Doctoral student in Biology (PA2020/4281)

Updated: about 10 hours ago
Deadline: 28 Feb 2021

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Sciences. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.


Project description and work duties
Birds use powered flight as their main mode of locomotion, allowing efficient exploitation of their habitat and long-distance migration. Flight costs (power consumption) can be described by a flight mechanical model, which generally results in a U-shaped function of speed. Until recently it has been difficult to measure the aerodynamic power output and thereby testing the validity of the flight mechanical model. However, by using high-speed motion capture of body and wing movement it is possible to estimate flight power, as well as by measuring, using Particle Image Velocimetry, the kinetic energy added to the wake by the flapping wings. In this project, different approaches of estimating power required to fly at different speeds will be applied to different species, with the overall aim to carefully evaluate flight dynamics and efficiency of bird flight. A key component of the project is to explore the effect of body and wing shape on flight costs in a few bird, and possibly also bat, species. The experiments will mainly be carried out in the Lund University low-turbulence wind tunnel, which is equipped with state-of-the-art techniques appropriate to conduct the research.

Required qualifications
The applicant should have a master’s degree or equivalent in biology (ecology, zoology or functional morphology) or fluid mechanics (or related topic). Theoretical as well as practical skills are valued highly. Documented programming skills is a requirement.To be able to read and write academic texts in English is a requirement.
Important qualifications are creative problem solving ability, to take responsibility for and finish projects independently and to have stamina.

Admission requirements
A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes 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.

Theoretical as well as practical skills are valued highly, such as the ability to analyse and develop theoretical models and to design and carry out experiments. Documented programming skills is a requirement.  To be able to read and write academic texts in English is a requirement.
Important qualifications are creative problem solving ability, to take responsibility for and finish projects independently and to have stamina.

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.
  • The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

    Terms of employment
    Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§. Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at Lund University consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 4 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.
    Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

    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
    Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.


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