Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Institutionen för kemiteknik

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and 7 400 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

Subject description
Lignin is an aromatic polymer, which represents a substantial fraction of lignocellulosic biomass, such as wood and agricultural waste. A major research project at Lund University was started in 2015, initiated by funding from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF), aiming for novel biological routes for lignin valorization ( The project, which involves several departments at the Chemical Centre, has now been successfully operating for more than 2.5 years, and we are planning to expand the efforts in the project with one more doctoral student.

Work duties
The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties will also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

The current offered PhD position is placed at the Department of Chemical Engineering (  The research aims at analysis of aromatic metabolism in microorganisms, both on a modelling level (e.g. flux balance analysis or similar stoichiometric based approaches) and an experimental level, i.e. by conducting fermentation experiments including chemical analysis work of lignin and lignin derived compounds. Also investigations on isolated enzymes or enzyme systems pathways will be part of the research.

The PhD student will be working in a close collaboration with researchers within the Lignin project, which includes researchers from Chemical Engineering, Applied Microbiology and Centre for Analysis and Synthesis.  The PhD student is expected to take initiatives needed to ensure progress in the project and in the PhD education.  

Admission requirements
A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, i.e. M.Sc degree or equivalent, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Chemical engineering if he or she has:

  • a specialised project of at least 30 second cycle credits in the subject

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Documented knowledge in biochemical reaction engineering and fermentation technology.

Assessment criteria
Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  3. Written and oral communication skills.
  4. Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience in the field of the announced position.

Other assessment criteria:

  • Previously documented experience from experimental work with bioreactors and mathematical modelling of biological systems is a merit
  • Problem-solving and analytical skills

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme. We are looking for a person who is curious, achievement-oriented, structured and persistent.

Terms of employment
Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply
Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2017/3189
  • Gunnar Lidén, +46462220862
Published 12.Oct.2017
Last application date 02.Nov.2017 11:59 PM CET

Return to job vacancies