Doctoral Student In Oceanography

Göteborg University
June 14, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Fixed term employmen
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

The University of Gothenburg tackles society's challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract researchers and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

Doctoral position in Oceanography

The Department of Marine Science (https: // www. at the University of Gothenburg has with its broad scientific competence area and its unique infrastructure the most complete environment for marine science and marine education in Sweden. Only a few similar organisations exist in Europe. Through advanced research infrastructure and the clear connection to societies needs and challenges, the department contributes to new solutions for the global challenges surrounding the ocean.

The Department of Marine Science conducts science, education and innovation related to the sea and its resources. The operation is conducted in Gothenburg, at the research stations Kristineberg Center for Marine Science and Innovation and Tjärnö Marine Laboratory, as well as on the research vessel Skagerak. The department has an interdisciplinary width that includes marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology, marine conservation and oceanography, and the research area spans geographically from coast to world ocean. Our scientists and students often have prominent roles in international expeditions, from Antarctica, Arctic, and the great world seas, but also work in our newly built laboratories with advanced equipment and complex analyses methods. The department also has a broad education palette, including a bachelor's program, three master´s programs and a Ph. D. education in the marine domain.

General information about being a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg can be found on the university's doctoral student pages.

https: //

Subject area description

Oceanographic processes, such as mixing and currents, particularly from the micro- to submesoscale and the properties they transport, are one of the primary sources of uncertainty in global climate understanding and its future prediction. These uncertainties are particularly prevalent in previously poorly observed and understood regions such as the Southern Ocean and South Atlantic Subtropics. The current scarcity of observations that encompass these processes, and the uncertainty of the correct scales to measure them, means we know remarkably little about the interaction of the processes occurring between the millimeter to 100s of kilometer scale and their links to the larger climate system and its change.

We seek a PhD candidate in Physical Oceanography to address knowledge gaps related to fine-scale ocean features/variability to understand mixed layer dynamics, vertical mixing and ventilation pathways, and water mass transformation in the upper ocean spanning the Southern Ocean and South Atlantic. These processes may also be related to heat and carbon fluxes across the air-sea interface, and beyond the base of the mixed layer. The candidate has the flexibility to investigate one to several of these processes. The candidate may use a combination of existing field data (primarily from autonomous platforms from multiple Southern Ocean deployments), new observations (planned expeditions in 2025 & 2026), as well as existing and new model simulations. Auxiliary reanalysis data and satellite-based products, including recently attained SWOT and PACE satellite data, are available to be used.

The candidate will contribute primarily to two projects: the ERC Synergy project ‘WHIRLS' (The impact of ocean fine scale whirls on climate and ecosystems) and the Wallenberg Academy Fellowship of Swart ‘Regulation of the ocean's heat and carbon by small-scale processes in the Southern Ocean'. The overall PhD study is summarized in broad terms as the ‘Surface boundary layer processes and mixing at the fine scale'.

There will also be an expectation to learn how ocean autonomous platforms function and are piloted (e.g., Seaglider, Sailbuoy, and Wave Glider). There will likely be mobility and collaboration with other leading scientists around the world, especially those linked to current projects like ERC WHIRLS.

Candidates that have interests in bio-physical interactions or biogeochemical processes in oceanography are also encouraged to apply.


As a PhD student at the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, the candidate will be expected to fulfill responsibilities that include:

  • Produce a doctoral thesis, which may include peer-reviewed publications on the research topic; present findings at appropriate scientific conferences.
  • Participate in research cruises that may be of weeks to months duration to collect observations and/or deploy equipment.
  • Participate and contribute to the activities of the oceanography subject and colleagues at the Department of Marine Sciences.
  • Assist with remote piloting of autonomous platforms in the field.
  • Expected skills sharing between candidate and research group, and vice versa.
  • Assisting in teaching activities at times in Oceanography or Marine Sciences.
  • Education at third-cycle level comprises four years of full-time study, and leads to a doctoral degree.

    As part of your employment as a doctoral student, you may have departmental duties corresponding to up to 20 % of full-time employment, distributed throughout your study period. Departmental duties usually consist of teaching at first- and second-cycle levels, but may also include research and administration.


    Education at third-cycle level requires general eligibility and, where appropriate, specific eligibility as set out in the general syllabus for the subject.

    The general eligibility requirements for education at third-cycle level are:

  • having completed a degree at second-cycle level, or
  • the fulfilment of course requirements totalling at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits must be at second-cycle level, or
  • the acquisition of equivalent knowledge in some other way, either in Sweden or abroad.
  • Assessment criteria

    The selection of applicants who meet the basic and specific eligibility requirements will be based on the ability to assimilate the education at third-cycle level.

    We are looking for a highly motivated and independent person with education/knowledge of oceanography. The person should be interested in extending and enhancing current observational capabilities in the Polar Gliders research group at GU ( The candidate will work with a strongly supportive team based at the university and collaborate with project partners, namely with WHIRLS PIs in GEOMAR, ENS Paris and University of Cape Town.

    The applicant is expected to have a willingness to work in a team, to communicate with peers, good abilities to handle data and an ambition to learn new skills, as well as a willingness to go to sea to participate in international research cruises.

    Any of the following experience is considered advantageous: education in oceanography, ocean turbulence, air-sea interactions, bio-physical interactions, handling large datasets and/or reanalysis/model datasets, strong analytical skills (e.g. experience using Matlab or Python).


    Once you have been admitted for education at third-cycle level, you will be employed as a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg.

    The provisions for employment as a doctoral student can be found in ordinance SFS 1993:100.

    Initial employment as a doctoral student may apply for a maximum of one year, and may be renewed by a maximum of two years at a time.

    A doctoral student may be employed as a doctoral student for a maximum of eight years, but the total period of employment may not be longer than the equivalent of full-time education at third-cycle level for four years.

    Type of employment: Fixed term employment, 4 years. Extent: Full time, 100%. Location: Until further notice at the Department of Marine Sciences, Gothenburg. First day of employment: As soon as possible or upon agreement (approximately autumn of 2024).

    The University applies a local agreement on salaries for doctoral students.

    Contact information

    If you have any questions about the position, please contact Prof Sebastiaan Swart, [email protected]

    If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Sofie Emanuelsson, [email protected]


    Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: https: // www.


    You can apply to be admitted for education at third-cycle level via the University of Gothenburg's recruitment portal.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline. All documents in your application should be submitted in English.

    The application should contain:

  • A degree certificate/diploma and/or transcripts
  • A one page cover letter outlining your ambitions for the outlined position and relevance to the position description
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Applications must be received by: 2024-06-14

    Information for International Applicants

    Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:

    https: // www. https: // www.

    The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

    Salaries are set individually at the University.

    In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden's regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

    In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

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