiple food system issues, including sustainability, governance, rural development, consumption and food cultures.

GIs are now a key pillar of the European Commission’s (EC) rural development strategy, Farm to Fork. Evidence from European countries where GI products are numerous suggests they can enhance territorial development outcomes (e.g. through tourism). Yet, uptake of GI registrations has been particularly slow in Ireland, with only 13 registered food products (compared to, for example, over 300 in Italy). Given this difference, this project aims to understand the perceptions of GIs from the perspective of different food system actors in Ireland, including the role GI foods can play in farmer livelihood strategies, the potential linkages between GI foods and sustainable consumption, and the role of new technologies in fostering and communicating the links between food products and their place of origin.

The student(s) will have the opportunity to shape their research project around their particular food system interests and those of the supervisors. There will also be the possibility to undertake (partially) funded fieldwork in Ireland.


  • Interest in the sociology of food system transformation (for example, rural development, food systems governance, sustainability, science & technology studies and/or sustainable consumption)
  • Interest in geographical indications and delicious food!
  • Basic knowledge of sociological concepts, and basic knowledge of and interest in qualitative methodologies
  • You meet the program requirements for a thesis / internship in either RSO, COM or ENP

Supervision team:
Dr Mark Vicol (RSO), Dr Katharine Legun (COM), Dr Mary Greene (ENP)
More information? Contact Mark Vicol (