Department of Plant Breeding

SLU’s Department of Plant Breeding, located in Alnarp, focuses on research, education and innovation of strategic importance for a sustainable and profitable cultivation of crops for production of plant based food, feed and industrial products in a changing climate. The Department offers an inspiring, multidisciplinary, innovative and creative research environment and cooperation around current and future challenges, encompassing three main areas: Plant Breeding, Plant Biotechnology, and Plant Product Quality. The research efforts include basic as well as applied research. The Department utilises a wide range of techniques from field experiments and characterisation of agricultural biodiversity to genetics, genomics, phenomics, genetic engineering, gene editing, biochemistry, physical chemistry, physiology and modelling. As an integral part of the activities, the Department also run public plant breeding programs in apples and potatoes for the Swedish market. The department provides a strong supporting, collaborative and international environment and hosts numerous large-scale grants including from the European Research Council, Novo Nordisk foundation, Swedish Research Council and Formas.

Read more about the Department here.

Subject Area

The subject area covers plant biotechnology. The subject area of plant biotechnology focuses particularly on the development and use of tools and techniques to support the adaptation and breeding of crops, specifically in northern Europe. Application of plant biotechnology may include, but need not be limited to, research in areas such as plant metabolism, plant biochemistry and functional genomics.


The professor shall strengthen and develop research and education within the subject of the position. This means a commitment and a capacity to build a successful and inclusive research and teaching environment in the long term. The professor will manage a research environment, which may include administrative tasks such as budget and personnel responsibility.

The research area shall include developing existing (e.g. cell and tissue engineering as well as genetic engineering including gene editing) as well as new plant biotechnology methods for improved traits of industrial and food crops of relevance for plant breeding.

The research shall comprise both basic and applied questions relevant for the subject area. Use and development of plant biotechnology shall be central in the research. The research shall be relevant for the development of crops suitable for northern Europe.

In addition, the professor shall within the subject of the employment:

  • lead and contribute to development of successful international research and education
  • secure funding (nationally and internationally) to support the research within the subject area
  • publish and convey research results, scientific in high quality peer review journals as well as popular science
  • collaborate with other researchers and teachers within and outside SLU
  • plan and carry out teaching and supervision at different levels
  • supervise doctoral students and postdocs
  • carry out administrative assignments within the Department, Faculty and University
  • maintain existing and develop new national and international networks and collaborations with academia, relevant authorities, industries and organizations
  • actively collaborate with industry in outreach to producers and develop a national reputation for excellence
  • act in accordance with the vision, goals and values of SLU

The department has a parallel linguistic working environment. The professor will be able to conduct most academic tasks in English. However, as Swedish is the official working language of the university, the candidate is expected to gain a functional level of Swedish or a Scandinavian language within four years of taking up the position. The department will support the holder to achieve this.


The professor shall within the subject of the employment:

  • have a PhD in a subject relevant to the position or have equivalent scientific competence
  • be scientifically skilled and have demonstrated the ability to obtain external research funds in competition
  • have documented ability to lead and develop a successful research group
  • have documented record of publishing research results in peer-reviewed articles of high impact journals
  • be pedagogically skilled
  • have experience in teaching and supervision of students at all levels
  • have the ability to integrate research and scientific perspectives in teaching
  • have a documented track record of collaboration with industry and other relevant stakeholder groups
  • have good ability to communicate in oral and written English.

Assessment criteria

The assessment criteria for employment shall primarily apply to the degree of such skill, which is a requirement for eligibility for employment.

A candidate is elegible to be employed as a professor if they have demonstrated both scientific and pedagogical skill. When assessing the candidate’s qualifications, equal attention will be given to teaching and research expertise respectively. In addition, great importance is placed on the applicant's leadership qualities.

The assessment of research expertise will take into account the following:

  • completed research efforts and ongoing research
  • ability to independently initiate and conduct outstanding and innovative research
  • ability to obtain external research funds in competition
  • scientific vision

The assessment of teaching expertise will take into account the following:

  • planning, implementation, examination and evaluation of own teaching
  • supervision and examination at all levels of the education cycle
  • ability to integrate research and a scientific approach in the pedagogical work
  • pedagogical vision

Further will be considered:

  • ability to develop and lead activities and personnel within the academy/university
  • leadership vision
  • ability to collaborate with external stakeholders and the surrounding community
  • ability to inform/communicate about research and development work

It is considered to be of merit if the applicant has documented ability to use and develop modern plant biotechnology methods with the aim of improving crops with relevance for northern Europe. It is also advantageous to have documented ability to work with several different crops and in close collaboration with industry.

The position will be offered to the candidate who, after a qualitative overall assessment, is assessed to have the best qualifications to carry out and develop current tasks and contribute to a positive development of the department and SLU.

Working at SLU

At SLU, you become part of a vibrant research environment that is based on active collaboration. As an employee at SLU, you have access to a number of benefits (including Swedish family healthcare, parental leave and generous paid leave policies). Read more about benefits at SLU here. SLU is often highly ranked in the various university rankings that are made around the world and is ranked as one of Sweden's most attractive workplaces.

Sweden also has a well-established pre-school structure and a free education system. Find out more facts and stories about Sweden at

SLU in Alnarp is located in southern Sweden near the university cities of Lund and Malmö, and Copenhagen in Denmark. The Öresund region offers a rich history and culture and is a real academic and cultural hub.

Application deadline:


Place of work:




Form of employment:

Permanent employment

Starting date:

By agreement.


It is desirable that the application is written in English, as the applications will be assessed by experts both in Sweden and abroad.

For the guidance of your application, there is SLU's appointment procedure for teachers at SLU and General assessment criteria for the appointment of teachers, which you can read here.

Please apply by clicking the apply-button below..

Adacemic union representatives:

Contact person

Anders Carlsson

Head of Department


Torleif Ljung

Administrative officer

+46 (0)40-415044