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 project is a part of the EU financed project “Bryomolecules”, which is focused on systematic bioprospecting of European bryophyte species in search for biologically active compounds. Bryomolecules is a collaborative project involving partners from Italy, France, Poland and Sweden.

The thesis project will investigate how secondary metabolite production is triggered in bryophytes under different cultivation conditions and in interaction with other plant species (allelopathic interactions). This will be done by employing axenic cultures of bryophytes in different cultivation systems (agar plates, liquid cultures and immersion type bioreactors). The bryophytes will be subject to different conditions in terms of light, water/nutrient availability and co-occurrence of other plants (bryophytes, vascular plants) in separate series of lab experiments. The results will be evaluated chemically by FTIR (infrared spectroscopy) and genetically by transcriptome analyses. The overall goals are to optimize production of secondary substances (internally stored as well as exudated) for industrial purposes but equally important for better understanding of the biological role of bryophyte secondary substances in natural habitats. 

The project work includes field collection of bryophytes, curation of axenic bryophyte cultures, experimental work with bioreactors, infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), DNA/RNA extractions, RNA library preparations and bioinformatic processing of next generation sequence data.

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, 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 biologi if the applicant has: 

  • MSc degree in Biology

Additional requirements:

  • Excellent oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Demonstrated ability for proactive and independent work.
  • MSc degree in plant biology (plant systematics, plant ecology, plant evolution or plant physiology) or equivalent
  • Practical experience in analysis and interpretation of genomic data.

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, e.g. professional experience.

Other assessment criteria:

  • Documented skills in bryophyte identification
  • Experience in bryophyte axenic cultivation techniques
  • Experience in knock-out gene construction and analyses
  • Practical experience in teaching

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

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment Preliminary 2024-09-01 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2024/2028
  • Ewa Kralik, HR-administratör, +46462227921,
  • Nils Cronberg, universitetslektor, +46462228974,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 13.Jun.2024
Last application date 31.Jul.2024 11:59 PM CEST
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