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 45 000 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.

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%.

The task of documenting biodiversity and implementing such knowledge in conservation programmes requires good insights into three levels of organisation: (1) the ecosystem level, comprising e.g. species composition of communities, the distribution of such communities in the physical landscape, and how the component species interact, (2) the species level which includes species distributions, population dynamics and autecology, and (3), the genetic level, how genetic diversity is distributed within species, how genetic diversity is correlated with other factors of importance, and how genetic diversity matters in long-term evolution and conservation. Knowledge about the genetic level is frequently lacking in conservation planning, but here we will extract critical data that help us to preserve two specis of orchids that have become increasingly rare in Scandinavia during the last century, Pseudorchis albida and Nigritella nigra.

The project is based on molecular data obtained by modern sequencing technology. For each species we will describe the genetic diversity structure overall, compare populations from original and semi-natural growth sites, and compare historical and extant populations from the cultural landscape. We will also clarify taxonomic positions and colonization history.

The project involves field collection of samples for DNA extraction in Scandinavia, laboratory studies by hy-RAD and RAD sequencing, bioinformatics, population genetics and phylogenetic analyses. The results should be used, i.a., to formulate recommendations for continued conservation projects and possibly also reintroduction programmes. 

The project requires collaboration with local conservationists as well as nature protection agencies at both regional and national levels. 

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 in Biology with emphasis on systematic botany, evolutionary botany, conservation genetics, phylogenomics or a related field.
  • Excellent oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Demonstrated ability for analytical and independent work.
  • Practical experience of and aptitude in molecular laboratory work.
  • Practical experience of and interest in conducting biological field work.

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

  • General knowledge and interest in floristics and systematic botany
  • A particular interest in the systematics and the conservation of indigenous orchids in Northern Europe
  • Driving license
  • Sufficient capability in Scandinavian languages to read texts written in Swedish or Norwegian and to enable oral communication on the general level in the subject area.
  • Experience of biological field work
  • Experience of data management and bioinformatics.
  • Experience of hands-on molecular DNA work including DNA extraction, DNA library preparation and quality assessment.

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

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 employmentof 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 your references, letters of recommendation, etcetera).


Type of employment
Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.


Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment Preliminary 2023-01-15
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2022/3425
  • Mikael Hedrén, professor, +46462228894,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 02.Nov.2022
Last application date 30.Nov.2022 11:59 PM CET

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