Doctoral Student in Environmental Science: Use and Impact of Chemicals in Urban Garden Environments

Lund (Stad), Skåne (SE)
05 Aug 2020
End of advertisement period
18 Aug 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Doctoral Student in Environmental Science: Use and Impact of Chemicals in Urban Garden Environments

Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, Faculty of Science

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Sciences. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

The Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, CEC ( conducts research, education and communication on environmental science and climate research at Lund University.

With placement at the Faculty of Science, at the Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC).

Project background

Private, urban garden spaces can provide important refuge and havens for various natural species. Insects and other organisms that occupy gardens also provide important ecosystem services, such as pollination of fruits, berries and vegetables, and some species can act as natural enemies of certain pests. However, many private garden spaces today also contain various different toxic chemicals and pesticides used by the garden owners for different purposes. These chemicals could affect both the natural species that live in the garden as well as the health of the garden keepers.

The PhD student will be working within the research project ChemFreeGarden, where researchers from several different disciplines work together to increase our understanding of the impact from chemical use in gardens.

The overall goal of the ChemFreeGarden project is retreive information and knowledge necessary to promote more sustainable urban environments; increase biodiversity and ecosystem services; and reduce risks for animals and human health from the use of chemicals. Communication of results to the municipality, the public and stakeholders is an important part of the project, and accordingly knowledge of Swedish is required for this position.

Work duties

The PhD student will be responsible for carrying out both field studies and lab-based biological/chemical experiments. In addition, the PhD student will conduct surveys, analyze data, write scientific articles and communicate the results in both Swedish and English. The scientific articles will subsequently be complied to a doctoral thesis.

The assignments include investigations of:

  • biodiversity and ecosystem services in gardens in relation to chemical use in the town of Lund, using field methods;
  • the potential biological risks that the garden chemicals pose to exposed organisms;
  • how the chemicals found in gardens can affect health;
  • which chemicals are used by owners of private gardens and alottments in Lund;
  • the attitudes of garden- and alottments keepers in Lund concerning the use of chemicals for various purposes.


We are looking for a highly motivated and communicative person with a Master’s degree or equivalent (including a degree project of 30 credits or more), in any one of the subjects biology, molecular biology, chemistry or environmental sciences.

The candidate is expected to have good collaborative abilities, and abilities to develop and run projects independently.

The candidate should also meet the following requirements:

  • Experience of basic molecular biology techniques
  • Knowledge of ecology or ecotoxicology
  • At least a basic knowledge of Swedish, both in writing or speaking
  • Excellent skills in oral and written communication in English

It is of merit to have

  • Practical experience of lab work
  • Experience or knowledge of chemicals or toxicology
  • Experience of exposure experiments
  • Knowledge of ecology, biodiversity, molecular biology and / or ecotoxicology
  • Experience from conducting survey or interviews
  • Experience from biological field work or monitoring
  • Knowledge of statistical methods
  • Experience working with decision makers or stakeholders
  • Experience of working with garden spaces or park environments


Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who

  • have completed a second-cycle degree
  • have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or
  • have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998:80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance. 

Type of employment 

Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§. 


The application, which should be submitted electronically, shall consist of a curriculum vitae, cover letter and at least two references from former employers/supervisors.    

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.