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 of all living things. It encompasses everything from processes at the molecular and cellular levels to global processes at the ecosystem level. The subject is divided into a range of sub-disciplines and specializations. The PhD program at the Department of Biology includes many of these specializations, 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%.

Next-generation sequencing has revolutionized the fields of microbiome and forensics, allowing us to tackle new questions, such as the relationships between microbiomes and geography and its potential applications for forensic investigations, which is the topic of this project.

We are on a quest to answer thrilling questions such as: Can we track an object or person to a crime scene using bacterial signatures? Can we locate hostages by tracing their bacterial trails? Our collaboration with the National Forensic Centre will allow us to apply our cutting-edge tools to real-world cases and impact on society.

You will be part of two prestigious consortia: the MetaSUB consortium and the European MSCA program dedicated to forensics. This is your chance to be at the forefront of groundbreaking research, pushing the boundaries of science, and making a real difference in forensics.

We seek to recruit an excellent PhD student interested in doing world-class research at a leading lab. The position is suited for someone trained in engineering, computer science, and computational biology and has a strong quantitative background. Candidates should have solid computational skills, at least in Python and R. Candidates are also expected to have a strong grounding in math/statistics. The candidate will work jointly with Dr. Eran Elhaik and experts to develop forensic tools.

This is a multi-disciplinary project involving programming, modeling, and field testing. You will develop and apply state-of-the-art microbial forensic tools and publish the results in scientific journals. The project includes collaborations with researchers in other disciplines in forensics. You will also participate in the daily activities at the MCBU unit.

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programs 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 they have 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 biostatistics, computational biology, computer science, statistics, engineering, or a similar field.
  • Practical experience in big data or machine learning methods.
  • The candidate must know how to program in Python and R.
  • The candidate must be driven and can 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
  • Experience in microbiology or forensics

Special requirements

Because this position is funded by the Horizon Europan Research & Innovation program, there are several additional requirements concerning mobility.

  • You MUST NOT hold a doctoral degree.
  • You should have NO residency or main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 36 months before the recruitment date.
  • You can be of any nationality, as long as you fulfill the point above regarding residency or main activity.

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 cycles. Special attention is paid to the following:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  • An assessment of the 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 program.

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 four 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 program 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 January 1st, 2025 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2024/963
  • 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 22.Apr.2024
Last application date 12.Aug.2024 11:59 PM CEST
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