Post-doctoral fellow in aerodynamics and energetics


Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 44 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Subject description
Many bird species in arctic and temperate regions perform annual migrations between their breeding and wintering sites. To do so they may employ alternative strategies, involving how to split the journey between flight and stopover episodes, when to undertake migratory flights in relation to external factors. To allow long non-stop flights, sometimes lasting several days, the use of on-board energy has to be economic. Still, the Newtonian laws of dynamics dictates the aerodynamic forces the flapping wings can generate. In recent years, a rapid technological development, not least by using sophisticated techniques for time-resolved flow visualization of vortex wakes, have made it possible to quantify the aerodynamic properties of flying birds. The main focus of the research for this position will be related to aerodynamic efficiency of bird flight. In this project the successful candidate will become part of a team striving to uncover aerodynamic, physiological, and morphological adaptations in migratory birds, with the overall goal to achieve a deep understanding of the flying bird as an efficient flight machine. The research will involve the development and application of novel techniques applied to birds studied in a low-turbulence wind tunnel. The results will inform the development of the next generation optimal migration models.

Work duties
The main duties involved in a post-doctoral position is to conduct research. Teaching may also be included, but up to no more than 20% of working hours. The position shall include the opportunity for three weeks of training in higher education teaching and learning.

The postdoctoral fellow is expected to take responsibility for leading experimental studies using flow quantification techniques in our wind tunnel, organize data, perform analyses and prepare manuscripts for publication. The work also includes possibility to supervise MSc or BSc students. It may also be relevant to work with applications to seek external funding. The postdoctoral fellow is expected to participate in the research groups Animal Flight Lab and Animal Navigation Lab at the Department of Biology.

Qualification requirements
Appointment to a post-doctoral position requires that the applicant has a PhD, or an international degree deemed equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position, completed no more than three years before the date of employment decision. Under special circumstances, the doctoral degree can have been completed earlier.

We are searching for a highly dedicated PhD in biomechanics, bio-fluid dynamics, movement ecology, functional morphology, aerodynamics or similar, with a strong background in research on animal biomechanics or fluid dynamics. Experience of experimental aerodynamic studies, as well as excellent skills in written and verbal communication in English are requirements for the position. 

Previous experiences of working with animals (flapping flight or swimming) and using R and MATLAB is a merit. The person is also expected to be organized, self-motivated and be able to communicate with media and students.

The main criteria for evaluation of candidates is scientific skills, problem solving skills, and the potential to contribute to the overall goals of the research project.

Additional requirements

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Assessment criteria and other qualifications
This is a career development position primarily focused on research. The position is intended as an initial step in a career, and the assessment of the applicants will primarily be based on their research qualifications and potential as researchers.

Particular emphasis will be placed on research skills within the subject.

For appointments to a post-doctoral position, the following shall form the assessment criteria:

  • A good ability to develop and conduct high quality research.
  • Teaching skills.

Additional assessment criteria
Ability to work in the research group environment Ability to organize and conduct experimental aerodynamic work.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.

Experience working with particle image velocimetry, or similar techniques, as well as programming skills in R and Matlab will also be considered. Perseverance to conduct experimental work, and how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the research group, and how they stand to contribute to its future development will also be evaluated.

Documented ability to write and communicate in English at an advanced level is a requirement.

Terms of employment
This is a full-time, fixed-term employment of a maximum of 2 years. The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow”) between Lund University, SACO-S and OFR/S, dated 1st February 2022.

Instructions on how to apply
Applications shall be written in English and be compiled into a PDF-file containing:

  • résumé/CV, including a list of publications,
  • a general description of past research and future research interests (no more than three pages),
  • contact information of at least two references,
  • copy of the doctoral degree certificate, and other certificates/grades that you wish to be considered.
Type of employmentTemporary position longer than 6 months
Contract typeFull time
First day of employment2022-08-01 or according to agreement
SalaryMonthly salary
Number of positions1
Working hours100
CountySkåne län
Reference numberPA2022/596
  • Anders Hedenström, professor, +46 46 222 41 42,
  • Tina Olsson, personalsamordnare, +46 46 222 48 53,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Last application date30.Mar.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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