PhD: Water management in agricultural landscapes facing changing climate

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

Uppsala, , SE

Water management in agricultural landscapes facing changing climate

 Water management in agricultural landscapes are 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 affect crop 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. As Swedish agriculture is largely rainfed, the increase variability in precipitation and temperature increases will affect crop production capacity through changes in distribution of droughts and dryspells, and through flooding and saturation of root zoon. This PhD project aims to study which climate-smart solutions for sustainable water management related to irrigation and water storage are already in use in Swedish agricultural landscapes, and what may be required in the future.

The results of this PhD is expected to contribute towards understanding of opportunities and limitations in sustainable agricultural intensification regarding water management, in line with AGENDA 2030 and other environmental targets. The work should also inform on, for example, geographical priority setting for innovative technical solutions, such as demand for small reservoirs, irrigation management and water withdrawals from surface-groundwater sources for climate change scenarios. Research activities can include field work, data management and modelling of climate-, 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, hydrology, agricultural sciences, engineering or systems analysis, with application to natural resource management, 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 from a landscape perspective. Knowledge in (agro) hydrology, soil science, crop production /agronomy, and/or agro-meteorology is a merit. Experience in planning and conducting experiments using modelling approaches and existing data, together with experience in scientific writing is an advantage. Knowledge of data (knowledge) management, GIS, statistics, programming and/or simulation modelling is an advantage, especially modelling at landscape scales. 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 2018.2.5.1-1649, 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.

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