PhD, dendroclimatology - Gothenburg, Sweden

The Gothenburg University Laboratory for Dendrochronology (GULD), Sweden, seeks a motivated candidate to fill a four-year PhD position in dendroclimatology.


Type of employment: Temporary employment, SFS 1993:100
Extent: 100%
Location: Department of Earth Sciences, Gothenburg
First day of employment: As agreed

A third cycle education at the department will lead to the degree of doctor of philosophy in Natural sciences with specialising in Physical Geography. This Doctoral Student employment is funded by external funds and by the department.

Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1993:100. Only those who are admitted to third-cycle studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships.

The initial appointment may apply for no longer than one year. An appointment may be renewed for no more than two years at a time. The total employment period may not exceed the time corresponding to full-time third-cycle studies for four years.

Salaries for doctoral students are regulated in a local agreement at the University.


The successful candidate will work within the project "Are droughts part of the new normal for Sweden - integrating proxy data and model simulations for insight into past and future hydroclimate", in tight collaboration with Stockholm University and the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL.

The candidate will thus work in an international collaborative team environment with other graduate students and academic staff, and have the opportunity to work closely with world-leading experts in the field.

Sweden’s vulnerability to climate variability was highlighted through 2018's extremely severe summer drought situation. The prospect of future global-scale climate change modifying exposure to drought warrants the urgent need for a better understanding of regional drought phenomena and their impacts, as a sound basis for appropriate mitigation strategies.


The research to be undertaken will employ tree-ring data and model simulations, implemented in statistical and/or process modelling framework to assess droughts in the historical past and the modern period, and in particular to investigate driving factors and characteristics of the most extreme historic events with a special focus on Sweden.

Emphasis is placed on the development of a long (c. 1000 years), and moisture sensitive tree-ring network for Scandinavia implementing an ensemble of tree-ring analysis techniques, such as measurements of ring width and wood density. Results will be communicated in the form of scientific articles and conference presentations.

Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. They may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research and administration according to the regulations.


To be eligible for third-cycle studies, the applicant must meet both the general and specific entry requirements:

- Has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
- Has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
- Has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

To meet the specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies, applicants must:

- Have a second-cycle (advanced-level) degree in a relevant* subject area in the natural sciences, or
- Have completed studies for at least 60 higher education credits at a second-cycle level in relevant subject areas in the natural sciences, or
- Have completed a corresponding program of relevance to the planned third-cycle program, in Sweden or in another country, or have equivalent qualifications.
*Relevant for the planned third-cycle education

Special eligibility also requires that candidates have mastered English in speech and writing at an acceptable level. Due to the nature of the research project, it is desirable that the candidate has documented experiences in dendrochronology and also the ability to conduct laborious fieldwork in remote areas for extended periods of time. Documented experiences in computer programming (Matlab or R, or similar), work with large datasets, and an aptitude for statistical analysis are strong merits.


In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in the online recruitment system.

The application must include:

- A short cover letter with a motivation that describes the applicant’s suitability for the position (maximum one A4 page)
- An attested list of qualifications (CV)
- A copy of examination certificates and a transcript of courses with grades
- A copy of the master thesis (or equivalent), and other relevant publications
- A draft describing potential research directions the candidate would like to develop within the framework of this project (max. 2000 words, references excluded). The draft should include a justification of the relevance, theories, methods and materials of the proposed research
- Copies of employments certificates and other documents deemed important by the applicant
- Contact information for at least two references that are familiar with the applicant’s qualifications.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

Applications close 30 September 2020.

Full details about the position and to apply:

Further information

For further information regarding the position, contact Dr. Kristina Seftigen: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.