PhD student in subject Biology specialized in plant lipid metabolism, Ref at the Department of Plant Breeding: SLU’s Department of Plant Breeding (VF), located in Alnarp (near Lund and Malmö, in Skåne, southern Sweden), focuses on research, education and innovation work of strategic importance for a sustainable and profitable cultivation of crops for production of plant-based food, feed and industrial products in a changing climate.  The Department is recognized as a multidisciplinary, innovative, and creative research institute working on current and future challenges.

It comprises about 100 staff and co-workers that includes professors, docents, researchers, postdocs, PhD-students and support staff and is organized in three divisions, namely, Plant Breeding, Plant Biotechnology, and Plant Product Quality. The research efforts include strategic as well as applied research. VF uses a wide range of techniques –from field experiments and characterisation of agricultural biodiversity to genetics, genomics, biotechnology, biochemistry, physical chemistry, physiology, and modelling. As an integral part of the activities, the department also run two public plant breeding programs in apples and potatoes.

We are now looking for a qualified candidate for a PhD student position for 4 years at the Division of Plant Biotechnology.

The fatty acid composition of plant seed oil can vary drastically between plant species and is important for its use, both for food and industrial purposes. In this doctoral project, the focus will be on studying enzymes involved in the synthesis of seed oil, specifically targeted at unusual fatty acids. Oil crops, such as canola, will be studied, but also wild plants whose seed oil has a fatty acid composition of interest for various industrial purposes.

Enzymes that take part in the seed oil synthesis will be studied directly in the plant of origin but also in model systems such as yeast and model plants. Lipid biochemistry will be a central part of the project together with plant physiological and molecular biology analyses, for example transcriptome analyses. The project will give an increased understanding of the synthesis of unusual fatty acids in seed oil, but also of the synthesis of seed oil in general.


We are looking for an ambitious and motivated doctoral student with a master’s degree or equivalent in plant biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, plant physiology or related subject areas. Documented experience of molecular biological / biochemical work on plants is a merit.

Special emphasis is placed on the personal characteristics of the applicant. The candidate must be analytical and accurate, and have a good ability to work independently and in collaboration with others within given time frames.


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2022-09-15.

To qualify for third-cycle (Doctoral) courses and study programmes, you must have a second-cycle (Master’s) qualification. Alternatively, you must have conducted a minimum of four years of full-time study, of which a minimum of one year at second-cycle level.

Applicants will be selected based on their written application and CV, degree project, copies of their degree certificate and transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution, two personal references, and knowledge of English.

Please note that applicants invited to interview must submit attested copies of their degree certificate, a transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution. Applicants who are not Swedish citizens need to submit an attested copy of their passport’s information page containing their photograph and personal details.

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is a world-class international university with research, education and environmental assessment within the sciences for sustainable life. Its principal sites are in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, but activities are also conducted at research stations, experimental parks and educational establishments throughout Sweden. We bring together people who have different perspectives, but they all have one and the same goal: to create the best conditions for a sustainable, thriving and better world. SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses.

Contact person

Ida Lager


+46 (0) 40 41 53 48

Anders Carlsson

Head of Department


Forms for funding or employment:

Employment 4 years (December 1st, 2022 – November 30, 2026)

Starting date:

December 1, 2022

Apply now

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