PhD Scholarship in Physical Geography: Arctic Hydrogeology

Stockholm University, Sweden is inviting applicants to apply for a PhD position in environmental sciences. The funds for this fellowship are available for four years. This position is closed on September 30, 2018.

The Department of Physical Geography is one of the major departments within the Faculty of Science. The department has approximately 135 employees and educates approximately 1000 students annually. Education is oriented towards geography, geosciences, biology-earth sciences and environmental management. The main research areas are: Biogeography and Geomatics, Climate science and quaternary geology, Environment, resource dynamics and management, Geomorphology and glaciology, and Hydrology, Water resources and permafrost. The chosen candidate will find a stimulating and friendly environment in a very diverse and international department with high quality research and teaching.

Project description

The doctoral studies will be conducted within the framework of a project on hydrogeological transport in the active layer of permafrost environments.

Effects of climate change are highly pronounced in the Arctic with significant impacts and changes occurring between different components of arctic hydrological systems. The active layer of permafrost environments is a particularly sensitive and critical zone of exchange, with links to the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere, and is strongly influenced by hydro-meteorological variability and climate change. In particular, the permafrost-carbon climate feedback mechanism occurs through changes in the active layer, which involves changes in hydrogeological flows and transport pathways.

This project aims to investigate subsurface flow and transport in the active layer of permafrost environments. The focus is to study and quantify processes and environmental controls governing the dynamics of heat transfer, water migration and flow, solute transport and plume spreading in the active layer, considering present-day conditions and future climate conditions. The method will be a combination of numerical modelling using state-of-the-art research codes for flow and transport in arctic conditions with usage of existing field measurements, as well as conducting new field studies including tracer tests.

Experience in numerical modelling of hydrogeological flow, heat flow and solute transport is desired, as well as experience in programming, scripting and processing of field and model data. Experience of fieldwork in the arctic is advantageous but not necessary. Relevant degrees areas include geosciences, or physics and computational sciences, the latter preferably with geoscientific experience.

Qualification requirements

In order 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, and to fulfil the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of physical geography, the candidate for this position should have acquired a total of 240 higher education credits (of which at least 60 at advanced level), or acquired in some alternative fashion, the equivalent knowledge in Geoscience, Environmental Science or other relevant natural or engineering science.

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


The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the doctoral education. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates' documented knowledge in a relevant field of research, written and oral proficiency in English, the capacity for analytical thinking, problem-solving and creativity, numerical modelling and programming skills, the ability to collaborate in groups as well as working independently. The assessment will be based on previous experience and grades, the quality of the degree project, references, relevant experience, interviews, and the candidate's written motivation for seeking the position.

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.

Please include the following information with your application

and, in addition, please include the following documents
- CV - degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
- Project proposal/Research proposal describing:

- 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
- 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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