Doctoral student in Environmental Science

Lund University

Lund, Sweden 🇸🇪

Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 44 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Science. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

The Department of Geology has a long and successful history of research with an international reputation throughout the entire geological field and offers nationally leading undergraduate programmes at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. About 40 researchers/teachers and 20 research students are active at the department, which consists of two sub-departments: Quaternary Sciences and Bedrock Geology.

The PhD student will be enrolled in the four-year PhD programme in Environmental Science while being employed within a research project at the Department of Geology. The research education is given at the Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC) and the PhD student will also be part of the Agenda 2030 Graduate School. The PhD student will participate in activities within the frame of both the PhD programme in Environmental Science and the Graduate School.

About the Agenda 2030 graduate schoolThe 2030 Agenda is the framework for sustainable development that the world’s nations have signed to end extreme poverty, reduce inequalities, solve the climate crisis, promote peace and equity and much more. In order to achieve the goals, research has several important roles: to identify challenges and conflicting objectives, contribute new solutions, generate dialogue and learning between different societal stakeholders and critically analyse the goals. Lund University aspires to be a part of the solution and has therefore initiated a graduate school focusing on societal challenges, sustainability issues and the 2030 Agenda.

The graduate school has students from all faculties. You will be registered at the Faculty of Science and enrolled in the PhD programme in Environmental Science at the Centre of Environmental and Climate Science (CEC). You will be employed at the Department of Geology and be part of the research project “Sustainable water resources – To make the invisible visible, the cost of inaction”. Simultaneously, you will be part of the Lund University Agenda 2030 Graduate School for and are expected to take active part in selected university-wide interdisciplinary postgraduate courses. Besides the PhD courses, you will participate in several activities linked to the graduate school in order to take an active part in the global sustainability agenda and to advance the research front on issues concerning the 2030 Agenda, for example through seminars, conferences, study trips and collaboration with various societal stakeholders. The graduate school offers a unique opportunity for the doctoral students to gain interdisciplinary perspectives on global challenges and contribute to current research while deepening their subject knowledge.

Read more about the Agenda 2030 Graduate School here

Read more about the PhD programme in Environmental Science here

About the research project
The aim of the research project is to make the invisible visible concerning water resource sustainability and calculating the cost of inaction. It will investigate the cost for acting or not acting when known pollution and/or over exploitation of water resources, in particular groundwater resources, jeopardize sustainable water supply. To advance the work on sustainable water resources and secure clean water and sanitation to everyone and comply with especially goal six of the Agenda 2030, we need to take action now and elucidate the importance of understanding the nature of the water systems and how to transfer this knowledge and awareness into the decision process on how to manage our water resources. In this project, the PhD-student will focus on what knowledge is needed to take scientifically sound measures with regards to water protection areas for water resources sustainability and how this knowledge can be transferred to the decision makers. The project team and supervisors consist of experts on hydrogeology with a focus on conceptualization of groundwater systems, pollutants spreading and remediation of polluted sites, but also public sector management, governance, control and accountability, water security and disaster management as well as water supply management and water treatment techniques. It is a collaboration between the Faculty of Science, School of Economics and Management and the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, but also stakeholders and policy makers.

Job assignment
The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies, which includes participating in their research project as well as courses and activities within the PhD programme in Environmental Science and the Agenda 2030 Graduate School. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%). Department work is compensated with an extension of the doctoral position.

The holder of the PhD position will mainly investigate what knowledge is needed to take scientifically sound measures with regards to hydrogeology and the need for water protection areas to attain water resources sustainability. Different types of aquifers are in need of different measures and a variety of parameters need to be taken into account. For this, scientific simulation scenarios will then be performed for different time perspectives including consequences of different alternatives, both regarding water quality and economy: political terms of office (ca 4 yrs), generation perspective (ca 20-25 yrs) and life expectancy of water resource investments (ca 100 yrs and more). The water quality scenarios will include influence at all stages of the hydrological cycle and will be performed with state-of-the-art numerical programs and visualized into pedagogic time-lapse films. A final step will be to investigate how a dialogue process and knowledge transformation between the scientific knowledge providers and the local decision makers can be designed.


  • MSc in Geology, Geoscience, Environmental Science or equivalent is required
  • University courses in hydrogeology equivalent to a minimum of 15 credits is required
  • Demonstrated experience in scientific writing, such as publications, essays or equivalent in English is required
  • Demonstrated competence of understanding the Swedish language from hydrogeological investigation reports and authority decisions in speech and reading is essential


  • University courses within numerical modelling is desirable
  • University courses within chemistry is desirable
  • A demonstrated broad interest in societal sustainability aspects is qualifying as well as interest in public management and economics

Assessment criteria
Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study
  2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems
  3. Written and oral communication skills Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience

The position involves creative and varied work, and the PhD student will become a member of a dynamic and multifaceted research group. We imagine that the successful candidate has an inner drive and is devoted and motivated to work within environmental research.  We are looking for an independent and creative person with a broad scientific and societal interest who thrives in a dynamic research environment. The project requires close collaboration with national authorities, contractors, and consultants as well as Swedish and foreign scientists, and accordingly, the applicant should be able to work both independently and collaboratively.

Terms of Employment
Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at the Faculty of Science consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§. Candidates will be invited to an interview before appointment.

Instructions on how to apply
The application must be in english and include the following;

Introductory letter (500-750 words) Briefly describe who you are, why you are interested in research studies at Lund University and how your experiences can be connected to the 2030 Agenda? Within this introductory letter, please also attend to the following points:

  • Why is boundary-crossing research linked to the 2030 Agenda interesting to you?
  • Please state why research in water issues is important to you and to humanity?
  • How did your interest in hydrogeology start?
  • Why do you find numerical models interesting and what do you expect from working within the field.

CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts), and contact information for two references is required

MSc thesis or equivalent

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

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Type of employmentTemporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment2022-01-01
SalaryMonthly salary
Number of positions1
Working hours100 %
CountySkåne län
Reference numberPA2021/2655
ContactCharlotte Sparrenbom, University lecturer, +46 46 2223954, [email protected]
Union representativeOFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Last application date26.Sep.2021 11:59 PM CEST

6 days remaining

Apply by 26 September, 2021