Doctoral student in Biology

Publicado hace 2 meses

Subject description

Biology is the broad subject about all living things. It encompasses everything from processes at the molecular and cellular level to global processes at ecosystem level. The subject is divided into a range of sub-disciplines and specialisations. The PhD programme at the Department of Biology includes many of these specialisations, from molecular biology to applied ecology, from viruses and individual cells to evolutionary biology and global biodiversity. Taking on research studies at the Department of Biology generally means focusing on a delimited part of the research area of biology and may include field studies, experiments, theoretical studies, or a combination of these.

Work duties

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties can also include teaching and other departmental duties, up to 20%.

The goal of the PhD project is to investigate the causes of variation in immune function between and within species, using wild rodents as a study system. The topic will be addressed from both functional and evolutionary perspectives. Thus, the overall aim of the project is to understand in what way different species, and different individuals of a given species, differ in immune responses to pathogens, and how these differences have evolved.

The project will involve catching wild rodents to collect samples and/or to generate primary cell cultures for ex vivo infection experiments. The main read-out will be gene expression as measured by RNA-sequencing, but also other methods may be used. The project is an opportunity for the candidate to learn both wet lab techniques and bioinformatics procedures. The project is suitable for candidates with a background and interest in molecular ecology, immunology, and bioinformatics.

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • 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.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Biology if he or she has passed an independent project (for example a degree project) of at least 30 credits in a relevant subject and have good oral and written proficiency in English.

Additional requirements

We seek a highly motivated candidate with a genuine interest in immunology and host-pathogen interactions. The applicant must have:

  • A MSc in biology, molecular biology, or bioinformatics, with specialization in molecular ecology, immunology, microbiology, or a closely related area,
  • Excellent oral and written proficiency in English,
  • Experience and demonstrated skills in relevant laboratory work such as RNA extraction and cell culturing,
  • Practical experience and demonstrated knowledge of data analysis with R, and
  • A strong interest to acquire skills in bioinformatics.

In addition to the mandatory requirements, documented experience in the following areas will be considered as strong merits:

  • Knowledge and practical experience of bioinformatics work.
  • Experience of working with animals in the lab or wild.

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:

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

Consideration will also be given to personal drive and ability to work both in team and independently, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programe.

Terms of employment

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies 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 §§.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shouldbe written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the postgraduate education programme and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etcetera).


Research Field
Biological sciences
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent
Research Field
Biological sciences
Years of Research Experience

Additional Information

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
Lunds universitet

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