Doctoral student in Biology (PA2021/898)

Updated: 16 days ago
Deadline: 24 Apr 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.

Subject description
Urbanization and climate change are currently the most pervasive threats to biodiversity. Poor air quality is a large problem linked to urbanization, and soot is considered to be the major cause of reduced human health. Despite interventions, soot is not declining in Swedish cities. In addition, soot contributes to the urban heat island effect. Birds and insects are highly exposed to both ambient temperatures and pollutants due to their faster metabolic (respiratory) rates, smaller size and their abundance in urban environments. Despite this, the impact and knowledge of temperature-dependent toxicity of soot inhalation in these taxonomic groups are lacking.

Work duties
Two broad objectives will be part of the project. First, by using an experimental approach, the effects of soot at different ambient temperatures on birds’ and bees’ respiration, oxidative stress, metabolome, and gene expression will be investigated. Second, field studies will be performed in replicated cities to establish the ecological relevance of the controlled experiments. This will be done in established populations of great tits, along with mist-netting house sparrows and outdoor cages for bumble bees. The main scientific goal of the project is to unravel novel pathways and biomarkers for large-scale monitoring of wildlife health.
The candidate is expected to participate and run her/his own experiments and collect tissue samples both from captive and wild birds and bumble bees, and then analyze them in the lab. The student is then expected to run statistical analyses and write scientific papers. The project is highly interdisciplinary, combining many different fields of biology (ecology, molecular biology and ecotoxicology) along with physics (in collaboration with aerosol physicians at LTH).

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses (60 credits). The work duties will also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

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.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in biology if he or she has:

  • passed an independent project (e.g., degree project) of at least 30 credits in a relevant subject and have good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Equivalent knowledge acquired through corresponding programs will be assessed individually.
  • To enable interdisciplinary initiatives and important specializations in certain areas, students with qualifications in subjects other than Biology may be considered for admission.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English
  • Driving license category B
  • Candidates should have obtained an advanced university degree (M.SC. or equivalent experience) either in Biology, Molecular Biology, Environmental Science, or equivalent fields.

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.

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. 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 §§.

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.).
Certificate of Bachelors and Master’s degrees
Transcripts of Bachelors and Master’s degrees

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