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.

Subject description

Biology is the broad subject about all living things. It encompasses everything from processes at the molecular and cellular level to global processes at ecosystem level. The subject is divided into a range of sub-disciplines and specialisations. The PhD programme at the Department of Biology includes many of these specialisations, from molecular biology to applied ecology, from viruses and individual cells to evolutionary biology and global biodiversity. Taking on research studies at the Department of Biology generally means focusing on a delimited part of the research area of biology and may include field studies, experiments, theoretical studies, or a combination of these.

Work duties

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which include participating in research projects and third-cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties, up to 20%.

Ancient DNA (aDNA) has changed history studies, enabling us to analyze early genetic variation directly. In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the amount of collected aDNA and high-profile investigations. Still, insufficient information about the geographical origin and admixture has limited the usefulness of the collected data.

The project aims to develop population genetic models and investigate population history in human and microbial populations. We will study Viking and Israelite populations and bacteria collected from archeological sites. We ask questions like how, where, and when these populations migrated, how did they respond to epidemics, as well as the timing, rate, and extent of adaptive evolution in response to infectious diseases or changes in the environment.

We seek to recruit an excellent student interested in doing world-class research at a leading lab. The candidate will work jointly with Dr. Eran Elhaik and experts to develop statistical methods for projects in population genetics and infectious diseases.

This is a multi-disciplinary project involving programming and modeling. The successful applicant will develop and apply state-of-the-art paleogenomic tools and write the results for publication in scientific journals. The project will include collaborations with researchers in other disciplines, including biostatistics, cell biology, epidemiology, and molecular biology. It is also expected that the successful applicant will participate in the daily activities at the MCBU unit.

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 Master’s degree in quantitative genetics, computational biology, physics, computer science, statistics, or a similar field.
  • Practical experience with genetics, evolution, big data, or machine learning methods.
  • The candidate must know how to program in Python and R
  • Candidate must be driven with a good ability to work independently and as part of a group.
  • Good teaching skills.
  • Excellent oral and written proficiency in English.

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

  • Experience in data processing, statistical computing, and scripting in Javascript, C++ and MS Office Tools.
  • Training or experience with machine learning

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 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 should 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, grade transcripts, contact information for your references, and two letters of recommendation. Questions about this position can be emailed to Dr. Eran Elhaik,

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment As soon as possible, according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/2488
  • Eran Elhaik, Senior lecturer,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 07.Jul.2023
Last application date 14.Sep.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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