Doctoral student in Marine Sciences specialising in biology

Ref PAR 2023/714

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

Doctoral position in Marine Sciences specialising in biology

The Department for Marine Sciences ( is Sweden’s most complete academic environment for marine research and education, and it is one of few such institutions in Europe. The Department for Marine Sciences brings together expertise in physical oceanography, marine chemistry, marine biology, marine geology, and marine heritage conservation. Research and education are conducted in our premises in Gothenburg, at the two marine research stations Kristineberg and Tjärnö, and on the research vessel Skagerrak. This position is placed at the Tjärnö Marine Laboratory, a stimulating work place on the Swedish west coast, ca 2hrs north of Gothenburg (

General information about being a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg can be found on the university’s doctoral student pages.   


Subject description

The PhD position is primarily associated with the VR Starting Grant CODTYPES: Resolving mechanisms maintaining distinct Atlantic cod ecotypes in a hybrid zone, led by Rebekah Oomen. The position is also associated with the Nordic Council Project SAMSKAG: Samarbeid om forbedring av miljøsituasjonen i nordiske hav- og kystområder, med fokus på Skagerrak (‘Cooperation on improving the environmental situation in Nordic sea and coastal areas, with a focus on the Skagerrak’) through Carl André.

The relative importance of different reproductive isolating barriers in early-stage speciation is a long-standing, yet active, debate at the crux of how biodiversity evolves. The overarching aim of this project is to contribute to knowledge on the origin and consequences of early-stage speciation in light of environmental variation. We will examine mating and hybridization between recently diverged Atlantic cod ecotypes in a hybrid zone. By combining high-throughput genomics with behavioural observations in a multi-generational spawning experiment, we will (i) quantify assortative mating, (ii) test for selection against ecotype hybrids, (iii) identify the genomic basis of reproductive isolation, and (iv) work towards modelling ecotype persistence under environmental change. Research on this ecologically and socioeconomically important fish will be applied in the context of seascape connectivity and marine protected area design in the Skagerrak. We encourage applicants that are keen to develop their own research within and beyond the above described project.

We are seeking an independent and collaborative person with a background in evolutionary ecology and quantitative/population genomics to pursue PhD studies in Marine Sciences. The research project itself is very collaborative and will involve international (e.g. Canada, Norway, New Zealand) and Swedish researchers. The candidate will be expected to contribute to a positive and inclusive working environment.

Job assignments

The main task is to conduct a PhD thesis under supervision within the research theme described above.

Techniques used within the project include: fish handling/sampling, egg/larval sampling, molecular lab skills (DNA extractions, PCR, library preparation, etc), bioinformatic skills for genomic data analysis, statistical analyses, writing of scientific articles and dissemination of scientific results at both international and national conferences and seminars as well as popular science media. The project is based on a mesocosm experiment and there may also be opportunities for aquatic laboratory experiments and field work.

Previous knowledge on molecular lab and bioinformatic analyses of SNP data-sets, as well as experience of computer programming, e.g. in R, is an advantage. Scientific writing is a merit.

As member of the project team it is expected that the PhD student communicates and actively collaborates within the group. The PhD student will present results at conferences, seminars and at project meetings. A core part of the PhD student assignment is publication in international peer-reviewed journals and the writing of the final summarizing thesis, which is defended during a public dissertation. A Swedish Ph. D. thesis should be completed within 4 years full time work, including participation in courses equivalent to 1 year (60 ECTS): Pedagogic and other soft-skill courses as well as courses to develop technical skills and knowledge (please see below). The 4 years can be prolonged with teaching (up to 20%).


We seek a motivated person for PhD studies in evolutionary marine biology, with emphasis on genomics of Atlantic cod.

Important selection criteria are that the applicant must hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in biology, ecology, marine biology, genetics or related fields. The applicant should possess the ability to work independently, as well as to collaborate as part of the research team, and that the applicant takes responsibility for his/her own learning and research. The candidate should have an interest in both practical laboratory as well as theoretical work tasks. Previous research experience is an added qualification, for example, conference attendance, grant funding and scientific publications with a short description of the applicant’s role in the work. Excellent communication skills in English, both written and spoken, are necessary since we work in an international environment.

In addition to the formal qualification requirements, emphasis will be placed on personal qualities and suitability for the position.

Education at third-cycle level comprises four years of full-time study, and leads to a doctoral degree.    

As part of your employment as a doctoral student, you may have departmental duties corresponding to up to 20 % of full-time employment, distributed throughout your study period. Departmental duties usually consist of teaching at first- and second-cycle levels, but may also include research and administration.  


Education at third-cycle level requires general eligibility and, where appropriate, specific eligibility as set out in the general syllabus for the subject.  

The general eligibility requirements for education at third-cycle level are:    

  1. having completed a degree at second-cycle level, or2. the fulfilment of course requirements totalling at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits must be at second-cycle level, or  
  2. the acquisition of equivalent knowledge in some other way, either in Sweden or abroad. Third cycle education

    Admission to third cycle education is aiming at a PhD in Natural Science, specializing in Marine Sciences. The education runs for four years of fulltime studies, containing three years of thesis work and one year of academic education (i.e. course work and literature studies). A selection of courses at the Department/Faculty is available, but national/international courses can also be selected. Some teaching and/or course administration can be included which extends the contract to the same extent. You will be employed at University of Gothenburg, and salary follows the regulations at University of Gothenburg. In addition to pursuing his/her own research studies, PhD students may be required to perform other duties, such as teaching, research and administrative work according to special regulations.

Assessment criteria   

The selection of applicants who meet the basic and specific eligibility requirements will be based on the ability to assimilate the education at third-cycle level.   


Once you have been admitted for education at third-cycle level, you will be employed as a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg.   

The provisions for employment as a doctoral student can be found in ordinance SFS 1993:100.    

Initial employment as a doctoral student may apply for a maximum of one year, and may be renewed by a maximum of two years at a time.  

 A doctoral student may be employed as a doctoral student for a maximum of eight years, but the total period of employment may not be longer than the equivalent of full-time education at third-cycle level for four years.   

Extent: 100 %Location: Department of Marine Sciences at Tjärnö, University of Gothenburg

First day of employment: As soon as possible

The University applies a local agreement on salaries for doctoral students.   

Contact information 

Please contact Dr Rebekah Oomen ( huvudhandledare

Professor Carl André ( ) biträdande handledare


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here:   


You can apply to be admitted for education at third-cycle level via the University of Gothenburg’s recruitment portal.   

It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline.   

Applications must be received by: 2023-06-24

Information for International Applicants 

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit: 

The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

Salaries are set individually at the University.

In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden’s regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.