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OPEN POSITIONS PhD position in Natural Science, specialising in Biology

The EU H2020-ITN-ETN project Plant.ID on molecular identification of plants is a European training network aimed at providing 15 PhD fellows across nine European host institutions with excellent training through a network of leading academic experts, museums, governmental and industry partners in the field, using an intensive program with network-wide training events, intra-network supervision and secondments.

At the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences (BioEnv) we have teaching and research activities that stretch from the alpine ecosystem, through forests, cultivated land and streams, all the way into the marine environment. In these environments we study different levels of biological organisation from genes, individuals and populations, to communities and ecosystems. We work within ecology, evolution, physiology, systematics and combinations of these fields in order to understand the impact of natural and anthropogenic changes of the environment.

The department is placed at three different localities: in the Gothenburg Botanical garden, at Medicinareberget in Gothenburg, and at the marine research station Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Infrastructure-Kristineberg. The current position is placed at in the Gothenburg Botanical Garden.

Project description
"Species, a taxonomic category distinct from the lineage concept? A case study on species delimitation in Silene sect. Dipterospermae in Southern Africa."

Despite its alleged fundamental role in biology, the concept of “species” is surrounded by much confusion. In biological nomenclature, species is a categorical rank among others, but with some special properties like binomials. Reproductive isolation from other species is often regarded as a fundamental property of biological species, but is not a formal requirement for the nomenclatural category. With the advent of genome-wide sequencing and bioinformatic developments scientists are now able to view empirical data in relation to a well defined model of species. The multi-species coalescent is such a model, in which “species” constitute the branches of the phylogenies.

By contrast, "species" in the more traditional sense, used to put names on organisms, is simply a rank among others in the nomenclatural hierarchy used to name taxa. Phylogenetic trees are in contemporary systematics frequently used to name such taxa, which then correspond to clades of arbitrary inclusiveness. Objective: In this project, the impact of using a species-as-clade concept from a species-as-branch concept in various applications will be investigated. Special emphasis will be put on a group of  the flowering plant genus Silene occurring in Southern Africa, where some have taxa been defined being critically endangered, whereas others are widespread. In addition, empirical data that may come from other projects in the Plant.ID network will be analyzed. Emphasis will be put on consequences of the various meanings of the word species to conservation and society.

Job description
• Manage and carry through your research project
• Take PhD courses within the Plant.ID network
• Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
• Participate in international congresses and Plant.ID network meetings
• Stay at a research institution abroad for the secondment(s)
• Teach and disseminate your research

Job conditions
The PhD student will be appointed under an employment contract with a competitive salary and mobility allowance at the host institution. The fellow is expected to start in April 2018. Additional funding for research and participation in courses, workshops, conferences, etc. is ensured. All 15 PhD students in the Plant.ID project will be enrolled in a doctoral program, with the specific intent that it results in a Ph.D. degree and scientific publications.

Third cycle education
Admission to third cycle education is aiming at a PhD in Natural Science, specialising Biology. The education runs for four years of full-time studies, containing three years of thesis work and one year of academic education (i.e. course work and literature studies). A selection of courses at the Department/Faculty is available, but national/international courses (e.g., organised by the Plant.ID network) can also be selected. Some teaching and/or course administration can be included which extends the contract to the same extent.

The qualifications for education on a doctoral level are: degree in advanced (Master’s) level, at least 240 university credits, of which 60 are on advanced level, or in another way acquired similar knowledge. Only applicants who are admitted to the postgraduate level may be hired. Upon appointment the degree of ability to successfully complete the PhD program must firstly be evaluated.

All candidates must be fluent in spoken and written English.

EU eligibility criteria for candidates
The applicant may be of any nationality but in order to be eligible for the positions the following criteria applies to all applicants:

The applicant shall at the time of recruitment be eligible as an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) by being in the first four years of his/her research career and not have been awarded a doctoral degree.

The applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity in the country of the host institute for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment.

Regulations for the evaluation of qualifications for employment and education on a doctoral level are given in HF chapter 5 and 7.

As a PhD student in the Plant.ID network, you need to have good social skills and be willing to conduct the planned secondments and importantly be innovative and goal-oriented.

Specialisation within biological systematics and/or population genetics as well as experience of next-generation sequencing and/or bioinformatics is advantageous.

Basic knowledge of conservation social science is a merit.

The application should be written in English and must include:
• A short cover letter with the applicant’s justification for the application, i.e., that describes how the applicant meets the selection criteria 
• An attested list of qualifications (CV)
• Examination certificates and a transcript of courses with grades
• A copy of the Master thesis (or equivalent)
• Employments certificates and other documents deemed important by the applicant
• Contact information for at least two referees that are familiar with the applicant’s qualifications

The top ranked candidates will be selected for an interview, which might be held in English and could also be performed by phone or Skype.

For further information regarding the position

Bengt Oxelman, Professor and becoming supervisor
tel. + 46 709-901223

e-post: bengt.oxelman@gu.se

websida:  http://bioenv.gu.se/personal/Bengt_Oxelman

Henrik Aronsson, Professor and Head of Department
tel. +46 31 786 48 02

e-post: henrik.aronsson@bioenv.gu.se

Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg: http://www.gu.se/english/about_the_university/job-opportunities/union-representatives

How to apply
In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

Complementary documents, such as publications/books should be sent to the following address:
University of Gothenburg, Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Att: Ingela Lyck, Box 463, 405 30 Gothenburg.
Reference number should be clearly stated when sending complementary documents.

Closing date 2018-01-15


The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Salaries for doctoral students are regulated in a local agreement at the University.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 38 000 students and 6 000 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

Page Manager: rekrytering@gu.se|Last update: 2/23/2017

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