PhD student in hydrology with specialization in groundwater remediation

Uppsala University

Uppsala, Sweden 🇸🇪

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

The Department of Earth Sciences is one of the most complete such academic departments in Europe. Our research focuses on subjects that range from the Earth’s core to the atmosphere, on scales from sub-microscopic structures in minerals to the formation of mountains and oceans. We have teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels. Our courses offer a wide range within the geoscience area and several of the department’s programs have received the highest rating in evaluations by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education and the Swedish Higher Education Authority. For more information see

This PhD position is associated with the research program for Air, Water and Landscape Science at the Department of Earth Sciences. The PhD student will contribute to the VINNOVA project SULFREM, which focuses on sulfate removal from leachate in mining environments.

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at Uppsala University

It is not uncommon for sulfate to be released to the environment as the result of mining. Since high sulfate concentrations can have negative consequences for the environment, there is a need to develop methods for removing sulfate from mine drainage to concentrations that do not threaten aquatic ecosystems. This project develops a full-scale bioreactor system for sulfate removal from mine drainage, with special focus on leachate from waste rock deposits. Sulfate removal is achieved through bacterial sulfate reduction to hydrogen sulfide, which is then precipitated in a solid form.

A primary goal with this collaborative project between Uppsala University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the mining industry is to develop, test, and evaluate a bioreactior system for removing sulfate from leachate waters produced from waste rock. The PhD project will focus on conducting column experiments for determining optimal conditions for microbial sulfate reduction and sulfide precipitation, and evaluating the level of treatment in a full-scale bioreactor system in Kiruna. Metal recycling from the bioreactor will also be evaluated. The field component of the project is conducted at LKAB’s facility in Kiruna, and it is therefore important that the PhD student is able to spend time in Kiruna for many days during the field season.

The PhD student will primarily perform their own research; however, other activities at the department (such as teaching and courses) may be included to a maximum of 20% of full time. In such cases, the PhD position is extended by a corresponding amount of time.

Before the start of the position, the applicant should have a natural science or engineering degree at the MSc level with focus on hydrology, environmental engineering, or a near-lying field. The general entry requirement must be achieved, i.e. a degree at advanced level (Masters level) or fulfill the requirements for courses comprising of at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits are at advanced level (Masters level) or the equivalent. Previous coursework in mathematics and chemistry is a requirement, as well as basic computer proficiency.

Additional qualifications
Earlier project or thesis work with relation to flow in porous media is a merit. Experience with programming, numerical methods and laboratory experiments is also a merit. It is beneficial if the candidate has a valid driver’s license (class B).

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University’s rules and guidelines.

How to apply
A letter should be included in the application that describes the applicant’s background and suitability for the position. The application should also contain a CV, a copy of the applicant’s master thesis or equivalent, and any other material that is deemed relevant for the application. Contact information for two academic references should be included.  

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date 2022-09-01 or as agreed. Placement: Uppsala.

For further information about the position, please contact: Dr. Roger Herbert, tel. +46 70 325 8724. e-mail: [email protected].

Please submit your application by 16 May 2022, UFV-PA 2022/1032.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden.  

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University’s recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Earth Sciences

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO [email protected]
Seko Universitetsklubben [email protected]
Saco-rĂĄdet [email protected]

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2022/1032

Last application date: 2022-05-16