PhD student in Environmental Science focusing on Microbiome of aquatic organisms in ecotoxicological context

The Department of Environmental Science is one of the biggest departments at the Faculty of Science. The department consists of four units with more than 190 researchers, teachers, doctoral students and technical/administrative staff from over 30 countries. Research and teaching focus on chemical contaminants, atmospheric science, biogeochemistry and (eco)toxicology. As an employee at the Department of Environmental Science, you will be part of a dynamic environment with research in leading research areas and with a strong international profile.

The Exposure and Effects Unit is home to an international group of researchers in several fields of (eco)toxicology, including microbiome’s involvement in stress responses of various organisms, their impacts on the host physiology, life histories and population persistence. This PhD student position is available to study microbiome-mediated responses to hazardous substances in field and laboratory settings. The focal organisms are aquatic invertebrates harbouring diverse bacterial communities and facing various environmental challenges.

Project description
Microorganisms are ubiquitous and present in animal microbiomes. From an ecotoxicological perspective, they are a metabolically active biological compartment that responds to environmental stressors, with downstream effects on host metabolism and development. The microbiota can both alleviate toxicity for the host via, for example, biotransformation, and reinforce the adverse effects via, for example, disrupted microbiome-host interactions and enhancing uptake of hazardous substances. Acknowledging these interactions is essential for a mechanistic understanding of host responses and developing ecologically relevant effect-based methods for environmental status assessment.

The position will be associated with several relevant projects: VIBRANCY (VIBRANCY: Cyanobacteria – the missing link in vibriosis spread; ), iCard (Symbiont-driven disorders in zooplankton reproduction) and AmphiREPRO (Reproductive disorders in Baltic amphipods as indicators of chemical pollution; and in collaboration with Biogeochemistry Unit at the Department. The project results will be incorporated into current regulatory efforts on assessing the biological effects of contaminants in the Baltic Sea.

Qualification requirements
To meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, for doctoral studies in Environmental Science, at least 45 of the credits at the second cycle must be in one of the natural sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Physics, or Meteorology) including a 30 credits thesis project. The applicant should also have 30 credits in other natural science subjects different from the major.

The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.

The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their ability to successfully pursue the research education. Special emphasis is put on the applicant’s knowledge and skills within the subject area, ability to express her/himself verbally and in writing, analytical aptitude, creativity, initiative and independence, and a capacity for working together with others. The evaluation will be made based on the relevance of past education and experience, grades from previous university courses (in particular at the advanced level), the quality and ambition of the independent project work, references, a cover letter motivating the candidate’s interest, and interviews.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated, and socially skilled candidate that enjoys working in a collaborative environment. The candidate should be able to work independently and have knowledge in how to ask and interpret scientific questions and to critically review the results. Since the applicant will work in a highly international environment, good communication skills and proficiency in spoken and written English are essential. We are looking for candidates with a solid background in environmental microbiology, molecular and/or cell biology with a keen interest in environmental science. Previous experience with microbiological and invertebrate cultures, animal work, molecular assays and/or bioinformatic will be considered an advantage for the position.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: and regulations.

Terms of employment
Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

For more information, please contact Elena Gorokhova, telephone: +46 8 6747341,

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64,, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/OFR), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89,, (SEKO), and PhD student representative,​​.

Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University’s 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. 

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter motivating your interest for this position
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience, and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
  • Optional letters of recommendation (no more than 6 files)
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position.

Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.

Deadline: 2023-11-03 at 23:59
Unit: Department of Environmental Science

Read the job description at the university homepage or apply.

Post expires on Friday November 3rd, 2023