Doctoral position in horticultural science

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
May 30, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Department of Biosystems and Technology

At the Department of Biosystems and Technology we explore interactions between soil, plants, animals, environment, climate and humans in systems for sustainable production of food and renewable raw materials. Our teaching and research deal with questions about the sustainable and efficient use of limited resources for production in horticulture and agriculture.

This doctoral announcement is part of the faculty's investment in 10 doctoral students in 2024! Read more here: Strategic initiatives at the LTV Faculty – call for 10 doctoral student projects Medarbetarwebben (

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at SLU at https: // www.

Research project: The potential of Nordic heirloom vegetables for improved

national food security

Research subject: Horticultural science Description:

Future food security is facing multiple challenges, including climate change and political instability, which require resilient and diversified regional production systems. Heirloom vegetable cultivars offer promising traits that could significantly contribute to food safety, especially within organic crop production systems. These cultivars, adapted to local conditions, often exhibit reduced fertilizer needs, reduced irrigation needs, higher nutritional value, and disease resistance. The possibility of producing domestic seeds also plays a crucial role in ensuring the long-term availability of seeds as a critical commodity. By increasing agrobiodiversity of the whole production system there is potential to enhance ecosystem services and broaden the vegetable market, thus offering consumers greater product differentiation. However, a successful introduction of heirloom vegetables to the production systems and market requires increased knowledge of their agricultural performance, product quality, and societal acceptance.

The main focus of the PhD project is comparative cultivar trials of heirloom vegetables versus modern cultivars with an emphasis on production resilience evaluation (produce quality and health, yield, and waste reduction).

The PhD project is built on three complementary parts:

  • Quality evaluation of heirloom vegetable cultivars with a focus on the potential for self-sufficiency and coping with climate change.
  • Evaluation and documentation of ecosystem services and disease resistance characteristics of the heirloom vegetable seed resources in a commercial production context.
  • Supply chain interview study in order to evaluate growers' and stakeholders´ views on needs and usage of traditional seed material to meet societal and climatic challenges.
  • The project offers a variation in tasks, including field work, laboratory work, and interview studies.


    The successful applicant is required to:

    - have a MSc degree in horticulture, agriculture, agroecology or related field

    - communicate freely in English (speaking, listening, reading and writing). It is an advantage, but not a requirement, to be able to communicate in Swedish with growers, stakeholders and students.

    It is important that the applicant is able to benefit from the training. Great emphasis is placed on personal qualities, such as the ability to work together, creativity, initiative, analytical and problem-solving ability as well as the ability to work independently.

    Particular emphasis is placed on your written motivation, describing your research interests and interest in the project, and what makes you a motivated candidate for this PhD program

    Experience of field grown vegetables and/or quality analyses is an advantage. The applicant should have experience of, or desire to, develop and implement new technologies and evaluation methods.

    Place of work:

    Alnarp, Sweden

    Forms for funding or employment:

    Employment (4 years)

    Starting date:

    According to agreement


    Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2024-05-30.

    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: www. students/english-language-requirements/

    Please note that applicants invited to interview must submit attested copies of their degree certificate, or equivalent, 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 www. courses/doctoral-studies/

    Academic union representatives:

    https: // vid-rekrytering/

    The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

    SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

    Contact person

    Lars Mogren



    [email protected]

    From this employer

    Recent blogs

    Recent news