Post-doctoral position in Environmental Physiology: Apneic Diving

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Mid Sweden University, Department of Health Sciences

Mid Sweden University is a place where people meet, find inspiration and think innovatively. Our campuses are situated in Sundsvall and Östersund, and we offer a wide range of courses and education, both on-campus and distance education. Our good relations with society ensure well-supported research and education, not least in the region.

Faculty of Human Sciences

The Department of Health Sciences is situated at Campus Sundsvall and Campus Östersund. It offers courses, programmes and research in the fields of Public Health Science, Sports Science and Rehabilitation Science.

Information about the project The position at the Department of Health Sciences (HLV) is linked to the "Environmental Physiology Group" (EPG), working within Sports Sciences. EPG is directed by professor Erika Schagatay and studies human performance in extreme environments, with a special focus on hypoxic environments. We have an integrative and comparative approach to human performance. The current project lies within breath-hold- or freediving physiology, with a specific focus on safety aspects. The EPG group has been engaged in freediving physiology research for more than 20 years and is well known for their contributions to the field, e.g., concerning the function of the human diving response and other factors with major impact on freediving performance and safety. The research group currently has two doctoral students and collaborates with several other laboratories within- and outside of Europe. Our department laboratories include a diving tank and a high altitude chamber. 

Major responsibilities The post doctor will mainly study the physiological background for the human capacity to breath-hold dive, and how humans tolerate the hypoxia and hypercapnia that occurs, along with other physiological factors with impact on apneic duration. Syncope or "blackout", i.e. unconsciousness due to lack of oxygen is a risk in freediving, and the long term goal with the research project is to forward freediving safety by increasing knowledge about how divers can detect when to surface in order to avoid hypoxic blackout. We also aim to detect factors useful to determine when freedivers are recovered and prepared to safely dive again. Both original research and developmental work will be included. As a post doctor you will be responsible for the planning of studies, development of technical devices necessary for carrying out tests, data collection and analysis as well as manuscript writing, in close collaboration with a doctoral student and with other collaborators. 

Qualifications The qualified candidate will likely have defended a doctoral degree within physiology in one of the following subjects –biology, sports sciences, medicine or similar fields, in the last five years, within or outside of Sweden. Very good knowledge of English is necessary, and any knowledge of other languages is a merit, as we will work in an international environment.

Assessment criteria:

It is of merit to have previous experience in the field of research through:

  • Previous post-doctoral research in diving physiology in humans or diving mammals,
  • Familiarity with measurement methodology used in air and underwater and the technical development of such methods
  • Experimental work, both in the field and in controlled laboratory environments,
  • Experience of advanced work independently and in a group in straining conditions.

 In addition to the formal requirements, selection will be done based on the quality and content of the applicant´s dissertation and publications, on completed courses, practical experience of research in related fields as well as an interview with the applicant focusing on how your specific qualifications serve the main purpose of the project. Personal qualities such as good communication skills, analytical skills, ability to take initiative and be goal oriented, and other suitability will be of importance in selecting the best candidate. 

A CV, your Doctoral Thesis and list of publications, and in addition a Letter of intent with a brief description of your background, interests and visions, and your motivation for applying for the specific position and a statement of how you can contribute to the project should be included. The applicant should be prepared to move to Östersund, Sweden.

Position: The position is for 1.5 years (18 months) full-time, likely with a possibility for prolongation. Some teaching or administrative work may be included. The work will be conducted both in the laboratory and in the field in different countries. A prerequisite for this position is that the employee can work abroad during certain periods, sometimes in extreme environments under physically and mentally strenuous conditions. 

Start date: 2019-07-01, or other date by agreement. 

Location of Employment: Östersund, Sweden

Salary: Individual setting of salary within the project limits. 

Information: Further information can be provided by project director Professor Erika Schagatay, tel. +46 (0) 70 53 214 23, e-mail:, or head of department, Sture Espwall, tel. +46 (0) 10- 142 79 93, e-mail:  See also the EPG website: the department of Health Sciences website: 

Application: Please submit your application through our recruitment system no later than 2019-05-26.

Mid Sweden University works actively for equal opportunities and strives to embrace the qualities that diversity and equality bring to the organization.

  • Type of employment
    Temporary position longer than 6 months
  • Contract type
    Full time
  • First day of employment
    2019-07-01, or other date by agreement
  • Salary
    Individual setting of salary within the project limits
  • Number of positions
  • Working hours
  • City
  • County
    Jämtlands län
  • Country
  • Reference number
    MIUN 2019/563
  • Union representative
    Per Bergman, Fackförbundet ST, 010-142 83 71
    Lars P Nilsson SACO, 010-142 88 32
  • Published
  • Last application date

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