PhD: Soil structure and water management in agricultural soils in a changing climate

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

Uppsala, , SE

Water management in agricultural landscapes is fundamental for high yielding and productive crop systems, whilst achieving environmental sustainability goals. Swedish agriculture is challenged by current and future climate variability. It will affect both water availability and soil health, which in turn, potentially affects production capacity and subsequently, food security.

This PhD project is a strategic investment in the research subject of “Agricultural Water Management” to contribute new knowledge in the area of water management in productive farming systems facing current and future climate variability. The aim of the research project is to study soil structure and soil physical characteristics that may be changed due to changing climate, in particularly precipitation patterns and temperature increases. It should increase insights in potential impacts on soil water flow and soil water storage for crop accessibility in the unsaturated zone of agricultural soils. Important soil water aspects may include infiltration capacity, conductivity, water holding capacity and crop water uptake potential, and processes related to nutrient leaking and soil erosion in agricultural landscapes. The research of this PhD is expected to contribute new knowledge to inform physical aspects in soil data, and to improve understanding on the solutions needed to meet climate, soils and water resource changes in Swedish farming systems. Research activities can include field and laboratory studies, as well as data management and modelling of climate, soil physical and agro-hydrological aspects of agricultural landscapes. The PhD position will be placed at the Department of Soil and Environment, SLU Uppsala.


The applicant should have an MSc (or equivalent) in soil science, geology, engineering with application to natural resource management (soil-water-environment), agricultural sciences, hydrology, environmental sciences or similar subjects. Exam should be completed in full by 30 June 2018. We are looking for a motivated individual with keen interest into the interdisciplinary research of physical and hydrological processes in the soil-crop-atmosphere continuum. Knowledge in soil physics, or other soil science subject, (agro) hydrology, and/or agro-meteorology is a merit. Experience in planning and conducting experiments together with experience in scientific writing is an advantage. Knowledge of data (knowledge) management, statistics, GIS, programming and/or simulation modelling is desirable. The applicant should be able to work both individually with discipline, and contribute to the team. The applicant need to provide documentation of ability to communicate in written and oral English.

The application should contain
1) A letter (max 800 words) describing your motivation, and experience and skills for this PhD position.
2) Complete CV with contacts, education, employment history and with hyperlinks to all references , scientific work or other material referenced
3) Contacts to two academic- professional personal references
4) Copy (PDF or similar) of MSc (or equivalent) thesis
5) Copy (PDF or similar) of proof of MSc (or equivalent) gradation
A limited number of candidates will be selected for interviews, and the interview may contain a written test.
Expected start is 1st October 2018, (or earlier as agreed)

Forms for funding or employment
Employment as PhD student

SLU is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

A person has basic eligibility for third cycle education if he or she has taken a second cycle qualification or has completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second cycle education. Upper secondary school grades equivalent to English B/English 6 are a basic requirement.

Selection among applicants meeting the requirements is made with reference to written application including curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree, a list of at least two references familiar with the applicant’s qualifications, certified knowledge of the English language and an interview.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at


Further information:

Academic union representatives

  • SACO Saco-S föreningen SLU +46 (0)18 67 10 85
  • SEKO Linda Thörnström +46 (0)18 67 10 57
  • ST Lotta Olsson +46 (0)18 67 15 36

Applications, marked with ref no SLU ua 2018.2.5.1-1650, must have arrived at the Registrar of SLU, P.O. Box 7070, SE-750 07 Uppsala or [email protected] no later than 2018-06-20.