PhD Opportunity: Permafrost Landscape classification, Stockholm University

PhD in “Physical Geography: Permafrost Landscape classification” at Stockholm University, Sweden

The Department of Physical Geography is one of the major departments within the Faculty of Science. The department has approximately 110 employees and educates approximately 1000 students annually. Education is oriented towards geography, geosciences, biology-earth sciences, and environmental protection and management.  They offer a stimulating and friendly environment in a very diverse and international department.

Project description:

The northern permafrost region has been projected to shift from a net sink of greenhouse gases to a net source under global warming. However, annual permafrost region budgets of the main greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, and N2O) are highly uncertain. This PhD student would work to create improved geospatial databases of permafrost landscapes to improve assessments of monthly to annual greenhouse gas budgets of the permafrost region. The research contributes to the CALIPSO project funded under Schmidt Futures as well as assessment of the permafrost region greenhouse gas budgets carried out within the REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes-2 (RECCAP2) project.

The PhD student will work with the compilation and analyses of different types of geodata for permafrost landscape characterization and classification across broad scales. The work of the PhD student will include mapping geomorphology, surface hydrology, vegetation dynamics and phenology, freeze-thaw spatial and temporal dynamics. The products and increased understanding generated by the PhD-student will be used in CALIPSO and RECCAP2 to support land surface modelling and greenhouse gas upscaling across permafrost landscapes.

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, and to fulfil the general syllabus for doctoral studies in Physical Geography, the candidate for this position should have acquired a total of at least 240 higher education credits (of which at least 60 at advanced level), or acquired in some alternative way, the equivalent knowledge in the fields of Earth Science, biology-Earth science, Geography, or other relevant natural or engineering scientific disciplines. This program should include independent work totaling at least 30 higher education credits, of which 15 credits are at an advanced level.

The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.


The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates’ documented knowledge in research relevant to the compilation and analyses of different types of geodata for landscape characterization and classification across broad scales. After this, documented knowledge on permafrost landscapes is assessed. Other important criteria are written and oral proficiency in English, the capacity for analytical thinking, the ability to collaborate, as well as creativity, initiative, and independence. The assessment will be based on previous experience and grades, the quality of the degree project, references, relevant experience, interviews, and the candidate’s written motivation for seeking the position.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: and regulations.

Terms of employment:

Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

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 Professor Gustaf Hugelius (+46 8 674 78 73, or Associate Professor Stefano Manzoni (+46 8 674 78 02,

Union representatives:

Ingrid Lander (Saco-S; +46 708 16 26 64,, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/OFR; +46 8 16 34 89,, SEKO (, and PhD student representative (


Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University’s recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

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
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Project proposal/Research proposal describing:
    – why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement 
    – why and how you wish to complete the project 
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • 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 6 files)
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position.

Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.

Deadline: 28 February 2024