Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Department of Physics

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 46 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

The Division of Nuclear Physics at the Department of Physics at Lund University (LU) will employ one PhD student within the field of atmospheric modelling of volcanic aerosols. The Division of Nuclear Physics covers a broad spectrum of basic and applied nuclear physics as well as aerosol chemistry and physics. Within the Division, the aerosol research group conducts research on atmospheric aerosol particles and their impact on climate and air quality. This research involves aerosol in-situ measurements, satellite measurements, process modelling and global modelling. The aerosol research group collaborates internationally with researchers in Europe, US, China, and Brazil and with other research groups at Lund University.

Work duties

The PhD position is part of a research project financed by the Swedish Research Council Formas. The overall aim is to improve our knowledge on the climate impact of volcanic eruptions reaching the stratosphere (above ~10 km). Stratospheric aerosol particles scatter and absorb solar radiation and thereby cool the Earth. Projection of the future climate is complicated by natural climate variability. Variations in the stratospheric aerosol load is one of these. Explosive volcanic eruptions can inject millions of tons of particle forming sulphur dioxide (SO2) into the stratosphere elevating the stratospheric aerosol load. Stratospheric particles have life times on the order of months or years inducing long lasting climate cooling. The resulting climate impact highly depends on the injection altitude. Most SO2 instruments have very limited, if any, vertical resolution adding uncertainty in the current model simulations.

This project focuses on combining satellite data and global climate modelling to estimate the climate cooling from volcanic eruptions. We have developed a method to produce high vertical resolution SO2 data.

You will implement this SO2 data into the global climate model WACCM.  The purpose is to investigate the importance of getting the right vertical and horizontal distribution of the SO2 injections into the stratosphere. You will study the aerosol particle’s formation, distribution, and their climate cooling effect predicted by the model. The model results will be compared with aerosol observations from the CALIPSO satellite. The overarching goal is to gain a better understanding on volcanism’s impact on the climate.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

You are also expected to take part in scientific meetings, the ClimBEco graduate research school ( and present results at international conferences.

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third-cycle studies in Physics if he or she has:

  • at least 30 second-cycle credits of relevance to the subject, of which at least 15 credits shall comprise a second-cycle degree project, or
  • an MSc in engineering physics or an associated field, or a Master’s degree in physics or an associated field.

Finally, the student must be judged to have the potential to complete the programme.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Skills in programming are also required. 

Other assessment criteria

  • We consider good cooperation ability, drive and independent work ability as positive personal attributes.
  • Prior knowledge about the atmosphere (meteorology, atmospheric physics, and atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric aerosol particles and climate science).
  • Practice of working in a Linux based operating system as well as programming in Python, Matlab, bash and Fortran.
  • Experience working with Global Climate Models, satellite data, aerosol dynamics, gas-phase chemistry.

Basis of assessment

Selection to postgraduate studies is based on the expected ability to perform well in the studies. The evaluation of the ability to perform well is based primarily on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, in particular:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of the study.
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications may be written in English or Swedish and include a cover letter (max 2 pages) stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV (max 2 pages), degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts including explanations of the grading system, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

You are also required to answer the job specific questions as the first step of the application process.

The English version of this announcement is an interpretation of national formalities expressed in the Swedish text. In case of uncertainties, the Swedish text applies.


Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment Accordning to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2021/1256
  • Johan Friberg, Associate senior lecturer,
  • Moa Sporre, Associate senior lecturer,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
Published 27.May.2021
Last application date 16.Aug.2021 11:59 PM CEST

Return to job vacancies