PhD student in Environmental Science focusing on Environmental Toxicology and Epigenetics

Published: 2020-02-03

Stockholm University

Project description
There has been a rapidly increasing interest in whether environmental factors modulate the establishment and maintenance of epigenetic modifications, and thereby affect gene expression and phenotype in humans and wildlife. Chemical pollutants, dietary components, temperature changes and other external stressors can indeed have long-lasting effects on development, metabolism and health, and maybe even in subsequent generations. Although the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown, particularly in humans, mechanistic insights are emerging from experimental model systems, which may have implications for understanding disease and development.

The successful candidate will study multigenerational effects of environmental contaminants, and epigenetic inheritance, in the experimental model Xenopus tropicalis. This includes molecular studies of germ cells using next-generation sequencing methods as well as and hands on work with frogs at the Evolutionary Biology Centre, Department of Organismal Biology, Uppsala University.


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 Sciences, Physics, or Meteorology) including a 30 credits thesis project. The applicant should also have 30 credits in other natural science subjects different from the major. The applicant may also have MSc degree in other relevant areas (e.g. Toxicology, Pharmacy, Biomedicine, or Molecular biology).


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. Experience of experimental toxicology, molecular biology, epigenetics, and bioinformatics will be a strong asset.

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.


For more information, please contact Associate Professor Oskar Karlsson at SciLifeLab/Stockholm University,, and Associate Professor Cecilia Berg at Uppsala University,


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