PhD Scholarship in Physical Geography Effects of Soil-carbon Management and Climate on Belowground Biodiversity

Stockholm University, Sweden is inviting applicants to apply for a PhD position in environmental sciences. The initial contract for this position is four years. Potential candidates should apply before November 05, 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

This project is funded under the research area Biodiversity and climate (RA8) within the Bolin Centre for Climate Reasearch at Stockholm University. The project aims to investigate the effects of ecosystem management for carbon © -through compost and biochar amendments-on middle Swedish grassland ecosystems. Numerous studies have shown positive amendment effects on soil C sequestration and grassland productivity. These effects have been attributed to changes in soil properties, including increased soil moisture and higher soil organic matter storage. However, there is very little knowledge regarding the effects of such amendments on grassland plant community composition, plant rooting patterns, soil microbial biodiversity or ecosystem resilience to extreme weather events. The student will work, as part of a team, to set up and manage a long-term field experiment to assess the effects of soil amendments on belowground biodiversity - here defined as root biodiversity and soil microbial diversity - and its drought-spell resilience in managed grasslands. In addition to the field experiment, the student will conduct regional geographical analyses to assess the feasibility of broad-scale amendment application with biochar and compost in middle Swedish Grasslands.

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 meetthe 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 training. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates' documented knowledge of relevant fields, including soil science, ecosystem management, biodiversity and spatial analyses, 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.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available

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


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