PhD Scholarship in Physical Geography: African and Asian Monsoon Variability

A PhD scholarship in environmental sciences is available at Stockholm University. Successful candidate will have funding to work and study for four years in Sweden. 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 African and Asian monsoon systems are dominant features of Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation and they control regional climate variability in Africa and Asia. Billions of people are directly or indirectly dependent on sufficient monsoon rains for their subsistence and economic well-being. Widespread socioeconomic impacts can result from changes in the monsoon rainfall spatial and temporal character. Anticipated significant climate changes over coming decades imply an increased need for improved understanding of monsoon variability on both short and long timescales.

We are looking for a PhD student who will work on a project that aims to investigate the monsoon variability from past to future. Important issues will be to increase our understanding of the monsoon response to different forcings and the feedbacks between monsoon and other physical processes in the climate system. The successful candidate will focus on diagnosing the related dynamical and physical processes by analysing different datasets including data from climate model simulations with an Earth System Model, modern observational data and paleoclimate data. The PhD student will work in a team at Stockholm University that is strongly engaged in both national and international collaborations.

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 Physics, Meteorology, 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 training. 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, the ability to collaborate, as well as creativity, initiative, and independence. 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.

Applicants with strong quantitative background and knowledge on climate dynamics and climate model simulations are prioritized. The applicant must be self-motivated, committed and enthusiastic to research collaboration. The doctoral dissertation will be written in English.

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

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
- Cover letter – state why you are interested in the project, and what makes you suitable for the project
- 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)
- Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).

Interviews will probably take part in the middle of October.


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