SLU: Associate Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in data-driven evolution and biodiversity


Application deadline

September 5, 2021

Associate Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Data Driven Evolution and Biodiversity

Faculty of Forest Sciences, Umeå Plant Science Centre, the Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology

A position as Associate Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Data Driven Evolution and Biodiversity is open at Umeå Plant Science Centre, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, SLU, Umeå, Sweden. The subject area is Genomics, with focus on data driven research on evolution, adaptation and biodiversity in trees.

Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC), is one of the strongest research environments for experimental plant biology in Europe, and we conduct research of both basic and strategic importance. Research at UPSC covers a wide range of disciplines in plant biology including ecophysiology, genetics, plant physiology, biochemistry, cell biology and molecular biology. The common goal shared by scientists within UPSC is to understand the mechanisms driving plant development and plant adaptation to environmental changes. Our work is carried out at all organization levels of the plant, and through integrating different research fields and areas of expertise.

UPSC is world leading in tree genomics and forest biotechnology. We have a long history of strong collaborations with SciLifeLab for genomics research and with the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden for tree breeding research. UPSC also hosts the Swedish Metabolomics Centre, a unit specialized in the use of mass spectrometry-based methods for analysis of metabolites in different biological systems. Since 2016 this has been a national service unit within SciLifeLab.

Available resources: Newly developed reference genomes for Norway spruce, Scots Pine and aspen species. Large-scale resequencing data from thousands of trees. Genotyping data from tens of thousands of individuals and extensive ‘omics (transcriptomics and metabolomics) data resources. Integration with metabolomics and transcriptomics data as well as phenotyping data (growth, wood quality, phenology, abiotic and biotic resistance traits) from hundreds of progeny tests of Scots pine and Norway spruce spread over Sweden.

Possible applications: Strong possibilities for applications in the operational tree breeding programs for Norway spruce and Scots Pine, and other tree species of relevance to Swedish forestry.

The SciLifeLab and Wallenberg National Program for Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS) is a 12-year initiative funded with a total of 3,1 billion SEK from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The purpose of the program is to recruit and train the next-generation of data-driven life scientists and to create globally leading computational and data science capabilities in life science in Sweden.

The program will recruit 39 eminent early career group leaders as DDLS Fellows, launch over 210 postdoctoral positions and establish a research school for 260 PhDs, within both academia and industry. The program is coordinated by SciLifeLab, a nationwide research infrastructure and a hub for cross-disciplinary life sciences. The Fellows will be recruited to the 11 participating host universities/organizations, enabling them to link up with strong local research environments as well as with the national DDLS program. The DDLS program promotes collaborative interdisciplinary work and engagement with industry, healthcare and other national and international partners, such as WASP, with the aim of bridging the life science and data science communities.

The DDLS program will focus on four strategic areas of data-driven research: cell and molecular biology, evolution and biodiversity, precision medicine and diagnostics, epidemiology and infection biology. We are now looking for the first 20 early career group leaders to join us as DDLS Fellows.

Each DDLS Fellow will receive a recruitment package of 17 MSEK, which is meant to cover 5 years of his/her own salary, two PhD students and two postdoc positions, as well as running costs. The Fellow positions are tenure-track, and the universities/organizations will assume the long-term responsibility of their support as tenured faculty.

The future of life science is data-driven. Do you want to be leading that change with us?

Then apply now!

Subject area

The subject area is Genomics, with focus on data driven research on evolution, adaptation and biodiversity in trees. The subject area concerns research that takes advantage of the massive data streams offered by techniques such as high-throughput sequencing of genomes and biomes. This research subject area aims to lead the development and application of novel methods relying on machine learning, artificial intelligence, or other computational techniques to analyze these data and take advantage of such methods in addressing major scientific questions in evolution and biodiversity.


The associate senior lecturer shall develop her/his own research line within the subject area genomics, with focus on data driven research on evolution, adaptation and biodiversity in trees.

More specifically, the associate senior lecturer will have a focus in areas that can include the study of genetic diversity, population genetics and adaptation, quantitative genetics, omics and breeding in different Swedish tree species with extensive genomic resources, such as Scots pine, Norway spruce, aspen or birch.

Research is expected to be carried out in close collaboration with colleagues at the department, UPSC and SLU, as well as through national and international collaborations.

In addition, the holder of the position is also expected to:

  • apply for external research funding in competition and publish scientific articles
  • initiate the development of his/her own research group
  • participate in postgraduate education as a co-supervisor
  • communicate and collaborate with relevant industrial stakeholders
  • teach at basic and advanced levels, including doctoral level
  • receive pedagogical training


Eligible for employment as associate senior lecturer are candidates who hold a PhD or have equivalent academic qualifications. Priority will be given to candidates who have received a PhD or equivalent qualifications no longer than five years before the application deadline. Other candidates may also be considered if there are extraordinary grounds for doing so. Extraordinary grounds refer to illness, parental leave or similar circumstances.

For employment as associate senior lecturer, the candidate must be scientifically proficient in the analysis of large and complex genomic datasets for biological applications in plant physiology or plant genetics.

Good ability to communicate in written and spoken English is required.

Assessment criteria

The assessment criteria for appointment as an associate senior lecturer will primarily be based on the degree to which the applicant/candidate possesses the required qualifications specified for the position.

The assessment criteria for appointment as an associate senior lecturer shall be the degree of the scientific expertise required as a qualification for employment.

Primary emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s specific competence in research areas with relevance for the subject genomics, with focus on data driven research on evolution and biodiversity in trees.

Good skills in genome-wide association mapping, meta-data genomic selection, bioinformatics, computational biology, systems biology, systems genetics or epigenomics are considered merits.

The position will require applications of machine learning and handling of big data series. The applicant must specify any previous experience and training in these fields.

Furthermore, the assessment includes evaluating the applicant’s ability to develop an independent line of research within the subject area, and to qualify for promotion to senior lecturer during the employment period.

Emphasis will also be placed on skills in communication and ability to work across several of the department´s research areas.

Good skills in collaboration as well as experience in administration and teaching are of importance.

Application deadline:


Place of work:




Form of Employment:

The employment is limited to five years in accordance with the Higher Education Act. A position as associate senior lecturer is a qualifying employment that constitutes the first step in an academic career at SLU. An associate senior lecturer has the right during his/her employment to apply for promotion to senior lecturer on the basis of criteria established when the position as associate senior lecturer was announced.

Starting date:

According to agreement


It is desirable that the application is written in English, because the applications will be evaluated by expert advisers both in Sweden and abroad.

“Appointment procedures for teachers at SLU” and “General assessment criteria for the appointment of teachers” can be found here.

 Please apply by clicking on the apply-button below.

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. The university ranks well internationally within its subject areas. SLU is a research-intensive university that also offers unique degree programmes in for example rural development and natural resource management, environmental economics, animal science and landscape architecture.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala.

Last updated: 2021-07-01

Content Responsible: David Gotthold(