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OPEN POSITIONS PhD Position in Natural Science, specializing in Environmental Science

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 Gothenburg Botanical garden, at Medicinarberget in Gothenburg,
and at the marine research station-Kristineberg. The current position is placed in the Botan-building in Gothenburg.
The successful candidate will work in the fish toxicity group which at the moment comprises of five researchers, two post docs, two PhD students, one technician and several master students.

Project description
Nanotechnology is currently the most rapidly growing field of science with a vast potential for industrial applications. It builds on the intentional and controlled generation of novel arrangements of atoms at the nanometer scale (1-100 nm). Many manufactured NPs display very special chemical properties due to their size, shape, charge, composition and structure, and are used in a number of products with many more applications on the horizon. Despite the wide array of applications that might lead to unintentional environmental exposure there is a lack of knowledge regarding the ecological and ecotoxicological consequences of an exposure to man-made NPs.

During the last decade a multitude of studies have studied the toxicological effects of a wide range of NPs.  These studies have focused on well-characterized particles and their effects in controlled laboratory environments, using both cell based assays and animal and plant tests. These studies have generated a lot of knowledge regarding NP toxicity and how NP toxicity is dependent on the characteristics of the particles, characteristics such as size, charge and shape. However, very little is known about how NP toxicity is altered when the NPs enter the aquatic environment. Weathering, ageing and the formation of bio coronas can affect NP toxicity.

The MISTRA funded Nano safety project will focus on the fate of nanomaterials in semi-natural experimental wetland systems, at simulated realistic surface water conditions and conditions during waste handling, and how the ageing of NPs under these conditions will affect NP toxicity. The MISTRA nanosafe project is a collaborative project between seven Universities in Sweden and Denmark together covering a wide range of expertize. The successful PhD candidate will conduct research within this project with the focus of testing the toxicity of pristine and weathered NPs on fish derived cell lines and also fish embryos. Besides utilizing traditional cell based assays the aim is to optimize novel cell based test systems for NP toxicity assessment.  The project requires a good understating of cell based in vitro systems but also in vivo testing using fish and basic ecotoxicological concepts.

Job assignments
The main task is to conduct the PhD thesis work under supervision, which includes development of the PhD student’s methodology, experience, analytical skills, and theoretical depth and breadth. Techniques used within the project include in vitro cell techniques and embryo toxicity tests, quantitative PCR, biochemical assays, and in vivo studies using fish. The studies will primarily be conducted via laboratory studies. Specific research topics associated with the research project include fish physiology, toxicity screening, environmental pollution and toxicology. Shorter periods may also be spent as field work or in another country.

The PhD student will carry out original research in consultation with the supervisors, and complete coursework throughout the period of appointment (totaling 60 hp, or about 1 year’s full time study). Results will be communicated in the form of scientific articles, conference presentations, etc. and a PhD thesis. The PhD student will be supervised by Pro. Joachim Sturve and Dr. Tobias Lammel who will be co- supervisor.
Third cycle education
Admission to third cycle education is aiming at a PhD in Natural Science, specialising Environmental Science. The education runs for four years of fulltime 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 can also be selected.  Some teaching and/or course administration can be included which extends the contract to the same extent.

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 programs if he/she:
1. has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
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:
1. have a second-cycle (advanced-level) degree in a relevant* subject area in the natural sciences, or
2. have completed studies for at least 60 higher education credits at a second-cycle level in relevant subject areas in the natural sciences, or
3. have completed a corresponding programme of relevance to the planned third-cycle programme, in Sweden or in another country, or have equivalent qualifications.

*Relevant subject for the planned third-cycle education is ecotoxicology, toxicology, biochemistry or cell biology.


We are seeking a highly motivated person for PhD studies in ecotoxicology with emphasis on nanoparticle toxicity. Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English are essential, as we work in an international environment.

Specialization within ecotoxicology/toxicology and previous practical experience in the laboratory, in particular inboth in vivo (fish) and in vitro techniques (cell culture), molecular biology and biochemical methods (such as gene expression analysis, enzyme activity assays), and microscopy  are advantageous. Knowledge of animal physiology is also of importance. It is also advantageous if the candidate has experience in fish husbandry.

It is also an advantage if the candidate have a good understanding and or interest in the physico-chemical processes occurring at the nano-bio interface as well as the technical/methodological aspects related with the testing of nanoparticle toxicity and fate (characterization, quantification).

The employment
Rules regarding education and employment on a doctoral level are given in Högskoleförordningen (HF, SFS 1993:100). 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.
The employment is planned to start in September 2019 or upon agreement. The University practice a local agreement
about wage setting for PhD students.

The application should be written in English and must include:
• A short cover letter with the applicant’s justification, describing how the applicant meets the selection criteria
• A list of qualifications (CV)
• Examination certificates and a transcript of courses with grades
• A copy of the Master thesis (or equivalent)
• Employment certificates and other documents deemed important by the applicant
• At least two former supervisors, teachers or managers, as references, with contact details.

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

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.

For further information please contact

Joachim Sturve, Professor
Phone: +46-766-183688

Henrik Aronsson, Professor and Head of Department
Phone: +46 31 786 48 02


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

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

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. 47 500 students and 6 400 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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