Two PhD student positions at the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology

Updated: 18 days ago

The Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, SLU, is looking for two Ph.D. students who in collaboration with the forestry company Stora Enso and the Swedish Forest Nursery Association (Föreningen Sveriges skogsplantproducenter) will work in projects about fungal diseases of forest tree seedlings in nurseries, storage, and after their outplanting.

The Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology undertakes fundamental and applied research focused on interactions involving plants, pathogenic, symbiotic and saprotrophic fungi and other microorganisms and their role in forest and agricultural systems. The forest industry is one of the economic most important sectors and employ tens of thousands of people in Sweden. Swedish forests grow is more than what is harvested yearly which is sustained by the plantation of more than 400 million tree seedlings annually. The overall aim for the projects is to increase the knowledge on seedling damage and pathogens to be able to develop a more sustainable tree seedling production.

The PhD student of the first position will work on emerging fungal diseases in Swedish forest nurseries. The project will investigate the species identity, genetic population structure and pathogenicity of fungal individuals from different phylogenetic groups as well as to investigate how and under which conditions the infection of tree seedlings takes place, and investigate which are the most effective means to control these diseases.

The PhD student of the second position will investigate best practices of seedling production, storage, and planting in order to suppress and mitigate fungal disease. This project will investigate risks for the establishment and development of pathogenic fungi in production, storage, and outplanting, as well as methods for mitigating diseases by analysing factors that support plant health and vitality.

Most of the time the students will be working on their PhD project but they will also work directly with projects at nurseries together with forest companies.  


We are looking for two highly motivated persons who have a higher university degree (Degree of Master or Master of Science) in Forest Science, Horticultural Science, Agronomy or Biology or in similar subjects. Documented experience in plant cultivation, forest or plant pathology, microbiology, mycology or molecular biology as well as knowledge in statistics is highly valued. Since the position will include working at several different tree nurseries, a driver’s license (B) is required. The candidate should have good communication skills. Written and spoken English is required, while written and spoken Swedish is highly valued. Personal characteristics like accuracy and capacity for independent work is highly valued. Being analytic and strong in team building is a merit.


For both positions, the main workplace will be at SLU Ultuna campus in Uppsala, however, the project will require traveling to forest tree nurseries all over Sweden.


Full time PhD student position.

Start date:

According to agreement.


We welcome your application no later than 2023-01-08, use the button below.

A person has basic eligibility for third cycle education if he or she has taken a second cycle qualification or has completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second cycle education. Upper secondary school grades equivalent to English B/English 6 are a basic requirement.

Selection among applicants meeting the requirements will be made with reference to the written application, which has to include curriculum vitae, PDF copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, a PDF copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree, a list of at least two references familiar with the applicant's qualifications, and certified knowledge of the English language. Selected candidates will be called to an interview.

Please observe that applicant/s chosen to participate in an interview shall hand in certified true copies of certificates, diplomas and transcripts from previous studies at an internationally recognized higher education institution (university or university college) and transcripts in connection to the interview. If the applicant is a foreign citizen, we require a certified copy of the page in your passport with your personal data and a photography.

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Swedish Forest Nursery Association is an organization that represents about 10 companies that produce and/or sell forest tree seedlings from about 20 units in Sweden. According to the Swedish Forestry Agency, a total of 400-450 million forest tree seedlings are sold each year and the majority are sold by the member companies. The association mainly works with authority contacts, collaboration issues, research and development and spreading knowledge. 

Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable products in packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction and paper, and one of the largest private forest owners in the world. Stora Ensos nurseries in Sweden produce approximately 60 million tree seedlings every year. Half of the production is used in Stora Enso forests, the other half is sold to other forest owners.

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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