PhD Positions in SLU, Sweden (Photo: Mark Harris)

Ph.D. Vacancy in Biology at the Swedish Uni of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden 2022


Ph.D. Student Position in Biology – Improving the welfare of farmed fishes: Ensuring a good death by investigating humane stunning and killing at the Department of Animal Environment and Health, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden Apr 2022

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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: Aug 15, 2022
Contract Period: 4 Years
Salary: According to standard norms

Department of Animal Environment and Health

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden


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Qualification Details

We are seeking a highly motivated person for PhD studies in Biology/zoophysiology with a special focus on the link between stress and fish welfare. On a personal level, you should be proactive, handy and equipped with an analytical mind. We also value if the applicant appreciates working in a group and seeking cooperation. Since the position includes fieldwork, a driving license is desirable and the candidate should also be able to stay away from home for shorter or longer periods of time. Specialization within zoophysiology or fish ecophysiology and a general interest in animal welfare and statistics are all desirable. Documented experience of in vivo experimentation and surgical techniques is considered a strong merit. Excellent communication skills (written and spoken) in English is a requirement. For this position, we will select the candidate who, after an overall assessment of competence and personal qualities, shows the best ability to perform the intended tasks and collaborate with others.

Responsibilities/Job Description

In this project, researchers and industry partners join forces to prevent the inhumane slaughter of farmed fish in the future. Our goal is to develop the solutions and measures needed for improving the welfare of farmed fish during stunning and slaughter. In recent years, we have within the project group developed methods for assessing brain activity, stress, health, and suffering in fish. Here, through a series of species-specific scientific studies, we will use these methods to develop equipment and methodology that 1) guarantees that the stunning leads to unconsciousness and that consciousness does not return during the killing, 2) does not require any form of handling that cause fish to suffer and 3) maintain a high flesh quality. In the project, we will monitor a broad spectrum of behavioral and physiological indicators of stress in farmed fish in order to assess their welfare. This will be achieved by a combination of on-site studies (at the fish farms) and lab experiments in which we are able to manipulate the surrounding environment. Our goal is to provide species-specific recommendations to improve welfare from which the necessary legislation regarding the humane slaughter of fish can be developed.

The PhD work is conducted under supervision, and includes development of the PhD student’s methodology experience, analytical skills, and theoretical depth and breadth. The project involves experimental studies on live fish. Techniques that will be used in the project mainly involve measurements of circulatory and respiratory variables in live animals using surgically implanted sensors, measurement of brain activity (via EEG), behavioral observations and various types of analyzer of blood and tissue samples. The project includes both laboratory and field work. The latter will mainly take place at various fish farms in the Nordic countries.

How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: SLU ua 2022.2.5.1-862

Application Procedure

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. More information about the English language requirements can be found here:

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.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at

About the Department

Department of Animal Environment and Health

The Department: The department has about 65 employees, primarily in the city of Skara, which is located in Sweden's most agricultural animal-dense area, as well as in Uppsala and Gothenburg. Agronomists, ethologists, veterinarians, biologists, ethics as well as technical and administrative staff work here. The department is responsible for SLU Götala beef and lamb meat research outside Skara.

Research: The department is responsible for both basic and applied research in the areas animal environment and health, ethology, animal welfare, animal ethics, meat science, ruminant nutrition, agricultural economics and animal production systems. The research is carried out in collaboration with i.e. the agricultural industry, authorities and other universities within regional, national and international networks.

Education: The department educates students at the bachelor and master levels on the ethology and animal welfare program, the veterinary program, the animal science program, the sport and companion animals program and the veterinary nursing program.

About the Employer:


The project is collaboration between the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Gothenburg University (GU), where you will be employed by the Department of Animal Environment and Health (SLU) while most of the daily work and main office will be located at the Department of Biology and Environmental Science at GU in Gothenburg.

Forms for funding or employment:

Employment (4 years)

Starting date:

15 August 2022 or according to agreement.

Academic union representatives:


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Contact details

Albin Gräns
[email protected]

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