The department includes 100 people of which about 10 are professors. Our mission is to advance the understanding of forest ecosystem processes and to progress the principles of forest ecosystem management. For more information:

Name of research project/thesis: Challenges and social consequences of artificial intelligence in Swedish forests           


The PhD position is part of interdisciplinary project where this part is focused on spatial planning. Airborne laser scanning is a relative new technique where the ground surface is scanned with laser from low flying aircrafts. These laser scans have provided incredible detailed information on the surface topography in Swedish forests. Only a handful of nations have access to similar national point cloud datasets and Sweden is a prominent player in this research field. We are now looking to hire a PhD candidate that will work on combining these laser scans with AI in order to develop high resolution maps of soils and hydrolologica features together with Swedish agencies such as the Swedish meteorological institute, the geological survey of Sweden and the Swedish forest agency. The overall objective of this project is to develop maps that enable detailed spatial planning of infrastructure, forestry, environmental restoration and climate adaption. This project is a part of a collaboration with Umeå University with the goal to investigate challenges and opportunities with AI in Swedish forests from a social and ethical perspective.

The PhD position is part of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program on Humanities and Society (WASP-HS), which aims to realize excellent research and develop competence on the consequences and challenges of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems for humanity and society. This 10-year program is initiated and generously funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation (MMW) with 660 million SEK. In addition to this, the program receives support from collaborating industry and from participating universities. For more information about the research and other activities conducted within WASP-HS please visit; WASP-HS – The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society.

The PhD candidate will take part in the WASP-HS graduate school, which provides foundations, perspectives, and state-of-the-art knowledge in the different disciplines taught by leading researchers in the field. Through an ambitious program with research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers, the graduate school actively supports forming a strong multi-disciplinary and international professional network between PhD candidates, researchers and practitioners in the field. It thus provides added value on top of the existing PhD programs at the partner universities, providing unique opportunities for participants.  


Academic requirements include a M.Sc. (or comparable degree*) in forestry, soil science or a closely related discipline. We are seeking a creative and enthusiastic candidate with excellent communication skills in written and verbal English. We are looking for a candidate that is eager to learn new tools and want to work with applied and interdisciplinary science. A strong interest for spatial analyses and programing in R and python is preferred. The successful candidate need to be able to work in a team context as well as independently. Applications from both Sweden and elsewhere in the world are welcome, and we particularly look forward to applications from under-represented groups in this area of research.  

Place of work:      


Forms for funding or employment:

Employment as a PhD student for 4 years

Starting date:

Anticipated start date in 2022-02-01


We welcome your application no later than 2021-11-15, use the button below.

A person has basic eligibility for third cycle education if he or she has taken a second cycle qualification or has completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second cycle education. Upper secondary school grades equivalent to English B/English 6 are a basic requirement.

Selection among applicants meeting the requirements is made with reference to 1) a 1-2 page cover letter in English, describing yourself and your motivation and match to the above-mentioned project; 2) a curriculum vitae, including your education, publications (if any), and relevant work experience; 3) certified copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, and one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree; 4) a list of at least three references familiar with the applicant’s qualifications; 5) certified knowledge of the English language. An interview be the final part of the selection for top-ranked candidates.

Please observe that applicant/s chosen to participate in an interview shall hand in certified true copies of certificates, diplomas and transcripts from previous studies at an internationally recognized higher education institution (university or university college) and transcripts in connection to the interview. If the applicant is a foreign citizen we require a certified copy of the page in your passport with your personal data and photography.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. The university ranks well internationally within its subject areas. SLU is a research-intensive university that also offers unique degree programmes in for example rural development and natural resource management, environmental economics, animal science and landscape architecture.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala.

SLU is an equal opportunity employer.

Contact person

William Lidberg

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