Doctoral student in Water Resources Engineering focusing on Microbiology

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 12 Jun 2024

24 May 2024
Job Information

Lunds universitet

Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, Building & Environmental Technology
Research Field

Engineering » Water resources engineering
Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

12 Jun 2024 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Description of the workplace

The Division of Water Resources Engineering, within the Department of Building and Environmental Technology, carries out research and teaching addressing engineering aspects of how water and materials are transported in natural and urban systems. The division has about 30 employees and a total of 20 doctoral students. The doctoral position is offered within water quality, specifically directed towards microbial aspects of water quality. This will include work with natural water bodies as well as engineered water environments such as drinking water production, from a microbial perspective.

The Department of Building and Environmental Technology has a stimulating and international environment consisting of PhD students, postdocs and teachers from many parts of the world. Here, research and teaching take place in an open and progressive climate with challenges and collaborations both within academia and with industry partners, both nationally and internationally. The work environment is characterized by commitment, collaboration, creativity and personal responsibility.

Project description

This position is to work within a group of researchers including PhD students and other students working with DNA sequencing, flow cytometry and traditional laboratory experiments to characterize different aspects associated with the microbiomes of sediments and water. This specific project will use DNA-based methods combined with traditional microbial analysis to investigate cyanobacteria and other bacteria from drinking water source to distribution. This project will link the doctoral student to a number of external stakeholders, including the Swedish Geological Survey, Swedish drinking water producers, and the international network within the Horizon Europe project FARMWISE, coordinated by Lund University 

Work duties

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 (no more than 20%).

You will take part in activities (e.g., seminars) at the water resources engineering division. You will be responsible for conducting laboratory experiments to optimize growth of different bacteria, while also analysing DNA-based data to describe both individual bacteria as well as microbial populations. You will have the opportunity to conduct environmental sampling in different contexts around Sweden, and travel to project meetings as well as national and international scientific conferences. 

Detailed description of the work duties:

  • Maintaining cyanobacteria cultures
  • Managing DNA sequencing projects including data delivery and storage
  • Organizing sampling campaigns
  • Writing reports and presenting scientific findings to diverse stakeholders
  • Managing large data sets including DNA-based descriptions of bacteria generated by flow cytometry, whole genome or microbiome DNA sequencing, and accompanying metadata.

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 Water Resources Engineering if the applicant has: 

  • At least 120 credits in subjects of relevance to the field of research, including at least 75 second-cycle credits in a relevant field for the subject area, or
  • A second-cycle degree in Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, or similar.

Additional requirements:

  • Laboratory skills for isolation and culturing of specific bacteria and/or cyanobacteria.
  • Experience in analyzing DNA sequences generated by shot gun metagenomics and/or amplicon sequencing and metadata using R or python. 
  • Experience of conducting independent work in a laboratory context.
  • Understanding of freshwater and other bacteria of environmental origin, and/or microbes in an industrial context, preferably related to drinking water treatment.
  • Excellent skills in written and spoken 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.
  • Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience. 
  • Other assessment criteria:

    • Experience in applying statistics and basic machine learning to biological data.
    • Experience communicating with non-academic stakeholders.
    • Experience applying for, and receiving, funding for research or educational activities.

    Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

    We offer

    Lund University is a public authority which means that employees get particular benefits, generous annual leave and an advantageous occupational pension scheme. Read more on the University website about being a Lund University employee Work at Lund University . 

    Terms of employment 

    Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH 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 §§.

    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.).

    Welcome to apply!

    Research Field
    Education Level
    Master Degree or equivalent

    Additional Information
    Work Location(s)
    Number of offers available
    Lunds universitet

    Where to apply




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