PhD Scholarship in Marine Geology at Stockholm University

Stockholm University is delighted to offer a PhD position in geophysics. The funds for this position are available for 4 years. Applicants should apply before September 30, 2018.

We seek to appoint a PhD candidate in the field of glacial geology and marine geophysics, with specific focus on the dynamics of ice sheet flow and retreat in the Baltic Sea basins, following the last glacial maximum.

Large parts of today's continental ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are losing mass. The sectors of these ice sheets that terminate in marine environments or rest on a bed below sea level are considered one of the largest sources of uncertainty with respect to how ice sheets respond to environmental change. Modern monitoring records are not long enough to establish a complete picture of the magnitudes and timescales of potential change, and the balance between atmospheric, marine and subglacial controls on the rates and stability of ice flow and retreat are poorly constrained. Instead, we can draw on geological records of past ice sheet behaviour to better understand present processes and predict future changes in these vulnerable sectors. The Baltic Sea catchment was a major marine-based drainage route of the last Fennoscandian ice sheet that left a rich - but untapped - geological record; its behaviour is virtually unknown.

This project will collect and analyse high-resolution geophysical data of the geomorphology, sediment distribution and sub-surface stratigraphy in the Baltic Sea, combined with core analyses of sediment physical properties and their chronology, in order to reconstruct the dynamics of ice sheet retreat through the Baltic basins. The student may choose to focus on questions such as the function of the subglacial meltwater system; the sensitivity of grounding line behaviour to meltwater drainage, sediment fluxes or iceberg calving; the role of substrate mechanical properties in driving or restraining ice flow; or iceberg scour marks as proxies for calving and palaeo- currents. With this framework the research will address local Baltic Sea palaeo-glaciology while addressing more fundamental questions regarding the behaviour of marine-based ice sheets.

The candidate will participate in annual ship-based fieldwork aboard the university's research vessel, will take primary responsibility for analysing geophysical and core data, and will have the opportunity to collaborate on modelling Baltic Sea ice sheet dynamics. S/he will join a group with a wide international network and a long history of glacial/ocean research in both the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as active research and teaching in the Baltic Sea, in-house at the Department of Geological Sciences and in conjunction with Stockholm University's Baltic Sea Centre.

Qualification requirements

For admission to education at the postgraduate level, the applicant is required to fulfill the conditions for basic competencies and conditions for special qualifications, and have such abilities as otherwise needed to undergo the education.

The general requirement for admission to a PhD program at the Faculty of Science is an advanced level (Masters) degree, or at least 240 credits (equivalent to 4 years of full time studies) of which at least 60 credits are at the advanced level, or equivalent knowledge gained in some other way in Sweden or abroad. The Faculty Board may grant an individual applicant with an exemption to this requirement in exceptional circumstances.

Additional requirements

Additional requirements for admission to the PhD program in Marine Geology are:
- at least 90 credits at the Bachelor's level in Geosciences or a related natural science discipline
- at least 30 credits in Mathematics, Physics and/or Chemistry
- at least 60 credits at the advanced level in Geosciences or a related natural science discipline including an independent project of at least 30 credits
- documented skills in GIS/geospatial data handling will be seen as a merit.

These additional requirements can also be fulfilled by an applicant who has gained equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

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


Selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training. The fact that an applicant is considered able to transfer credits from previous training or professional experience may not alone give the applicant priority over other applicants in the selection process. Decisions on admission are taken by the Department Board.

Criteria used to assess a candidate’s ability are: the applicant’s documented subject knowledge relevant to the field of research, ability to express themselves in speech and writing in English, ability for analytical thinking, creativity, initiative, the ability to collaborate in groups as well as working independently. The assessment will be based on the candidate’s previous studies and grades, quality of independent work, references, relevant experience, interviews as well as the applicant’s written motivation for seeking the position. Experience related to the described project is regarded as an advantage.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at:

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.


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 advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. We recommend that you hand in your application, including necessary documents, in English.

Please include the following information with your application

and, in addition, please include the following documents as pdf files:
- Cover letter (max 3 pages) including

- why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement

- why and how you wish to complete the project

- what makes you suitable for the project in question
- 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)
- Letters of recommendation (no more than 6 files)
- Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: Instructions - Applicants.

You are welcome to apply!


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