PhD Student in Applied Environmental Science

Stockholm (SE)
13 Feb 2017
End of advertisement period
20 Apr 2017
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

PhD student in Applied Environmental Science focusing on global transport of perfluoroalkyl acids in association with sea spray aerosols

at the Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES).

Ref. No. SU FV-0369-17

Closing date: 30 April 2017.

The department has about 200 employees of which about 60 are PhD students. Research study programs are offered in applied environmental science, analytical chemistry and environmental chemistry and courses are given in environmental science and analytical chemistry.

Project description
The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council FORMAS ( A summary of planned research is provided below.

The world's oceans are known to be global reservoirs of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) and also act as secondary sources of PFAAs to the atmosphere through transport on sea spray aerosols. Atmospheric deposition is the most important source of PFAAs to many ecosystems, including the High Arctic and Baltic Sea, but the contribution of sea spray transport of PFAAs to atmospheric deposition is unknown. Sea spray aerosols are formed at the water surface through the action of bubble bursting and have been shown to be enriched in organic matter. They also exist in the size range that facilitates long-range transport in the atmosphere. However, despite some preliminary experimental work showing the importance of marine aerosol transport for PFAAs, the process is poorly understood. Recent development of experimental methods at Stockholm University now provides a unique possibility to examine in detail the process of sea-spray mediated transport of PFAAs. We will take advantage of this possibility and study water-air transport for PFAAs at concentrations and conditions relevant for real ocean environments.

The successful applicant would work within a small team focusing on this research topic comprising several senior scientists and one postdoctoral fellow. They would also be a member of a research group in the Contaminant Chemistry Unit led by Ian Cousins. The project is, however, an inter-unit collaboration in our department between the Contaminant Chemistry Unit and the Atmospheric Science Unit.

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, for doctoral studies in Applied Environmental Science, at least 45 of the credits at the second cycle must be in one of the natural sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Physics, or Meteorology) including a 30 hp/HEC thesis project. The applicant should also have 30 hp/HEC in other natural science subjects different from the major.

Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. The primary assessment criteria in appointing a doctoral student should be the capacity to benefit from the training.

The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their ability to successfully pursue the research education. Special emphasis is put on the applicant’s knowledge and skills within the subject area, ability to express her/himself verbally and in writing, analytical aptitude, creativity, initiative and independence, and a capacity for working together with others. The evaluation will be made based on the relevance of past education and experience, grades from previous university courses (in particular at the advanced level), the quality and ambition of the independent project work, references, a cover letter motivating the candidate’s interest, and interviews.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at:

Terms of employment
The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

For more information, please contact Prof. Ian Cousins, telephone: +46 8 16 4012,

Union representatives
Anqi Lindblom-Ahlm (Saco-S) and Lisbeth Häggberg (Fackförbundet ST), telephone: +46 8 16 20 00 (operator),  (SEKO), and PhD student representative:

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data 
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter motivating your interest for this position
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience, and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files
  • Letters of recommendation (no more than 3 files)
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 3 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: Instructions – Applicants.

You are welcome to apply!

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