PhD Position in Natural Science

University of Gothenburg Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences

PhD Position in Natural Science, specializing in Biology

Ref PAR 2021/57


The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 49 000 students and 6 400 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

At the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences (BioEnv) we have teaching and research activities that stretch from the alpine ecosystem, through forests, cultivated land and streams, all the way into the marine environment. In these environments we study different levels of biological organisation from genes, individuals and populations, to communities and ecosystems. We work within ecology, evolution, physiology, systematics and combinations of these fields in order to understand the impact of natural and anthropogenic changes of the environment.

The department is placed at three different localities: in Gothenburg Botanical garden, at Medicinarberget in Gothenburg and Kristineberg Marine Research Station. The current position is placed at Medicinarberget in Gothenburg.

Project description

This project will focus on movement patterns of sea trout in their spawning stream and their survival during migration towards the sea. To overall aim is to examine how the migration distance of adult sea trout (from the sea to the spawning ground) correlates with the behaviour, growth and survival of their offspring. We will also predict the production of seaward migrating juveniles (smolts) based on detailed habitat mapping and juvenile densities in streams ranging in latitude from France to Norway. There will be opportunities for the students to frame hers/his research areas based on personal interest within this framework. The student will work in close collaboration with a network of scientist across Europe and be closely linked to an ICES working group on sea trout. Main supervisor will be professor Johan Höjesjö from the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and co supervisor; professor Eva Thorstad from the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.

Job assignments

The main task is to conduct the PhD thesis work under supervision, which includes development of the PhD student’s methodology experience, analytical skills, and theoretical depth and breadth. Techniques used within the project will involve telemetry (passive integrated transponder and stationary antennae’s) and modelling of habitat in relation to densities of juveniles and smolt production. The studies will be a combination of field and laboratory work. Certain periods may be spent as field work in Sweden but also other countries such as United Kingdom, Norway or France. Specific research topics associated with the research project include migration and behavioural ecology.

Third cycle education

Admission to third cycle education is aiming at a PhD in Natural Science, specializing in Biology. The education runs for four years of fulltime studies, containing three years of thesis work and one year of academic education (i.e. course work and literature studies). A selection of courses at the Department/Faculty is available, but national/international courses can also be selected.  Some teaching and/or course administration can be included which extends the contract to the same extent.


To be eligible for third-cycle studies, the applicant must meet both the general and specific entry requirements. A person meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle courses and study programs if she/he:
1. has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
3. has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

To meet the specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies, applicants must:
1. have a second-cycle (advanced-level) degree in a relevant* subject area in the natural sciences, or
2. have completed studies for at least 60 higher education credits at a second-cycle level in relevant subject areas in the natural sciences, or
3. have completed a corresponding programme of relevance to the planned third-cycle programme, in Sweden or in another country, or have equivalent qualifications.

*Relevant subject for the planned third-cycle education is Biology.


Rules regarding education and employment on a doctoral level you will find in Higher Education Ordinance (HF, SFS 1993:100). Only applicants who are admitted to the postgraduate level may be hired. Upon appointment the degree of ability to successfully complete the PhD program must firstly be evaluated.

We are seeking a motivated person for PhD studies in Biology with emphasis on migratory patterns and behavioral/population ecology in sea trout.

In addition to the requirements listed above the applicants also need to:

  • Possess excellent communication skills, written and spoken, in English.
  • Have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

It is advantageous/beneficial if the applicants also has:

  • Driving licence
  • In depth knowledge in remote telemetry techniques using Passive integrated transponder tags (PIT tags) and antennae’s.
  • Documented experience on mathematical modelling and statistics.
  • Previous merits from scientific publishing.

The application should preferably be written in English and must include:

  • A short cover letter with the applicant’s justification for the application, i.e., that describes how the applicant meets the selection criteria
  • An attested list of qualifications (CV)
  • Examination certificates and a transcript of courses with grades
  • A copy of the Master thesis (or equivalent)
  • Employments certificates and other documents deemed important by the applicant

The top ranked candidates will be selected for an interview, which might be held in English and could also be performed by Skype/Zoom.

How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

For further information please contact

Johan Höjesjö, Professor, becoming supervisor
Phone: +46 31 786 36 36

Henrik Aronsson, Professor and Head of Department
Phone: +46 31 786 48 02



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Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.