PhD position in Plant Breeding

Updated: 25 days ago

Department of Plant Breeding

The Department of Plant Breeding conducts research, education, and innovation work of strategic importance for society's long-term supply of food, industrial raw materials, and energy to meet the increasing demands for these resources and, at the same time, make plant production increasingly environmentally friendly and energy efficient. Together, we expand knowledge that helps develop society sustainably. We collaborate with growers and industries to cultivate the crops of the future, actively shaping the contents of tomorrow's consumer plates. We are a workplace that has grown numerically in recent years with a significant number of international employees.

This doctoral announcement is one of a total of four doctoral students being presently recruited to the department. Funding for these positions is part of the faculty's investment in 10 doctoral students in 2024, with additional co-funding from the Department of Plant Breeding.

More information about the 10 doctoral students:

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at SLU at

Can the integration of ecological theory with quantitative genetics transform disease resistance breeding?
Research subject: Biology

This interdisciplinary PhD project has a focus on plant breeding research for maximizing yield while safeguarding the environment. Traditional monoculture practices, though efficient in yield, often lead to reduced genetic diversity, rendering crops vulnerable to diseases. Achieving a sustainable cultivation system means diving deep into understanding how plants interact, both with other plants and with other organisms in their environment, combining insights from ecology, evolutionary biology and quantitative genetics.

The goal of the PhD thesis is thus to uncover the genetic basis of disease resistance by integrating genetics, ecology and integrated pest management (IPM). The PhD thesis aims to understand what regions of the plant genome promote synergistic effects to defend against the pathogens when grown as cultivar mixtures. Employing cutting-edge molecular techniques and genomic tools, the PhD project seeks to identify specific genes and genomic regions that facilitate plant-plant and plant-pathogen interactions. Ultimately, this PhD project strives to pave the way for the development of resilient plant varieties capable of thriving in diverse environments, promoting biodiversity for sustainable agricultural while mitigating the risks associated with disease outbreaks.


We are looking for a candidate who is interested in interdisciplinary plant science research. You are qualified to be admitted to postgraduate education if you have a MSc degree or four years full-time studies of which at least one year at advanced level. For this position, your degree / studies must have a focus on biology, bioinformatics, plant pathology, plant breeding, plant ecology or equivalent. Knowledge of statistics and experience in R is required. You should have the ability to work independently as well as in a team. You should be motivated, and have excellent English language skills.

Place of work:      


Forms for funding or employment:

Employment (4 years)

Starting date:

According to agreement. 


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2024-05-27.

To qualify for third-cycle (Doctoral) courses and study programmes, you must have a second-cycle (Master’s) qualification. Alternatively, you must have conducted a minimum of four years of full-time study, of which a minimum of one year at second-cycle level.

Applicants will be selected based on their written application and CV, degree project, copies of their degree certificate and transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution, two personal references, and knowledge of English. More information about the English language requirements can be found here:

Please note that applicants invited to interview must submit attested copies of their degree certificate, or equivalent, a transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution. Applicants who are not Swedish citizens need to submit an attested copy of their passport’s information page containing their photograph and personal details.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

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