University of Gothenburg

Doctoral student in marine biology - Developing biological forecasts for the Digital Twin of the Ocean (DTO)

2024-07-30 (Europe/Stockholm)
Salva lavoro

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 marine biology   

The Department of Marine Science ( 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 society's 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 Research 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, preservation of marine cultural heritage, and oceanography, and the research area spans geographically from coast to world ocean. Our scientists and students often have prominent roles in international expeditions in Antarctica, the 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 programme, three master´s programmes 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. 

Doctoral studies | University of Gothenburg (

Subject area description

At the Department of Marine Science, we are looking to fill the position as PhD student in the program “Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS)” and more specifically in the theme "Data-driven evolution and biodiversity". Data driven evolution and biodiversity concerns research that takes advantage of the massive data streams offered by techniques such as high-throughput sequencing of genomes and biomes, continuous recording of video and audio in the wild, high-throughput imaging of biological specimens, and large-scale remote monitoring of organisms or habitats.

General description of the DDLS program

Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS) uses data, computational methods and artificial intelligence to study biological systems and processes at all levels, from molecular structures and cellular processes to human health and global ecosystems. The SciLifeLab and Wallenberg National Program for Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS) aims to recruit and train the next-generation of data-driven life scientists and to create globally leading computational and data science capabilities in Sweden. The programme is funded with a total of 3.1 billion SEK (about 290 MUSD) over 12 years from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg (KAW) Foundation.

During 2024 the DDLS Research School will be launched with the recruitment of 20 academic and 7 industrial PhD students. During the course of the DDLS program more than 260 PhD students and 200 postdocs will be part of the Research School. The DDLS program has four strategic areas: cell and molecular biology, evolution and biodiversity, precision medicine and diagnostics, epidemiology and biology of infection. For more information, please see driven/ddls-research-school/

The future of life science is data-driven. Will you be part of that change? Then join us in this unique program!


Scientific assignments include research on new technologies such as genomics and remote sensing, which enable the collection of large amounts of data. These methods have led to a new concept for the creation of a Digital Twin for the Ocean (DTO) as major contribution to the United Nation’s ocean decade. The successful candidate will participate in the multidisciplinary DTO program at Gothenburg University and develop biodiversity scenarios with the goal of predicting the performance and health status of marine ecosystems. In contrast to conventional simulation frameworks that typically operate entirely in virtual environments, the DTO will connect both physical components (i.e., sensor data networks) with virtual applications (i.e., artificial intelligence and ecological modelling).

The goal of this PhD is to develop epidemic forecasts for marine invasive species in European coastal waters by creating models of species distribution and connectivity based on data streams from eco-genomic and camera-based sensor systems. This “sensor-to-modelling” framework has the potential to be further developed into biological forecasts for rare, endangered, commercial, or ecological keystone species. The ultimate purpose of the simulations is to understand and predict the complex biological responses of marine ecosystems to environmental pressures and offer a test bed for simulating management scenarios. This research is aligned with global sustainability goals, focusing on innovative strategies for marine conservation and ecosystem management.

Education at third-cycle level comprises four years of full-time study, and leads to a doctoral degree. The education also includes courses of at least 60 ECTS credits, these can be distributed through out the four-year study period and should be planned with the supervisor and examiner. 

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. The employment will be extended by the corresponding time. 


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:    

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

To meet the specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies, applicants must:

  1. have a master’s degree in a relevant* subject area in the natural sciences,
  2. have completed studies for at least 60 higher education credits at a second-cycle level in relevant subject areas in the natural sciences, or
  3. have completed a corresponding programme of relevance to the planned third-cycle programme, in Sweden or in another country, or have equivalent qualifications.

*Relevant subject for the planned third-cycle education is biology or closely related subject. 

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.   

The following is considered essential:

  • fluency in spoken and written English
  • experience with reading and writing academic texts

The following is considered advantageous:

  • bioinformatics skills, especially R and/or python
  • previous research experience of genetic monitoring and/or ecological research with genetic data
  • previous experience in machine learning, artificial intelligence, computer vision, or data science
  • previous experience in ecological modelling
  • experience with working in multi-national research and infrastructure programmes
  • experience in processing and/or management of big data
  • experience developing and/or using computational pipelines and workflows


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 in Gothenburg.
First day of employment: Upon agreement, but no later than 2024-10-01

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

Selection process   

The highest ranked applicants will be invited to an interview within five weeks from the application deadline. The final candidate(s) will be selected in direct consultation with representatives from the DDLS program.  

Contact information 

If you have any questions about the position, please contact:

Matthias Obst, Department of Marine Sciences

Tel: +46 766183827  


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here:     


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.   

The following should be included in the application (all documents should be submitted in English):

  • A short cover letter in English describing the applicant´s motivation for the position, how the applicant meets the assessment criteria, and how the application is well suited for the proposed work (max. one A4 page)
  • An attested list of qualifications (CV)
  • Examination certificate/degree and transcript of courses with grades
  • Relevant publications, including academic papers, submitted manuscripts, data publications, analytical resources, or research thesis
  • Contact information (phone, email) of two personal references

Applications must be received by: 2024-07-30  

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: 

 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.

Dettagli del lavoro

Doctoral student in marine biology - Developing biological forecasts for the Digital Twin of the Ocean (DTO)
Datore di lavoro
Universitetsplatsen 1 Göteborg, Svezia
Scadenza candidatura
2024-07-30 23:59 (Europe/Stockholm)
2024-07-30 23:59 (CET)
Tipo di lavoro
Salva lavoro

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