Doctoral Appointment in Biology

Updated: 16 days ago
Deadline: 30 Jun 2024

Sapere Aude—dare to be wise—is our motto. Our students and employees develop knowledge and expertise that enrich both people and the world around them. Our academic environment is characterised by curiosity, courage and perseverance. Gender equality, diversity and a democratic approach form the foundation of our organisation. We are located in an active and scenic region and we promote sustainable development in close collaboration with the wider society.
Karlstad University has a total of approximately 1,400 employees and 17,300 students spread across two inspiring campus environments in Karlstad and Arvika.
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The Faculty of Health, Science and Technology is now accepting applications for a doctoral studentship leading to a doctorate in Biology at the Department of Environmental and Life Sciences. The position is focused on aquatic ecology, specialising in fish and hydroelectric power. As a doctoral student, you will contribute to important knowledge about the connection between hydropower production and riverine biodiversity, which in turn will promote changes toward sustainable hydropower.

You are expected to conduct research in close collaboration with other researchers in the River Ecology and Management Research Group (RivEM), at the Department of Environmental and Life Sciences at Karlstad University. RivEM conducts both basic and applied research, focusing on river, streams, lakes and their surroundings. The group is interested in sustainable use of natural resources in catchment areas, and are dedicated to find solutions for environmental problems with benefits for both society and the environment. RivEM are involved in research areas such as the effects of hydropower production on river connectivity, aquatic and terrestrial habitats and their interconnections, winter ecology in relation to climate change, endangered species such as the European eel and freshwater mussels, conservation biology and socio-ecological research connected to river regulation and sport fishing. Many research projects are carried out in collaboration with industry, government agencies, NGOs and landowners. For more information, refer to: and .


Hydropower plays a central role as an electricity source. The production can be adjusted to meet changes in demand, and it is also used for stabilising the frequency of the power grid. However, hydropeaking (sub-daily changes in flow) disrupts natural flow patterns, which affect the organisms that live in or near rivers and the ecosystem services these organisms provide. As a doctoral student, your research will be conducted as a part of the PORTFOLIO project. The aim of the project is to examine how hydropeaking can be planned and as to maintain power production while minimising negative environmental effects. Focus is on the connection between hydropower production and biodiversity in rivers, in relation to future changes to the flow patterns.

Your main duties will be to (1) participate actively in the development of a theoretical framework for the production of hydropower and fish, in accordance to the portfolio concept, (2) develop and improve new and existing tools for examining fish production and migration hydropeaking rivers, and (3) analyse and predict future flow patterns and how such changes will affect the production potential for hydropower and fish populations. Duties include computer simulations, laboratory experiments and telemetry-based field studies.

As a doctoral student, you will primarily focus on your studies. The doctoral programme comprises 240 credits for a Degree of Doctor and 120 credits for a Degree of Licentiate. The doctoral appointment is a paid position that offers a combination of studies and work, and a great opportunity for a potential career in academia. Doctoral students are expected to work independently and be prepared to contribute to the activities and development of the discipline and the department. Teaching and administrative duties may also be included upon agreement, but will not constitute more than 20% of full-time. Work as a doctoral student allows for great freedom and flexibility in terms of how you structure your day. It takes commitment, discipline and a structured approach in order to successfully complete a doctoral thesis. Experienced supervisors offer guidance and support along the way. To contribute to a positive work environment and further the department’s activities, we expect you to be a present and active part of the day-to-day operations and workplace community.

Entry requirements

To be eligible for a doctoral studentship, applicants must meet the general and specific entry requirements (Higher Education Ordinance, Chap. 7, Sect. 35).

To meet the general entry requirements, applicants must have been awarded a second-cycle qualification, satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad (Higher Education Ordinance, Chap. 7 Sect. 39).

To meet the specific entry requirements for the doctoral programme in biology, applicants must hold at least 120 credits in biology, including a degree project at master’s level (of at least 15 credits). Applicants may also be eligible if they, in some other way, have acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or abroad.

Admission and assessment criteria

To be eligible for doctoral studies, the applicant must be considered to have the ability required to benefit from the programme (Higher Education Ordinance, Chap. 7, Sect. 35). Admission is based on individual assessment.

Special weight will be given to:

  • the applicant’s results in previous studies
  • the quality of any independent written assignments included in previous studies (BSc and MSc theses)
  • proficiency in English
  • the extent to which the applicant intends to be physically present and active in the research environment

Considerable weight will be given to:

  • expertise in aquatic ecology
  • analytical ability and expertise in data management and statistical analysis
  • experience in experimental studies and field work

Weight will be given to:

  • personal qualities such as good cooperative skills, sound judgement, ability to take responsibility, show commitment and a positive attitude toward colleagues as well as students

Valuable qualifications:

  • having a valid driver’s license (B)
  • experience in working with fish and hydropower
  • proficiency in Swedish


Upon admission to doctoral studies, the person will be offered the appointment of doctoral student (Higher Education Ordinance, Chap. 5, Sect. 3). The position comprises four years of full-time studies, or five years at a study rate of 80% with 20% teaching or other departmental duties. The position is fixed-term — one year initially, followed by possible extensions by a maximum of two years at a time. Start date by agreement. The start date is 1 September 2024 unless otherwise agreed by both parties.

The salary for the doctoral studentship corresponds to the standard level of salary for doctoral students and progresses in accordance with a local collective agreement.

Additional information

Karlstad University places great value on the enriching presence of diverse backgrounds and gender balance in the organisation. We welcome applicants with different cultural backgrounds, gender identities, functional abilities, and life experiences.


Submit the application via the University’s web-based recruitment tool, Varbi.

Applicants are responsible for submitting a complete application in accordance with the advertisement, for providing translations of any documents written in a language other than Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or English, and for ensuring that the documentation allows for objective and qualitative assessments. A complete application should be submitted by the application deadline. An incomplete application may jeopardise a fair assessment of qualifications.

The application should include:

  • a cover letter where the applicant details the reasons behind their interest in the position,
  • a CV
  • degree certificate with a complete transcript of the courses included, or a certified list of completed courses with grades and dates
  • a copy of Master’s thesis (60 or 120 credits), or equivalent
  • a copy of Bachelor’s thesis, or equivalent
  • where applicable, copies of publications or certificates for other qualifications
  • any letters of recommendation
  • two references, such as a teacher, supervisor, or former or current manager

Attach all the documents and publications you wish to be considered to the electronic application (do not provide links only). Name each uploaded document to clearly indicate its content.

Documents that cannot be submitted electronically should be sent to the following address:

Karlstads universitet, HR-administratör, 651 88 KARLSTAD

Application deadline: 30 June 2024

State the reference number: REK 2024/104

Applicants with qualifications from abroad

If you have qualifications from a university outside Sweden or if they have not been recognised by a Swedish authority before, it is important that you attach degree certificates and official transcripts to facilitate the recognition of foreign qualifications.

Provide a contact for the degree-awarding institution (phone number or email) who can verify your qualifications.

We look forward to your application!

Karlstad University has chosen advertising channels for this recruitment and firmly declines any contact with advertising or recruitment agencies.

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