PhD position in Smell from nature and reduction of human stress in cities

Updated: 2 months ago

Department of Urban and Rural development

The Department of Urban and Rural Development is located on SLU's main campus in Uppsala, and conducts education, research and collaboration in the subjects of agricultural history, rural development, landscape architecture and environmental communication. The department also has the Swedish Centre for Nature Interpretation, Swedish Biodiversity Center, and Sida's Helpdesk for Environment and Climate Changes. For more information, see

Project description:

Present knowledge on how natural smells contribute to stress reduction and stress prevention is vaguely studied. Smell and well-being is limited to a few plant species, and there is a lack of in-situ knowledge. Further, cities and urban greenery have a design and management that is biased towards visual perception although humans experience the landscape with all our senses, including smell.

As a PhD student, you will be working in a financed project with the overarching goal to create urban environments that both inoculates and reduce stress using sensory stimuli from all our senses but with a focus on our sense of smell. This project will provide a base for future research connected to the multisensory integration (sight, sound and smell) of biodiversity and health promoting urban planning.

The position is funded by FORMAS and more details can be found in the link.

You will perform your work in close collaboration with a main supervisor and two experienced co-supervisors. In order to be able to offer a good education for the doctoral student and for the student to be able to contribute to the development of the research group, we assume that the doctoral student will be on site in Uppsala in the everyday work.


Because the research is transdisciplinary in character, the successful applicant may have a Master in any of the disciplines: environmental psychology, landscape architecture, neuropsychology, human geography, environmental communication, urban ecology or equivalent. Having experience in conducting interviews is meriting as are prior studies of multisensory experiences. Fluent English language, both in writing and speaking is required. 

Place of work:



100% for 4 years

Starting date:

1 May 2023 or according to agreement


We welcome your application no later than 2023-04-01, submitted through the site linked below. The application must contain: i) a cover letter motivating why you are applying for this position, how you may contribute to the position and, what you would like to discover in this project (max 1 page), ii) your current CV, including a list of master thesis and eventual publications, and iii) contact information with a minimum of two references.

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is a world-class international university with research, education and environmental assessment within the sciences for sustainable life. Its principal sites are in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, but activities are also conducted at research stations, experimental parks and educational establishments throughout Sweden. We bring together people who have different perspectives, but they all have one and the same goal: to create the best conditions for a sustainable, thriving and better world.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses.

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