Tenure-track Assistant Professor in Ecosystem Ecology linked to IceLab’s Center for modeling adaptive mechanisms in living systems under stress

Application deadline:

April 29, 2024

Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

Are you interested in learning more? Read about Umeå university as a workplace

IceLab and the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Umeå University’s interdisciplinary research hub, IceLab (Integrated Science Lab, www.icelab.se), has been awarded a grant by the Swedish Research Council to establish a center of excellence: Center for modeling adaptive mechanisms in living systems under stress.

We are now opening a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in ecosystem ecology with employment at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science. The position presents a unique opportunity to establish your research group and develop your independent line of research aligned with the Center’s theme. Join our supportive environment and work at the forefront of multidisciplinary science. We integrate mathematical modeling and data science with diverse disciplines, including ecology, plant physiology, and molecular biology. Your research will be instrumental in improving our understanding of the processes that govern the responses of living systems to environmental change and stress.

The position comes with a recruitment package. We invite interested candidates to apply on April 29, 2024 at the latest and become part of our quest to shape the scientific discoveries of the future at IceLab.

Read more about IceLab and the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science


The employment is limited to six years, with 75% research and 25% teaching or other meriting tasks. The position is a “tenure track”, providing the opportunity to build and solidify a competitive research profile and group. As Assistant Professor, you can request consideration for promotion to Associate Professor (see below).

The employment will be primarily based at IceLab. The employed researcher will develop pedagogical merits by supervising doctoral students and postdocs and teaching undergraduate and graduate-level courses. The successful candidate will actively contribute to teaching graduate and undergraduate students in quantitatively oriented topics such as statistics, dynamical modeling, or network approaches at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science. We expect the successful candidate to actively seek external funding to support his or her research activities.

Eligibility Requirements

According to Chapter 4, Section 4 of the Higher Education Ordinance: A person qualified for appointment as an Assistant professor is a person who has been awarded a PhD or has the corresponding research expertise. Primary consideration should be given to a person who has been awarded a PhD or achieved the equivalent expertise within five years prior to the deadline for application for employment as an Assistant professor. However, a person who has been awarded a PhD or achieved the equivalent expertise at an earlier date may also be considered if there are exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances are sick leave, parental leave or other similar circumstances.

The applicant should have experience of conducting ecological research including computational methods.

The position requires a good knowledge of English, both spoken and written.

Assessment Criteria

The assessment criteria for appointment as an Assistant professor shall be the degree of such expertise required as a qualification for employment.

Thereafter the degree of pedagogical expertise as well as administrative and other experience of significance with regard to the employment’s research field and the employment tasks that may be included in the position.

Scientific expertise

Scientific expertise shall be demonstrated through independent scientific productivity. The criteria for assessment are:

  • Breadth and depth of research – quality and extent
  • Originality in research
  • Productivity
  • Contributions to the international research community
  • Commissions of trust within the research community
  • Ability to competitively obtain research funding
  • Collaboration with the surrounding community

A high level of competence in conducting ecological research including computational methods, with a focus on ecological, evolutionary, and/or biogeochemical processes, is of great importance.

Previous experience in interdisciplinary work or work across scales of biological organization is highly meritorious.

Pedagogical expertise

The criteria for evaluation of pedagogical expertise are:

  • ability to plan, implement and evaluate teaching and an ability to supervise and examine students at every level of education
  • ability to vary teaching methods and examination forms in relation to anticipated study results and the nature of the subject
  • experience of collaboration with the surrounding society in planning and implementation of education
  • participation in the development of learning environments, teaching aids and study resources
  • a reflective approach to student learning and one’s own role as a teacher

Pedagogical expertise can be attained through education in university pedagogy, other education of relevance for teaching at a university level or documented and proven experience teaching at the university level.

Other assessment criteria

A general basis for assessment for all teaching categories is both good cooperative skills and the expertise and suitability in general required to complete the work duties satisfactorily.

The criteria for evaluation of administrative expertise are:

  • Participation in working groups or committees (department, faculty or university level)
  • Experiences of collaboration outside the academy
  • Experience of organizing research and educational activities

Assessment criteria and their weight

In the selection of candidates, the degree of research expertise shall be decisive. In addition, the degree of educational expertise as well as administrative and other competences of importance shall be taken into account with regard to the subject content of the employment and the duties to be included in the employment.

Other conditions

The appointment is part of a larger strategic initiative focused on the responses of living systems to environmental changes or external stress. The position will therefore primarily be placed at IceLab, where the employee is expected to contribute to cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Important information

Primary consideration for these positions is given to those applicants who have fulfilled all the requirements for a doctoral degree, such as mandatory courses, oral defense and an approved doctoral thesis after April 30, 2019 at the earliest. For applicants with Swedish doctoral degrees, the award date (date of completed studies) listed in Ladok applies. If you claim to have deductible time, the motivation, dates and extent must be clearly specified in the application. Applicants with older degrees will only be considered if there are not enough qualified applicants within the five-year period.


When you apply, we ask you to answer questions in Varbi. These questions replace a cover letter from you. The application should preferably be written in English, and include the following items:

  1. CV/Umu Application form
    Fill in the required application template (word). Submit it attached to your application in the Varbi system as your CV.  The following information must be provided in the application form:

    • basic information (contact details, employment and education history)
    • an account of research experience (including a list of articles published and a brief research plan)
    • an account of pedagogical experience and activities
    • an account of experiences of developing and managing activities and staff
    • an account of experiences regarding interacting with the surrounding society and popularizing science
    • references, including contact details
  2. Copies of relevant university degrees and diplomas
  3. Copies of five research publications relevant to the position, numbered according to the publication list
  4. Attachments to a pedagogical portfolio (see p. 3.5 in Umu Application form).

See instructions for what to include in the application, as well as how to describe scientific and educational activities (pdf)

Applications should be made via e-recruitment system Varbi and be received no later than 2024-04-29.

Applying for promotion to Associate professor

As assistant professor, upon request, can be promoted to Associate professor if he or she meets the requirements for employment as an Associate professor and upon review is determined to meet the qualifications for such employment according to the evaluation criteria that shall be applied for promotion to Associate professor. This promotion entails a permanent position as Associate professor.

The application for promotion shall be submitted six months before the fixed-term appointment ends. If an Assistant professor after evaluation is not promoted, the fixed-term appointment ends.

Established criteria for promotion can be found in the employment profile decided by the dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology on 27 February 2024.