Welcome to Linnaeus University! We meet the societal challenges of today and tomorrow in a spirit of openness, curiosity and creativity. By creating arenas for exchange of knowledge from different subjects, fields and cultures, we open up for new ideas and create new opportunities for long-term sustainable societal development. Linnaeus University – where people grow.

The Faculty of Technology strives to ensure that Linnaeus University’s vision permeates all activities, with a focus on the keywords: Attractive knowledge environment, Excellent research, Social drive, and Global values. The Faculty of Technology has broad operations spanning ten different departments through which Linnaeus University provides education and conducts research. The Department of Forestry and Wood Technology conducts thematic education and research activities that range from seedlings to finished technical wood products.

Forests as a resource with their climate benefits throughout the entire life cycle and the forest-based value chain are the focus of activities at the institution. To its growing team of forest scientists, the department is now looking for a highly motivated individual with a genuine interest in forest health research. Admitted to: Forest industrial production systems. Place of work: Växjö, Sweden

Type and terms of employment: Employment (full-time) as a doctoral student is limited according to chapter 5, section 7 of the Higher Education Ordinance. The total employment period may not be longer than the equivalent full-time postgraduate studies of four years.

The Higher Education Ordinance states that those who are employed as PhD students must primarily engage in their own education. However, an employee may to limited extent work with education and administration. Such work may, before the doctoral degree has been completed, not cover more than 20% of full-time work.

Start date: As soon as possible

Work description

The PhD student will work in the research project “Early detection of the risk of forest damage in Swedish pine with the help of digital tools” which is part of FRAS II, a research program run jointly by the Linnaeus University (LNU), Forestry Research Institute of Sweden and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in close collaboration with the forest sector in southern Sweden. Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) is generally resistant to drought, but in a global investigation, pine forests accounted for 40% of all documented cases of forest death in Europe.

Seedlings and young trees are particularly sensitive to drought stress, which may jeopardize regeneration results in the future when heat waves and reduced summer rainfall may become more common. With the forest sector’s increased interest in pine, it is urgent to develop new strategies and methods for early detection of threats to pine forests. The purpose of the project is therefore to use digital tools to develop scientific knowledge for early detection of reduced vitality that indicates the risk of forest damage in Swedish high.

The doctoral student’s task is above all to develop knowledge of early, physiological, and spectral signals in pine seedlings and young trees that have been exposed to a decrease in vitality due to abiotic stress, as well as to evaluate which spectral signals best indicate an increased risk of fungal and insect damage.

The results contribute to improved opportunities to develop digital drone and satellite-based methods for the early detection of forest damage in the future. The doctoral student expects responsibility for the practical field and laboratory work as well as leading the dissemination of research results.

Participating in national and international meetings, as well as writing and publishing both popular science articles and scientific articles are central parts of the work. Collaboration with national and foreign experts in forest pathology and plant physiology is part of the project. Since the studies generate large amounts of data, the doctoral student will also seek collaboration with Linnaeus University’s cutting-edge research environment DISA (Data Intensive Sciences and Applications).


A person fulfils the general entry requirements if she/he has:

  • Graduated at advanced level in the relevant field
  • Completed undergraduate program of at least 240 ECTS, including 60 ECTS at the advanced level, or the equivalent knowledge obtained in or outside of Sweden.

Specific requirements:

  • At least 90 ETCS in subjects relating to the proposed research subject or equivalent knowledge acquired in any other manner within or outside of Sweden
  • Good language skills in Swedish and/or English
  • Finally, it is required that applicants are judged to have the ability needed to complete the education

Other requirements:

The successful applicant must demonstrate analytical skills, an interest in new technologies and the ability to work independently and in a team, as well as excellent communication skills in English both verbally and in writing. A driver’s license is required for the position.

Desirable qualifications:

Theoretical knowledge and practical experience in plant physiology, forest pathology or entomology, or digital image analysis solutions, as well as knowledge of Swedish, are considered as merits.

Basis of assessment:

Selection for postgraduate education is based on the assessed ability to cope with the demands of postgraduate education. The assessment of the ability is primarily based on the study results at the first level and advanced levels. The following aspects will be considered:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the topic of the project and the educational subject. These can be shown through the attached documents
  • Assessed ability to work independently and ability to formulate and approach scientific problems. The assessment can, for example, contemplate the degree project and a discussion about it during a possible interview
  • Ability for written and oral communication
  • Other experiences relevant to the education at the postgraduate level, e.g., professional experience

Consideration will also be given to good cooperation skills, independence, and personal suitability, as well as how the applicant, through her/his experience and competence, is judged to have the ability needed to complete the postgraduate education.

Application procedure:

The application must contain:

  • A personal letter explaining why you are interested in the position and how the research project matches your interests and educational background
  • CV
  • Degree certificate or equivalent, a copy of the thesis or the equivalent, alternatively a summary if the work has not been completed
  • Other things you wish to refer to (copies of grades, information about references, letters of recommendation, etc.).- Completed application form

Further information:

Head of the department Erika Olofsson, e-mail: erika.olofsson@lnu.se

Main supervisor Johanna Witzell, e-mail, E-post johanna.witzell@lnu.se   

HR-partner Jesper Pettersson, e-mail: jesper.pettersson@lnu.se

Welcome with your application according to instruction, last day to apply is 31 March 2023. Linnaeus University has the ambition to utilize the qualities that an even gender distribution and diversity brings to the organization.

Please apply by clicking on the Apply button at the bottom of the ad. Applicants are requested to the application resolving CV, cover letter , a copy of a relevant essay , grades and certificates and other relevant documents. The applicant also requested to submit with their application a proposed research plan within the current area of research.

All documents must be attached to digital in the application. The application and other documents shall be marked with the reference number. All documents cited must be received by the University no later than 24.00 (Local time in Sweden) on the closing day.


Last day to apply is 31 March 2023.

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