Skip to main content

PhD position on roseroot ecology, genetics and cultivation for marketing

University of Iceland

Job Information

University of Iceland
Division of Human Resources
Research Field
Biological sciences » Biology
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline
Type of Contract
Job Status
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

University of Iceland seeks a highly efficient and motivated candidate for a new and exciting project. The project is funded for three years by RANNIS (The Icelandic Centre for Research) Technology Development Fund.

Background: Roseroot (Rhodiola rosea) is in high global demand in the natural medicine industry where it is marketed as an antidepressant and for relieving stress and fatigue. It is also used for hair products and cosmetics. Collection has depleted wild populations and roseroot is now red listed in several countries. In this project, partners with different expertise unite to find an optimal way to sustainably cultivate roseroot in Iceland for marketing as a high-quality product.

The project: Roseroots from three habitats (lowland cliffs, highland tundra and mountain tops) will be compared with respect to ecological characteristics, genetic diversity, active compounds, rhizome biomass and seed quality. Transplanted individuals will be cultivated in experimental plots and after two growing seasons, scored for growth rate, biomass allocation and active rhizome compounds. We will then select the best population and compare options on product preparation for sale to food supplement, herbal medicine and cosmetic markets. One product will be a guide to the cultivation of roseroot in Iceland. We hope that the project may make the sustainable cultivation and sale of roseroot products an attractive sideline for traditional farmers in Iceland.

The project includes partners from different arenas. Participants from the University of Iceland come from the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The farming partners will be responsible for cultivation and experimental plots. The final partner is a company on the cosmetics market.

The Ph.D. project addresses three aspects: 1) the ecology of the three wild populations 2) their genetic diversity and divergence 3) The Ph.D. candidate will be responsible for the assessment of the performance of the transplanted individuals after 2 years cultivation. Two professors in biology will be responsible for the ecological and genetic parts of the project and will supervise the Ph.D. candidate.


Research Field
Biological sciences
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent
Specific Requirements
  • M.Sc. degree in Biology, Ecology or Molecular Biology
  • Valuable experience of statistical analyses and bioinformatics or population genetics
  • Excellent English, both written and spoken
  • Good planning and organization skills
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team

The selected candidate must send a formal application for PhD studentship at the University of Iceland within one month after being offered the position.

Additional Information

Selection process

The PhD student position starts in April 2023.

Applications should include:
i) a cover letter stating the candidate`s research interests and experiences in the field of the project,
ii) a CV,
iii) copies of university diplomas (BS and MS), iv) names and full contact information of two professional referees (including their relationship to the applicant).

All applications will be answered, and applicants will be informed about the appointment when a decision has been made. Applications are valid in the system for 6 months after the application deadline.

Appointments to positions at the University of Iceland are made in consideration of the Equal Rights Policy of the University of Iceland -

The University of Iceland has a special Language Policy -

The University of Iceland is a flourishing community of knowledge and is a very dynamic and interesting workplace. Our values are academic freedom, professionalism and equality. The University strives to provide flexibility and encourages participation in the development of the study programs and research in all fields within the realm of the University. The School of Engineering and Natural Sciences employs ca. 390 people involved with teaching and research. The School offers an international working environment, where currently about quarter of all employees and graduate students are international, and that number is increasing each year. The school has around 2000 students and numerous graduate students. The School of Engineering and Natural Sciences is proud of its¿ diversity and reform-minded environment where knowledge acquisition and sharing is paramount.

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
University of Iceland


Sæmundargata 6
Postal Code