Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 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.

Work duties
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, up to 20%.

This PhD project will use concepts and approaches from evolutionary biology to answer outstanding questions in ecotoxicology.  Although relatively unknown to evolutionary biologists, ecotoxicology is a large field of applied science where much interest lies in the measurement of latent traits that are of interest in evolutionary biology- specifically, species component fitness responses to toxicants (both novel and familiar).  This PhD project will use evolutionary concepts to help understand and predict patterns of toxicant sensitivity evolution.

Potential specific questions that the student could address include:  1) Using existing large public databases of toxicant sensitivity, what is the macroevolutionary tempo and mode of toxicant effect evolution? 2) Combining comparative methods with laboratory toxicity experiments, how well can evolutionary models predict toxicant sensitivity for rare damselfly species?  3) Identification of the evolutionary conditions under which a single community-wide toxicant hazard level is sensible vs when it is not (scope for both theoretical and empirical work). In addition to these specific potential sub projects, there is potential for a student to delve into numerous, deeper evolutionary problems during the development of this PhD. For example, what constitutes a novel environment for an organism? Do contemporary patterns correlate with deeper time dynamics of lineage accumulation/loss?  

The project entails local field and lab work with insects, as well as meta-analysis and phylogenetic comparative methods.  This PhD is well suited to a student that is interested in and passionate about major concepts in evolutionary biology, including macroevolution, quantitative genetics, and adaptation, and how we can apply these concepts to solve applied problems. The above description and questions should be viewed as a starting point; the student will be given considerable latitude in developing the project into their own.

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 Biology if he or she has passed an independent project (for example a degree project) of at least 30 credits in a relevant subject and have good oral and written proficiency in English.

Additional requirements
A MSC or comparable research experience

  • Excellent oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Demonstrated ability for proactive and independent work.
  • Strong quantitative skills

In addition to the mandatory requirements, documented experience in the following areas will be considered as strong merits:

  • Experience in data processing and/or statistical analysis
  • Experience in working with insects/aquatic organisms
  • Experience conducting field work
  • Drivers license

Assessment criteria
Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, for example professional experience.

Consideration will also be given to strong 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 programe.

Terms of employment
Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§. Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies 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 shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the postgraduate education programme and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for 2- 3 references, and an optional writing sample e.g. preprint, manuscript/thesis draft, or reprint).

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 2022-09-01 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2022/248
  • Stephen De Lisle, recruiting manager,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Published 01.Feb.2022
Last application date 04.Mar.2022 11:59 PM CET

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