PhD training in Soil Science

Last changed: 07 March 2023
woman at podium in front of a screen

The department of Soil and Environment offers PhD training in Soil Science. A PhD program is four years (240 hp) of which the major part (195 hp) consist of individual research and writing of a PhD thesis.

To qualify for postgraduate education, a degree at advanced level is required or at least four years full-time studies, of which at least one year at advanced level. To be admitted to postgraduate studies in Soil Science, a minimum of 60 credits in Soil Science or equivalent is required.

PhD candidate positions are advertised at Jobs and vacancies at SLU.

In order to enhance the quality in graduate education the department is a joint organizer of  the graduate school Focus on Soils and Water in collaboration with other departments at SLU.

General information about postgraduate education at SLU you can find both on the external web and at the staff web

Application for admission - PhD education


The general requirement for becoming a PhD student at the department of Soil and Environment is that you have a BSc in a relevant natural science discipline and at least one more year of university studies on a more advanced level like MSc. If you do not have a higher degree than BSc you also need to have completed an independent study of at least 15 hp at a higher level than BSc.

Supervision and selection

Only PhD students that can be guaranteed supervision can be accepted. Selection of applicants are made on a competative basis where the candidates capacity to succesfully complete postgraduate studies are evaluated.


According to the Swedish decree of higher education funding for the complete education (4 years effective studies) should be available and the candidate should be employed as a doctorate student.

Feasibility of the PhD project

The board for postgraduate studies makes an assessment of the application based on PhD candidate qualifications, possibilities for supervision, quality of suggested reserach, available funds and suggested time plan.


The application for admission is prepared by the applicant in collaboration with the main supervisor.

Documents that should be submitted to the director of post-gradiuate reserach electronically includes:

  • Individual study plan (ISP)
  • Form 2: Recommendation of admission
  • Copy of external funding contracts
  • CV of the applicant
  • Study records that proves that you fulfill the formal requirements and English proficiency
  • A copy of the advertised announcement of the PhD position
  • The supervisor's motivation for the choice of candidate including a brief description of the selection process

Application process

The application should be sent to the director of post-graduate studies for a pre-evaluation at least three weeks before the meeting of the board for postgraduate studies at the department (see calendar at the internal homepage).

The application is considered by the board for postgraduate studies and subsequently approved by the head of department.

Please note that the application has to be approved by the department before it is passed on to the faculty. It is the faculty that takes the final decision on admission.

PhD project monitoring

PhD students at the Department

Ylva Bellander

Karin Andersson
Increased nitrogen efficiency from cattle slurry – effects of slurry characteristics, slurry treatments and application techniques

Elisabeth Bölenius 
Spatial distribution of soil physical properties

Miyanda Chilipamushi 
The effects of aluminum oxides and soil structure on the potential of carbon sequestration in Swedish agricultural soil

Louis Dufour
Response of microbial physiology to change in land uses: a bioenergetics approach

Tamlyn Gangiah
Exploring nitrogen cycling related traits of boreal forest soil biota using metatranscriptomic markers 

Peter Garamszegi
Invasive earthworms in northern Scandinavia; effects on soil microorganisms and carbon dynamics

Tove Florén
Imogolite-type nanoparticles in the environment – characterization, adsorption, and biogeochemical significance

Sara Grolander
Solubility and plant uptake of radionuclides and trace elements in soils

Lukas Hallberg
Hydrological and Biogeochemical functioning of two-stage ditches in Sweden

Reza Hosseinpour
Post-tillage evolution of soil structural pore space: measurements and modelling

Johan Iwald

Spatial and temporal trends in soil acidity and carbon pools in Swedish forest soils – evaluation of data from the Swedish Forest Soil Inventory

Louise Malmquist
Potential and boundaries for resilient water management in agricultural landscapes under climate change

Wiebke Mareile Heinze
Occurrence and fate of plastics in agricultural soils in Sweden

Emmanuel Muteba Ngonga
Water use efficiency in rainfed cereal legume systems, Southern Africa

Jelena Rakovic
Consequences of the future bioeconomy on Nordic surface waters with a focus on phosphorous in Swedish agricultural streams

Erica Packard
Exploring the function and role of ectomycorrhizal decomposers

Hanna Sjulgård
Spatio-temporal analysis of Swedish agricultural production at regional and national scales and relationships with weather conditions, crop diversity, soil management and soil health

David Nimblad Svensson
Modelling Cover Crop services and disservices in a changing climate: The trade-off between crop yield, nitrogen losses and carbon sequestration in arable land

Bradley Sparkes
Diversified cropping systems: Synergies and trade-offs of soil carbon and nitrogen cycling

Getachew Gemtesa Tiruneh
Market driven afforestation – trajectories in environmental sustainability under land-use intensification

Tamlyn Gangiah
Exploring nitrogen cycling related traits of boreal forest soil biota using metatranscriptomic markers

Rebecca ter Borg
Bioturbation by earthworms in Sweden: impacts of climate and land use


Dissertations at the Department of Soil and Environment
(also includes theses from the previous Department of Soil Sciences and the Department of Forest Soils 2002-2007)

Licentiate theses at at the Department of Soil and Environment

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