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OPEN POSITIONS Doctoral student in Natural Science, specialisation Environmental Science/Physical Geography

The Department of Earth Sciences has 65 employees. We have bachelor and masters programs in Earth Sciences and in Geography as well as third-cycle education. Our strongest research areas lie within climatology, biogeochemistry, petrology/geochemistry and applied geoscience. The research strategy for the department emphasizes on further development of Earth System Science.

BECC doctoral student position

This PhD position is coupled to BECC (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate;, a Strategic Research Area funded through the Swedish Government. BECC is engaging over 200 researchers at Lund University and the University of Gothenburg, and brings together Scientists from the natural and social sciences to perform research essential in understanding the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services on local, regional, national and global scales, to provide a scientific basis for the sustainable management of ecosystems and biodiversity.

The BECC PhD student will work with the research group for Ecosystem Sciences at the Department of Earth Sciences. This group currently consists of one professor, two lecturers, three researchers, three doctoral students, and five technical staff. Our research concerns how biogeochemical cycles are influenced by climate and their potential feedback mechanisms, where we especially try to find mitigations to reduce the ecosystem greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, we study the interaction between plants and the soil ecosystem and how land use affects the flow of carbon and nutrients in a variety of ecosystems (arctic, boreal, tropical, and agriculture). The group is involved in several major research projects and networks such as BECC, ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System), and ITEX (International Tundra Experiment) and runs the research station Skogaryd, which is included in the infrastructure network SITES (Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Sciences). The group also host a large pool of state-of-the-art equipment for stable isotope and elemental analyses. We currently work within three main research themes: Alpine and Polar Ecology, Biogeochemistry as well as Land Use and Greenhouse gases (see homepage for complete information on the themes;

As a PhD student you will be part of an international linked research group, which gives you the opportunity for many intellectual interactions. You will be expected to develop your own project ideas and communicate scientific results orally and in writing, including publications in international journals. Moreover, the position may give opportunity for up to 20% departmental work, mostly teaching.

Job assignments

The Department of Earth Sciences is looking to recruit a doctoral student, financed through BECC and the department, to work in collaboration with the Ecosystem Sciences group. The project, which is to be designed by the doctoral student and the Ecosystem Sciences group (see ‘How to apply’), should address at least one of the three BECC themes (see for more information):

  • Constraining the carbon cycle to characterise and mitigate climate change
  • Mainstreaming [consideration of] ecosystem services into land use decision-making under global change
  • Effective strategies for biodiversity conservation under the combined pressures from climate change and land use change


To be eligible for third-cycle studies, the applicant must meet both the general and specific entry requirements:

A person meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:
1. has been awarded a second-cycle qualification,
2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

To meet the specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies, applicants must:

Have studied Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Biology or related fields. Good oral and written proficiency in English is required. Knowledge in Swedish is meritorious.


Selection of applicants who meet basic and specific competencies is based on the ability to apply for education at the postgraduate level. The assessment attaches particular importance to documented qualifications regarding:

The research project idea, its feasibility, and its relevance for BECC at our department.

The applicant is expected to have a strong background in a relevant research field, such as Environmental Science or Earth Science and to have a collaborative nature as well as good communication skills. Documented ability to undertake research under supervision (e.g. MSc thesis) is required. In addition, it is essential that the applicant is independent, has curiosity and creativity, and has an interest in learning new methods. Good knowledge of biogeochemical and ecological theories and concepts, as well as experience in computational methods/analyses, such as R or Matlab, is expected. Laboratory and/or field work skills are valuable as well as interdisciplinary experience.


Type of employment: Temporary employment, HF 5 kap 7§ Doktorandanställning
Extent: 100 %
Location: Department of Earth Sciences, Gothenburg
First day of employment: As agreed, but not later than January 1, 2019

Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1998:80.

Only those who are admitted to third-cycle studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. They may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research and administration according to the regulations.

A new employment as a doctoral student applies for a maximum of one year. The appointment may be prolonged for up to two years at a time. The total employment period may not be longer than the equivalent of four years of full time doctoral studies.

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

Appointment procedure

All research leaders will evaluate the applications and rank them. The best applications will be called for an interview, primarily in Gothenburg.

For further information regarding the position

Louise C. Andresen,
Robert G. Björk,
Mats P. Björkman,
Åsa Kasimir,
Leif Klemedtsson,
Tobias Rütting,


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

How to apply

This is an open call, not dedicated to a pre-defined project, and the applicant is expected to provide a research proposal along with the job application.

This research proposal should be well connected with at least one of the three themes of BECC noted above (see for more information) and designed within the subject area of at least one of the six PI’s in the Ecosystem Science group (webpage link). Furthermore, we encourage the applicant to contact one of the PI’s to discuss project ideas prior to application.

The research proposal (maximum 1000 words, references not included), should be written in English and include research questions/hypotheses, introduction, method, expected outcome, and references. The text should also be referenced according to ACS standards or similar. All proposals will be checked for plagiarism.

The research proposal will be assessed for: the feasibility of successfully completing the project in the time available, commitment to the subject, previous knowledge, and capability of the applicant to independently conduct research. If the topic is outside our research expertise, we will decline your application regardless of its academic merit. Therefore, please do make sure there is someone able to supervise you before you apply.

Along with the application you should also attach certificates, CV, one (1) copy of the thesis or similar written publication as well as letters of recommendation (maximum of 2).

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.

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:|Last update: 2/23/2017

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