Lund University, Faculty of Science, Centre for Environmental and Climate Science

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.

Microplastic particles pose a major potential threat to human health and the environment. These particles are commonly found in sludge from wastewater treatment, biofertilizers and compost – residues that are widely used as fertilizers and soil improvement in agriculture. Microplastic particles are not removed from the material cycles and can accumulate in the environment. Despite this, there is currently a lack of verified, resource-efficient methods for quantifying microplastic particles in the residues, especially for small particles (less than 50 µm, and particularly less than 20 μm). There are currently no readily available methods that allows researchers, producers and authorities to more easily assess the risks of microplastic particles when recycling the residual products.

We are looking for a person who can work in a newly started research project on microplastic analysis in biofertilizers, a widely used residual product in agriculture.

The aim is to clearly improve microplastic analyses by developing experimental routines for a completely new spectroscopy method – optical photothermal infrared microspectroscopy (O-PTIR), and compare obtained results with more established Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) and Raman microspectroscopy approaches. Artificial intelligence (machine learning) will be implemented to improve and speed up the data analysis. In competition with previously tested analytical methods, we aim to develop a reliable and resource-efficient analysis procedure to quantify different microplastic polymers and sizes in compost and biofertilizers. The goal is that the results will directly contribute to the improvement of the measurement and monitoring of microplastic pollution in organic residues at large, not just biofertilizers.

The work consists of field work, laboratory work, data analyses and scientific writing. The fieldwork includes sampling of biofertilizers and sludge. The laboratory analyses focus on developing and validating methods for sample reprocessing and extraction of microplastics and analysis using three different spectroscopic methods (FT-IR, Raman and O-PTIR). The data analysis includes statistical evaluation and investigation of opportunities to use AI methods to speed up and improve the image analysis that is part of the above spectroscopic methods' analysis results. The work will result in several scientific publications and a final report to the funders. The co-authoring of these is included in the service.



  • A PhD degree, or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a PhD degree, within the subject area of the position.
  • Documented experience in spectroscopic analysis, in particular the above mentioned methods FT-IR and Raman.
  • Documented experience of sample preparation for chemical analysis
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Good documented ability to develop and carry out research of good quality, preferably across traditional scientific disciplines.
  • Very good ability to write scientific text. 


  • Documented experience in spectroscopic analytical techniques on environmental samples, in particular applied to microplastics
  • Documented experience of sample preparation for spectroscopic analysis
  • Knowledge of risk assessments of microplastic particles in the environment, especially soil environments
  • Experience of fieldwork for sampling microplastic particles from the environment
  • Knowledge of polymers and their chemistry and spectroscopic properties
  • Experience of AI methods for image analysis
  • Very good knowledge of Swedish, especially in writing.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, how the applicant's experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department and contribute to its future development. Special emphasis will be placed on scientific ability in the subject areas of environmental chemistry, spectroscopy and environmental science, but other subject areas may also be considered if they are considered relevant to the project.

Terms of employment
This is a full-time, fixed-term employment of 2 years. The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow”) between Lund University, SACO-S and OFR/S, dated 1st February 2022.

Instructions on how to apply
Applications shall be written in English and be compiled into a PDF-file containing:

  • résumé/CV, including a list of publications,
  • a general description of past research and future research interests (no more than three pages),
  • contact information of at least two references,
  • copy of the doctoral degree certificate, and other certificates/grades that you wish to be considered.
Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment as soon as possible
Salary monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2022/4142
  • Martijn van Praag, adjunct senior lecturer, +46462224780,
  • Maria Hansson, senior lecturer, +46462224628,
  • Milda Pucetaite, researcher, +46762545600,
  • Carl Troein, researcher, +46462223003,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 21.Dec.2022
Last application date 01.Feb.2023 11:59 PM CET

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