Doctoral Position in Natural Sciences
University of Gothenburg Centre for Sea and Society

Doctoral student in Natural Sciences, or Natural Sciences specializing in Physical Geography

Ref PAR 2021/394


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Centre for Sea and Society at the University of Gothenburg announces three doctoral positions within the Graduate School in Transdisciplinary Ocean Sciences

The Graduate School in Transdisciplinary Ocean Sciences is run by the cross-faculty Centre for Sea and Society. The centre aims at initiating and developing transdisciplinary ocean related education and research and hosts a number of projects and collaborating networks. The graduate school is now announcing three doctoral positions within the joint research project “Coastal fisheries in Sweden: from a changing sea to a robust science-policy environment”. The aim of the project is to harness knowledge to determine the cumulative effects of socio-environmental factors hampering the sustainability of coastal fisheries in Sweden. The project will apply inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to identify whether and how coastal fisheries can develop into a viable and environmentally responsible industry, and investigate mechanisms by which research findings are summarised for policy purposes. A transformation towards sustainable and resilient coastal fisheries is the focus of this project, in particular for uplifting rural coastal economies, meeting an increasing demand for locally produced seafood without jeopardizing the health of the planet, and understanding the science-policy nexus for natural resources management.

The three doctoral candidates will be hosted by the School of Global Studies, the Department of Earth Sciences and the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, respectively. Each doctoral candidate will be affiliated to a “home department” (the department of the main supervisor) and be examined in accordance with the rules of that department (school in the case of Global Studies). Doctoral candidates and their supervisors are expected to take part in seminars, workshops and similar activities arranged by the graduate school. Doctoral candidates and supervisors within each joint research project should collaborate to the extent that at least one multidisciplinary (co-authored) manuscript or conference paper is produced.

A description of the project’s doctoral position in Physical Geography, hosted by the Department of Earth Sciences, follows.

Doctoral position in Physical Geography with focus on the research basis of coastal fisheries in Sweden

The Department of Earth Sciences has 65 employees and two subject areas (Physical Geography and Geology) in its teaching and research. We have bachelor and masters programmes in Earth Sciences and in Geography as well as third-cycle education in several Earth-science specialties. Our strongest research areas lie within climatology, biogeochemisty, structural geology, petrology/geochemistry and applied geoscience. The research strategy for the department emphasizes on further development of Earth System Science. See also:

Job assignments

The successful candidate’s main responsibilities will be to write a doctoral dissertation in the area mentioned above, and to complete obligatory course work. He or she may also undertake a limited amount of teaching, administration or research not directly connected to her or his dissertation topic. Such duties extend the position accordingly. The candidate is expected to participate in the department’s activities, such as workshops and seminars. The doctoral student is expected to carry out research on the following project-related theme: Climate and environmental change impacts on Swedish coastal fisheries.

Globally fish populations have declined over the last several decades because of increased fishing pressure, alterations of habitats and climate change. Increasing sea-surface temperatures, as well as changing hydroclimate patterns, can cause shifts in species composition and distribution, which may be positive for some species, but negative to others. Overfishing can in worst cases lead to extinction of species, but also increased sensitivity to climate and environmental change. To disentangle the relative importance of various factors determining fish population dynamics and sustainability of coastal fisheries, long-term data of fish abundance, fishing efforts and tools, relevant climate parameters and seascape configurations are needed. This facilitates modelling of potential fish stock changes under different pathways of climate change in the near future.

The aim of this PhD project is to compile relevant fisheries-, climate- and geographical data to assess the drivers of long-term population dynamics of commercially important fish along the Swedish west coast. Using fish time series, covering most of last century, as well as detailed information of fishing efforts, drivers of long- and short-term population changes will be investigated. Given the potential, but understudied, impact of extreme events (such as heatwaves and drought/floods) on fish, this will be specifically examined. The gained information will subsequently be used to make risk assessments of selected coastal fish populations for the near future under different Representative Concentration Pathways, using climate model simulations.


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

  1. has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  2. has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
  3. 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:

  1. have a second-cycle (advanced-level) degree in a relevant* subject area in the natural sciences, or
  2. have completed studies for at least 60 higher education credits at a second-cycle level in relevant subject areas in the natural sciences, or
  3. 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 climate influences of marine coastal areas and the ecology of fish populations. Documented experiences in computer programming (Matlab or R, or similar), working with large datasets, and an aptitude for statistical analysis are strong merits.


The following criteria will be applied in selecting among applicants:

  • Qualifications from basic education
  • Qualifications of advanced education and special requirements
  • The relevance of previous studies for the planned postgraduate studies
  • Assessment of the applicant's ability to benefit from research studies
  • The applicant's ability to work in a research group


Type of employment: Temporary employment, HF 5 kap 7§ Doktorandanställning

Extent: 100 %

Location: Department of Earth Sciences, Gothenburg

First day of employment: As agreed, but no later than 2022-01-01

Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1998:80. Only those who are admitted to third-cycle studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. 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.

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.

For further information regarding the position

For information concerning the research project, please contact Hans Linderholm, Professor in Physical Geography,

More information about the research project can be found via the following link:


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

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How to apply

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

The application shall 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.

Closing date: 2021-05-16

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.


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