Lund University, Department of Physical Geograhy and Ecosystem 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.

Europe’s forests are highly valued for wood production, conserving biodiversity and climate change mitigation, among many other services. They are also increasingly under stress from the changing climate. Working out how best to manage these forests in order to try and meet this multitude of demands that society places on them, whilst also adapting to climate stresses is an enormous challenge for the scientific community. In this PhD project you will help to meet that challenge. You will develop and apply forest modelling techniques to improve our understanding of the potential of different forest management and rewilding options across the continent. To achieve this, you will become part of a substantial team of researchers within Lund and across Europe. You will be part of two major new European projects with complimentary aims, ForestPaths ( and WildE (, encompassing around 30 partner institutions from across Europe, allowing you to develop a wide-reaching network. Through these projects, your results will have an outlet to influence European forest policy. You will also become part of the BECC research platform, a collaboration between Lund University and the University of Gothenburg, which brings together over 250 researchers working on the topics related to biodiversity and ecosystem services under a changing climate.

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 (no more than 20%). The student will develop and apply the LPJ-GUESS dynamic vegetation model, working with other researchers currently developing ground-breaking new capabilities to represent forests at the European scale. Tasks will include model development, the development of experimental protocols, carrying out the related simulations and analysis, and leading the writing of peer-reviewed papers, reports and deliverables based on the results. Exact topics and work plans will be agreed in discussion with the supervisors, with flexibility according to the interest of the student, but will be developed in the context of the FORWARDS and WildE projects, including ensuring that relevant project milestones and deliverables are met. Participation in national and international meetings and workshops related to the above is expected, as is carrying out related administration and communication activities.

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 Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science 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 very good oral and written proficiency in English.
Additional requirements:

  • High-quality research work (e.g. Masters/Bachelors thesis) evidencing substantial potential as a researcher.

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, including grades.
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  • Written and oral communication skills in English.
  • Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies focused on modelling of forests, e.g. professional experience.

Other assessment criteria:

  • Level of subject knowledge relating to forestry, forest ecology, forest ecophysiology.
  • Capacity to develop computer code.
  • Quality and level of previous research work.

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.

Type of employment
Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. 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 of maximum 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, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.). Please do not upload whole theses or publications.

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 2023-09-01
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/728
  • Thomas Pugh, +46462220000
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 08.Mar.2023
Last application date 29.Mar.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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