PhD student in Plant Biotechnology

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 30 May 2024

3 May 2024
Job Information

Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Research Field

Agricultural sciences » Agricultural products
Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

30 May 2024 - 22:00 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Reference Number

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description
Department of Plant Breeding

SLU’s Department of Plant Breeding (VF), located in Alnarp (near Lund and Malmö, in Skåne, southern Sweden), focuses on research, education and innovation work of strategic importance for a sustainable and profitable cultivation of crops for production of plant-based food, feed and industrial products in a changing climate. The Department is recognized as a multidisciplinary, innovative, and creative research institute working on current and future challenges. It comprises about 100 staff and co-workers that includes professors, docents, researchers, postdocs, PhD-students and support staff and is organized in three divisions, namely, Plant Breeding, Plant Biotechnology, and Plant Product Quality. The research efforts include strategic as well as applied research. VF uses a wide range of techniques –from field experiments and characterisation of agricultural biodiversity to genetics, genomics, biotechnology, biochemistry, physical chemistry, physiology, and modelling. As an integral part of the activities, the department also run two public plant breeding programs in apples and potatoes.

We are now looking for a PhD student to the Division of Plant Biotechnology. Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at SLU at

This doctoral announcement is one of total 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.

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

Name of research project/thesis: Enhanced starch structure and yield by genome editing in potato
Research subject Biology

In order to supply people in the future with food and animals with feed, and at the same time convert to a bio-based economy within the industry, increased knowledge about what regulates plant storage products and quantity within the farming is needed. The most commonly used storage products of plants are starch, oil and protein. In our research area, we are studying the genetic mechanisms behind the synthesis of these products in order to better understand and genetically control quantities of storage products and their quality. This PhD project will specifically focus on mechanisms that control the biosynthesis of starch by using technologies as genome editing, molecular biology and biochemistry. The PhD student project will be in close cooperation with researchers, postdocs, PhD students and technicians in our research group in Alnarp as well as a research group at the Department of Molecular Sciences at SLU in Ultuna.

In the project, the doctoral student will use modern plant breeding techniques, based on CRISPR-Cas9, to introduce targeted edits in the potato's genome with the goal of studying enzymatic mechanisms and to modify starch structure and yield. The work will include genomics, various molecular biology techniques, cell isolation and transfection, tissue culture, greenhouse experiments, analysis of enzymatic activities and interactions, and starch structure and yield.


We are looking for an ambitious and motivated doctoral student with an interest in practical experimental biology and good ability to work in a collaborative research environment as well as independently. Applicants should have a master's degree or equivalent in plant biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, plant physiology or related subject areas. Documented experience of practical work with plant tissue culture and molecular biology methods is a merit. Special emphasis is placed on the personal characteristics, communication skills and the applicant must be analytical and accurate. The working language is English and excellent written and spoken communication in English is a requirement.

Place of work:      


Forms for funding or employment:

Employment (4 years)

Starting date:

24-09-01 or according to agreement


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2024-05-31.

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.

Research Field
Agricultural sciences
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent


Research Field
Agricultural sciences » Other
Years of Research Experience
1 - 4

Additional Information
Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Postal Code
Sundsvägen 10

Where to apply



Sundsvägen 10
Postal Code



Similar Positions