KTH Royal Institute of Technology

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Chemical Engineering

Transition into a circular economy is imperative to reach key goals in the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development. Addressing this challenge includes development of the next generation carbon-neutral wastewater treatment technologies to turn carbon-rich waste streams into new bio-based chemicals and materials.

Production of bioplastics from carbon rich waste streams can be a future sustainable alternative to conventional petrochemical-based plastic production. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are building blocks of bioplastics and can be synthesized by microorganisms using various carbon sources (substrates). Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA), which can be produced e.g. from municipal wastewater, are viable low-cost substrate candidates.

The aim of the PhD project is to demonstrate a zero-waste strategy that turns municipal wastes, into functional carbon sources. The specific aims are to develop a microbial consortium for highly efficient PHA production from SCFA-rich streams and to develop a feasible PHA extraction method. The findings will provide the opportunity to elevate the developed technology from lab-scale to pilot-scale.

The project will be a collaboration between the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Gene Technology at the School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health. The project will be connected to other on-going research projects at the two departments.

What we offer


To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 § högskoleförordningen), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at advanced level,
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, or
  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge.

A suitable background for this position is a Master of Science degree in microbiology, chemistry, environmental biotechnology, chemical engineering or related fields. 


In order to succeed as an doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:

  • ability to independently pursue his or hers work,
  • ability to collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyse and work with complex issues.

In addition, the candidate should have good oral and written communication skills in English, be highly motivated for doing scientific research and have well-developed analytical and problem-solving skills as well as an interest and curiosity for multi-disciplinary problems in the context of environmental science, microbiology and chemistry.

Target degree: Doctoral

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle studies may be employed as a doctoral student. The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study. Decisions on employment as a doctoral student may not be appealed.

Eligibility, selection and admissions are regulated in antagningsordning till utbildning vid Kungl. Tekniska högskolan and the program description for the doctoral program and current subject syllabus available on KTH's website.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Union representatives

You will find contact information for union representatives on KTH's website.

Doctoral section (Students’ union on KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

You will find contact information for doctoral section on the section's website.


Apply for the position and admission through KTH:s recruitment system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET / CEST (Central European Time / Central European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Statement of purpose: Why do you want to pursue a PhD, what are your academic interests, how they relate to your previous studies and future goals; maximum 2 pages long.
  • Copy of the degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records from your previously attended university-level institutions. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents are not issued in one of these languages.
  • Representative publications or technical reports: Documents no longer than 10 pages each. For longer documents (e.g. theses), please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.
  • Names and contact information of 2 references


We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Gender equality, diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH´s work with quality as well as core values in our organization.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH´s Doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number C-2018-0895
  • Zeynep Cetecioglu Gurol / Bitr. Universitetslektor, zeynepcg@kth.se, +46 8 790 82 51
  • Anders Andersson / Universitetslektor, anders.andersson@scilifelab.se, +46 8 5248 14 14
  • Kerstin Forsberg / Universitetslektor, kerstino@ket.kth.se, +46 8 790 64 04
Published 14.Jun.2018
Last application date 10.Aug.2018 11:59 PM CET

Return to job vacancies