PhD student in Forest industrial production systems (Forest health)


Reference number: HR-2023/319

Welcome to Linnaeus University! We meet the societal challenges of today and tomorrow in a spirit of openness, curiosity and creativity. By creating arenas for exchange of knowledge from different subjects, fields and cultures, we open up for new ideas and create new opportunities for long-term sustainable societal development. Linnaeus University – where people grow.

The Faculty of Technology strives to ensure that Linnaeus University’s vision permeates all activities, with a focus on the keywords: Attractive knowledge environment, Excellent research, Social drive, and Global values. The Faculty of Technology has broad operations spanning ten different departments through which Linnaeus University provides education and conducts research. The Department of Forestry and Wood Technology conducts thematic education and research activities that range from seedlings to finished technical wood products. Forests as a resource with their climate benefits throughout the entire life cycle and the forest-based value chain are the focus of activities at the institution. To its growing team of forest scientists, the department is now looking for a highly motivated individual with a genuine interest in forest health research.

Admitted to: Forest industrial production systems
Place of work: Växjö, Sweden
Type and terms of employment: Employment (full-time) as a doctoral student is limited according to chapter 5, section 7 of the Higher Education Ordinance. The total employment period may not be longer than the equivalent full-time postgraduate studies of four years. The Higher Education Ordinance states that those who are employed as PhD students must primarily engage in their own education. However, an employee may to limited extent work with education and administration. Such work may, before the doctoral degree has been completed, not cover more than 20% of full-time work.
Start date: As soon as possible

Work description
Fungal-like Phytophthora species that cause root damage to forest trees are on the rise in many parts of the world, including in southern Sweden. By reducing the stability of the trees, they cause both financial losses for the forest owner and pose a safety risk in recreational areas. These pathogens spread through international plant trade and transport and once established in the soil or waterways they are virtually impossible to eradicate. Thus, the subsequent vegetation, including planted or naturally regenerated tree seedlings, must be able to coexist with the infection. However, there is little experimental evidence on the consequences of Phytophthora infection for the long-term development of the forest.

The goal of the PhD project is to develop new knowledge about the ability of deciduous forests to recover from damage caused by soil-borne Phytophthora species, above all in protected areas where natural regeneration is a prerequisite for the forest’s continued development. The project uses field studies and controlled greenhouse experiments to obtain detailed information about the effects of Phytophthora infection on the early development, mortality, growth and stress of oak and beech seedlings. Through physiological measurements (metabolism, photosynthesis) and advanced image analysis methods, the plants’ responses to the infection are studied. The PhD project also includes responsibility for research communication, which means participating in national and international meetings, as well as writing and publishing both popular science articles and scientific articles.

A person fulfils the general entry requirements if she/he has:

– Graduated at advanced level in the relevant field

– Completed undergraduate program of at least 240 ECTS, including 60 ECTS at the advanced level, or the equivalent knowledge obtained in or outside of Sweden.

Specific requirements

– At least 90 ETCS in subjects relating to the proposed research subject or equivalent knowledge acquired in any other manner within or outside of Sweden

– Good language skills in Swedish and/or English

– Finally, it is required that applicants are judged to have the ability needed to complete the education

Other requirements

The successful applicant is expected to demonstrate strong quantitative and analytical skills, as well as excellent communication skills in English, both verbally and in writing. A driver’s license is required for the position.

Desirable qualifications
Practical experience with forest pathology, forest regeneration, or the collection and analysis of spectral data, as well as knowledge of the Swedish language, are considered as merits.

Basis of assessment
Selection for postgraduate education is based on the assessed ability to cope with the demands of postgraduate education. The assessment of the ability is primarily based on the study results at the first level and advanced levels. The following aspects will be considered:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the topic of the project and the educational subject. These can be shown through the attached documents.
  2. Assessed ability to work independently and ability to formulate and approach scientific problems. The assessment can, for example, contemplate the degree project and a discussion about it during a possible interview.
  3. Ability for written and oral communication in English.
  4. Other experiences relevant to the education at the postgraduate level, e.g., professional experience.

Consideration will also be given to good cooperation skills, independence, and personal suitability, as well as how the applicant, through her/his experience and competence, is judged to have the ability needed to complete the postgraduate education.

Application procedure
The application must contain:

– A personal letter explaining why you are interested in the position and how the research project matches your interests and educational background

– CV

– Degree certificate or equivalent, a copy of the thesis or the equivalent, alternatively a summary if the work has not been completed

– Other things you wish to refer to (copies of grades, information about references, letters of recommendation, etc.)

– Completed application form

Further information:
Head of department Erika Olofsson, e-mail:
Main supervisor Johanna Witzell, e-mail:  
HR-partner Jesper Pettersson, e-mail:

Welcome with you application according to instruction, last day to apply is 31 March 2023.

Linnaeus University has the ambition to utilize the qualities that an even gender distribution and diversity brings to the organization.

Please apply by clicking on the Apply button at the bottom of the ad. Applicants are requested to the application resolving CV, cover letter , a copy of a relevant essay , grades and certificates and other relevant documents. The applicant also requested to submit with their application a proposed research plan within the current area of research. All documents must be attached to digital in the application. The application and other documents shall be marked with the reference number. All documents cited must be received by the University no later than 24.00 (Local time in Sweden) on the closing day.

Read the job description at the university homepage


Post expires on Friday March 31st, 2023