PhD Opportunity: Sources and Processing of Methane Released from the Arctic Subsea, Stockholm University

PhD opportunity on “Sources and Processing of Methane Released from the Arctic Subsea” under the supervision of Prof. Örjan Gustafsson at Stockholm University, Sweden

Project description:

The Arctic hosts extensive areas of permafrost (on land and in the subsea) and methane hydrates (on the shelf and along the continental slope). It is one of the grand challenges in climate change research to better understand the composition and functioning of these systems, particularly of the lesser studied subsea system. This will provide scientific underpinning towards predictions of how much greenhouse gases that may be released from thawing subsea permafrost and collapsing methane hydrates in the Arctic.

The PhD project will to these ends contribute to increase the understanding of sources, transport and degradation processes of methane on the East Siberian Arctic Ocean using e.g. multi-isotope measurements of methane in existing seawater samples as well as by measurements of specific biomarkers and compound-specific isotope measurements that trace recent and past methane activity. These processes are key aspects of the Arctic carbon-climate link. The project offers involvement in studies of both the contemporary carbon/methane system as well as during earlier periods of abrupt change, through studies of longer sediment cores. The position involves active work on vacuum and gas handling systems, laser spectroscopy and gas chromatography – (isotope) mass spectrometry.

The project offers opportunities for the PhD student to influence direction and approach of research; a detailed research plan will be developed by the PhD student together with the PhD advisors.

Qualification requirements:

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 Environmental Science, at least 45 of the credits at the second cycle must be in one of the natural sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Earth/Environmental Sciences, Physics, or Meteorology) including at least a 30 credits thesis project. The applicant should also have 30 credits in other natural science subjects different from the major.

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


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: 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 Prof. Örjan Gustafsson (

Union representatives:


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 job 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 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)
  • Optional 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.

You are welcome to apply!

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

Closing date: 7 August 2023

Follow this link to apply: