Umeå University, Faculty Office of Medicine

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.

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The Faculty of Medicine, which consists of 13 departments, is responsible for biomedical research and courses in the field of nursing and health care and has an extensive research and graduate education in more than 80 subjects.

The Department of Public health and clinical medicine at the Faculty of Medicine is looking for a doctoral student in the subject of Occupational and environmental medicine focusing on air pollution epidemiology. The employment period is four years and refers to full-time starting 2024-09-01 or as agreed.

If admitted to postgraduate education, you will take part of the faculty postgraduate education program at the Faculty of Medicine. The program comprises 25 credits over 8 semesters (4 years in total). More information about the program can be found on the faculty's website for postgraduate education (PhD education at the Faculty of Medicine - handbook)

Description of work

Cardiovascular diseases are one of the four most important diseases for the global burden of disease (non-communicable diseases) and is currently the leading cause of death. Both air pollution and physical inactivity are among the 10 leading risk factors according to the WHO. Air pollution as a result of vehicular traffic is a significant cause of the cardiovascular effects of morbidity and premature death resulting from exposure to particles. A large part of the dose was obtained in the home because infiltration is high in buildings. The exposure to the highest levels, however, occurs in a traffic environment. Motorized transport increases physical inactivity which plays a significant role in the development of chronic diseases. There is extensive research on how physical activity during free time affects e.g. cardiovascular disease, but information regarding the importance of active transport is limited. BMI is an important mediating factor between physical activity and cardiovascular disease. The typical air association studies lack information regarding any interaction between physical activity and air pollution. It is generally known that high levels of air pollution briefly increase the number of deaths and acute patients with cardiovascular disease, and that the incidence of certain cardiovascular diseases is higher among long-term high-exposed people, but the knowledge of the importance of air pollution for the course of the disease is limited.

In this project the overall aim is to clarify how air pollution exposure and physical activity interact in the development of CVD and respiratory disease, and interplay with socioeconomic and other risk factors.

The project will largely increase the knowledge on the health consequences of exercise in polluted city air. This should lead to better advice to the public, better advice to the individual, and better health impact assessments guiding better city planning and contributing to better future cities.

The employment is aimed at a doctoral degree. The doctoral education includes participation in the research project as well as attending journal clubs, conferences, and seminars in relation to the project.

Your role in the project is to work with spatial data for exposure assessment and epidemiological analyses of health effects of air pollution and physical activity. The analysis will involve state of the art air pollution exposure assessment and novel longitudinal analyses of epidemiological data. You will work in an interdisciplinary research environment, where there is expertise in occupational and environmental medicine, epidemiological-, statistical-, and dispersion modelling, and also experts in assessment of physical activity and its’ health effects.

Eligibility requirements

To be admitted to education at the postgraduate level, the applicant must have basic and specific qualifications, and have any other skill necessary to take advantage of the education.

Basic qualifications

To be admitted to education at the postgraduate level, the applicant must have basic qualifications through a degree at advanced level or completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 credits are at advanced level, or equivalent foreign education or other equivalent qualifications.

Other qualifications

To be accepted, it is also required that the applicant can communicate well in English, both orally and in writing, as well as any other skill necessary to take advantage of the education. Both written and oral skills are intended. Assessment of these skills is done by a prospective doctoral student presenting the research plan in English to an assessment group, appointed by the head of department.

Previous experience in environmental medicine, statistical modelling and epidemiological analysis, as well as spatial statistics, is particularly advantageous.


A complete application must include:

  • A cover letter summarizing your qualifications, scientific interests and motives for applying (max two pages)
  • A CV (Curriculum Vitae)
  • Diplomas of bachelor and Master level degrees Bachelor/Master theses work/other relevant publications
  • Contact information to two reference persons

Your application should be written on English or Swedish. Your application must be submitted via Umeå University’s e-recruitment system no later than 2024-05-31.


The salary is decided based on a local agreement of salaries for doctoral students.

Welcome with your application!

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-700-24
  • Johan Nilsson Sommar, forskare,
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-7865365
  • SEKO, 090-7865296
  • ST, 090-7865431
Published 29.Apr.2024
Last application date 31.May.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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