Department of Urban and Rural Development

The doctoral student will be based at the Department of Urban and Rural development in Uppsala. This will ensure a high-quality education for the doctoral student and guarantee the necessary contributions and development of the research group. The Department of Urban and Rural Development is located on SLU's main campus in Uppsala. It conducts education, research, and collaboration on Agrarian History, Rural Development, Landscape Architecture, Political Science and Natural Resource Governance, and Environmental Communication. The department includes the Swedish Centre for Nature Interpretation, Swedish Biodiversity Center, and Sida's Helpdesk for Environment and Climate Change. For more information, see

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Name of research project/thesis: Nature-Based Interventions for wellbeing and human health

Research subject (Landscape architecture)


This PhD project addresses the connection between nature-based interventions (NBI), and human health and well-being. We currently experience an increase in mental disorders, primarily in urban areas. At the same time, there is a growing evidence of that nature experiences reduce stress and increase well-being. The project aims at investigating and mapping different types of nature types in urban, semi-urban and rural settings, connected to health supporting experiences and interventions. Further, it aims to develop a more nuanced know-how of practices best used to promote an increased well-being for the general population and the promotion and prescribing of NBI in clinical health care.

The position offers the opportunity to investigate health supporting measures in restorative environments and green areas from an urban to rural gradient, including parks and forests. It will include a collection of data on health-supporting properties connected to both subjective well-being and physiological measures in human health.  

The PhD student will work with a main supervisor, based at SLU in Uppsala, Sweden, in the landscape management group at the landscape architect unit, two co-supervisors, and the Scandinavian Nature & Forest therapy institute. The student is part of a Swedish research team, connected to an international project; the EU-financed “GreenME” (GreenME: advancing Greencare in Europe: an integrated multi-scalar approach for the expansion of nature-based therapies to improve Mental health Equity).   The research is within the subject of Landscape architecture.


At the start of the doctoral studies, applicants must have a master's degree (or equivalent) in one or more of the following fields: ecology, environmental psychology, landscape architecture, environmental science or a related subject area. A significant amount of communication will be needed with Swedish participants, which is why the candidate needs to be fluent in the Swedish language. Good oral and written communication skills in English is required. Driving license and driving experience can be an advantage to carry out and participate in certain field studies.

The following merits will be considered for selection:

  • Experiences linked to work on nature and health
  • Experience in writing scientific text (research articles, reports or similar)
  • Independent problem solving, flexibility and good cooperation skills

Place of work:      


Forms for funding or employment:

Employment (4 years) as PhD student

Starting date:

As soon as possible, the 28th of January is a starting conference for ReGreen


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2023-12-17.

To qualify for third-cycle (Doctoral) courses and study programmes, you must have a second-cycle (Master’s) qualification. Alternatively, you must have conducted a minimum of four years of full-time study, of which a minimum of one year at second-cycle level.

Applicants will be selected based on their written application and CV, degree project, copies of their degree certificate and transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution, two personal references, and knowledge of English. More information about the English language requirements can be found here:

Please note that applicants invited to interview must submit attested copies of their degree certificate, or equivalent, a transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution. Applicants who are not Swedish citizens need to submit an attested copy of their passport’s information page containing their photograph and personal details.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Contact person

Marcus Hedblom



Åsa Ahrland

Senior Lecturer