Phd student, research subject

Ref SLU ua 2018.2.5.1-4899

Department of Animal Nutrition and Management

The Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, SLUoffers an inspiring research environment where we study metabolic processes and nutrient utilization in animals, management in various animal production systems, including extensive (pastoral) herding systems and precision livestock-framing systems. Within the Reindeer husbandry research area our goal is to develop knowledge that strengthens the long-term sustainability of reindeer husbandry and provides tools that help the industry to cope with external stress from natural factors as well as other industry and human activities on the land. The research focuses on production conditions for reindeer husbandry and interaction with the surrounding world.

Feeding reindeer for future free-range functionality


Extensive herding systems, like reindeer husbandry, make use of animals’ natural adaptation to the environment and their ability to transfer otherwise underutilised resources into meat and other products. In reindeer husbandry winter-feeding has increased due to competing land use activities and climate change. This may be beneficial in the short-term, but might risk the animals’ future ability to make use of the natural forage resource and reduce the possibility to utilise natural pastures. In this project we will seek explanations for this and develop knowledge about a best practice of winter-feeding for reindeer and other animals to avoid possible deterioration of foraging performance on natural pastures.


The PhD-project is part of an international collaboration where the doctoral student will work on interviewing reindeer herders, with feed trails on reindeer calves and analysis of GPS-data. In the project, the doctoral student will participate in, and partly be responsible for, collecting experience-based knowledge (interviews and workshops) from reindeer herders in Sweden and Finland regarding feeding and reindeer behaviour. In addition, a feeding trial with reindeer calves with subsequent behavioural studies where the reindeer graze on the natural pastures will be carried out. GPS and tracking in the field will be used to follow the movements of animals, immediately after feeding and in subsequent winter. Animal body weight and condition scoring will be used to assess the animals’ ability to utilise natural pastures after feeding.


The applicant shall hold an academic degree at the advanced level. A suitable degree is agronomist in animal science, a master’s degree in animal science or biology or equivalent education. Interviews with reindeer herders, and trials in the field in collaboration with reindeer herders, mean that it is necessary to communicate in Swedish. Ability to speak well in Swedish as well as English is a requirement, as well as good computer skills. Experience in scientific studies, behaviour studies, analysis of GPS-data and field work, as well as experience with animal experiments are merits as well as knowledge of Sami and/or Finnish. Emphasis is also on good teamwork, ability, independence and personal suitability for the tasks. For the job it is required that you have a driving license.

The application can be written in Swedish or English and should contain a maximum of one A4 page explaining why you want to work with research in general and this project in particular. Enter the name and contact details of two reference persons in your application.

Place of work:


Forms for funding or employment:

Four-year, full time, employment as PhD-student 

Starting date:

1 of April 2019 or upon agreement.


We welcome your application no later than 2019-02-15, 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 is made with reference to written application including curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, one copy of the dessertation for masters or undergraduate degree, a list of at least two references familiar with the applicant’s qualifications, certified knowledge of the English language and 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 apssport with your personal data and phograghy.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. The university ranks well internationally within its subject areas. SLU is a research-intensive university that also offers unique degree programmes in for example rural development and natural resource management, environmental economics, animal science and landscape architecture.

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 in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala.

SLU is an equal opportunity employer.

Contact person

Anna Skarin

+46 (0)18 671954

Read the job description at the university homepage


Post expires on Friday February 15th, 2019