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

Soils contain large amounts of organic matter, despite the presence of an immense and starved decomposer community. This PhD project aims to increase our understanding of this seemingly paradoxical accumulation of organic compounds in soils, focusing on the part of soil organic matter deriving from dead microbes (“necromass”). We want to investigate the quality and persistence of microbial necromass, depending on the microbes’ death circumstances. To study microbial necromass dynamics we will use transparent, microfluidic soil models, developed in our lab, that allow us to employ microspatial structures as experimental factors and give us high control over experimental conditions. The project is laboratory based, using a toolbox of recently developed methods involving a set of chip designs and analyses including fluorescence microscopy, in-situ micro spectroscopy and AI-based image analysis of soil microbes. The involves experiments with both sterile cultures and communities from soil inoculations.

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, but no more than 20%.


Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the applicant:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification (typically a master degree), 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 degree in biology, ecology, microbiology with environmental focus, soil science with a biological focus, or any other focus of relevance for this project
  • Experience in experimentation including setting up an experimental design, conducting data acquisition, analysis and interpretation.
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.


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 Good cooperation and ability to work well in the research group.

Other assessment criteria:

  • Experience in laboratory- and sterile work with cultures of microbes, or the strong interest to learn.
  • Experience in micro spectroscopy (Raman/FT-IR) is a merit; the strong interest to learn is a requirement.
  • Programming Skills: Basic experience or familiarity with coding languages such as Python, MATLAB, R or any foundational coding knowledge is a merit. A strong willingness to develop programming skills is essential.
  • Experience with molecular community identification is a merit

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.

Terms 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 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, the contact information for two references, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Type of employment Temporary position
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2024/1925
  • Edith Hammer, rekryterande chef,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 05.Jun.2024
Last application date 07.Aug.2024 11:59 PM CEST
Login and apply

Share links

Return to job vacancies