Short-term assignments to synthetize information for ranking plant pests

Last changed: 12 April 2019

During 2018 there is an opportunity to participate in the exciting and important work performed at the Unit for Risk Assessment of Plant Pests. We are currently offering several short-term assignments to collect and synthesize the information necessary to perform a risk ranking of a large number of regulated plant pests.

Thus, if you are not already fully occupied and have experience of working with plant pests you should take the opportunity to apply for this assignment. To be eligible to apply you need to have a PhD degree and an employment at SLU. Depending on your background, your interest and your current work situation you may apply for one or several of the assignments described below. The assignments we offer are suitable to combine with other assignments since you will mostly work independently with flexible working conditions. The assignments should be completed no later than December 31, 2018.


The number of regulated plant pests is very large and new plant pests are continuously emerging (Regulation (EU) 2016/2031). To ensure an optimal use of society’s resources, counter measures needs to be targeted and prioritized to be able to direct resources in the best possible way (Swedish Board of Agriculture  2016). Different models have been developed to provide quick risk assessments and a ranking of plant pests based on the risk they present. FinnPRIO is a recently developed model for ranking invasive plant pests that has been extensively used in Finland (Heikkilä et al. 2016) and the model will be applied also in Sweden. The assessments and risk ranking generated will provide support to the risk management performed by Swedish Board of Agriculture. 


The task of synthesizing information and make the assessment of one species is estimated to take between 4-16 hours to perform. There are more than 200 pests that are currently relevant for assessment for Sweden (Swedish Board of Agriculture 2016; 2017). The pests can be divided into the following five organism groups where the estimated length of the assignment is given within parenthesis; insects (8 months), nematodes (1 month), bacteria (1 month), fungi (3 months), and viruses (3 months).  Depending on your background and interest you may apply to work with one or several of the following organism groups (the group “Insects” may be divided into two assignments).


You will be given an assignment with a number of species for which you will compile the information necessary for making the assessments described in Heikkilä et al. (2016). You will mostly work independently with flexible working conditions but there will be a few fixed milestones (content and dates for those will be decided individually). The final report of your assignment should be completed no later than December 31, 2018.

How to apply

If you are interested let us know as soon as possible since the assignments will be distributed continuously. Please send an e-mail to and with your application which should include;

  • A motivation why you are a suitable candidate for the assignment
  • Which organism groups you would like to work on
  • Your current employment circumstances including information about approximately when, and how much time, you can devote time to the assignment

Your CV including contact information of two reference persons and your language skills (knowledge of Swedish is not a requirement but it is a merit)

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