The Department of Biology has a vacancy for a position as a
PhD candidate on the ecological impacts of deep-sea mining
This is NTNU
NTNU is a broad-based university with a technical-scientific profile and a
focus in professional education. The university is located in three cities
with headquarters in Trondheim.
At NTNU, 9,000 employees and 42,000 students work to create knowledge for a
You will find more information about working at NTNU and the application
About the position
In 2015, the 2030 agenda with the 17 sustainability goals was adopted by all
UN member states. The sustainability goals see the environment, economy and
social development in context. The time horizon for necessary changes is
short, and it is challenging to combine different considerations without
conflicts of objectives and unintended consequences of measures.
NTNU is now announcing 43 individual PhD positions that will contribute to a
greater understanding of system effects, societal changes and conflicts of
interest related to the sustainability challenges. These positions are divided
into 9 interdisciplinary projects with mainly 4-7 PhD positions in each
project. (https: // www. ntnu.no/sustainability/calls)
In this position, the candidate is expected to cooperate with the other PhD
students in the project Sustainability - Deep sea mining dilemmas by
TripleDeep - NTNU
We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate on the ecological impacts of deep-sea
mining. The appointment has a duration of three years with the possibility of
one additional year of compulsory work (a decision of 3 or 4 years is made in
connection with the recommendation and offer, after assessment of whether
compulsory work is suitable for the relevant candidate). The appointment is
financed by NTNU through its call for interdisciplinary research collaboration
The Marine Science group at the Department of Biology uses interdisciplinary
approaches at the interface between marine biology, aquaculture and marine
technology and contributes to research and higher education within NTNUs
Strategic Focus Area "Marine and Maritime Research". The activities comprise
research fields such as aquaculture, ecology, biodiversity, physiology,
systematics, ecotoxicology, and populations dynamics in marine ecosystems with
a strong emphasis on national and international collaborative projects.
For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education
up to an obtained doctoral degree. The position is connected to the PhD
program at the Faculty of Natural Science.
The deep ocean floor contains vast deposits of minerals that are necessary in
renewable energy technologies. These minerals are expected to be in high
demand due to the de-carbonization of the global economy and the transition to
a net-zero economy. But while the “blue minerals” may hold the key to a
greener future, mining the deep seas raises many questions and dilemmas. Can
the minerals be mined without causing massive and irreparable harm to the
unique ecology of the deep oceans? Who will be allowed to exploit these
minerals, and on what conditions? How can conflicts over rich deposits be
avoided? What rules and incentives are needed to attract responsible investors
that can pay for the development of the necessary technology? Is it worthwhile
to destroy unique and largely unknown habitats in the deep seas in order to
address the climate crisis?
The primary objective of the TripleDeep project is to investigate whether Deep
Sea Mining can provide a new source of critically important minerals in a
sustainable manner. To do so we must address significant knowledge gaps about
the political, economic, technological and ecological dimensions of deep-sea
mining, and particularly how they interact with each other. The TripleDeep
project group consist of an inter-disciplinary team, bringing together
historians, marine biologists, economists and engineers.
The PhD position on the ecological impacts of deep-sea mining will focus on
the dilemma to balance environmental protection against societal and economic
interests. The aim is to assess potential impacts of mining activities on
deep-sea species and ecosystems, habitat transformation and biodiversity.
Knowledge gaps on mining-induced impacts will be identified and the
consequences of change on the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems
will be assessed. Aspects such as the degree of vulnerability of deep-sea
habitats, ecological indicators, biodiversity loss, habitat modification, and
recovery potential will be considered thus supporting a more sustainable
ecosystem-based management and the process of decision-making.
You will report to Associate Professor Nicole Aberle-Malzahn. The position is
embedded into the Marine Science group at the Department of Biology, NTNU
campus Trondheim, and embedded into the interdisciplinary research project:
TripleDeep – The Deep Dilemmas: Deep Sea Mining for the new Deep Transition.
Duties of the position
The TripleDeep project aims to achieve integrated interdisciplinary
cooperation of high quality and according to international standards. As a PhD
candidate you will be part of this research project consisting of 4 PhD
candidates and 4 regular academic staff. Each PhD-candidate will have a co-
supervisor from another discipline within the project.
Compile, manage and work with large data sets (obtained from field,
experimental and historical data)
Identify knowledge gaps on the impact of mining on deep-sea species,
communities, habitats, biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning
Define deep-sea habitats and ecological indicators that are especially
crucial for conservation and sustainable ecosystem-based management
Assess the degree of vulnerability of deep-sea habitats, biodiversity
loss, habitat modification, and recovery potential
Collaborate with the other PhD candidates within TripleDeep
Participate in regular project workshops
Contribute to joint project publications
Required selection criteria
You must have a professionally relevant background (MSc degree or
equivalent) in Marine Ecology, Conservation Biology, Ecosystem Ecology,
Natural Resource Management, Community Ecology or Ecological Modelling
(or related fields). Your education must correspond to a five-year
Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's
You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and
an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent
education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading
scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must
have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade
background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are
particularly suitable for a PhD education.
You must meet the requirements for admission to the PhD program at the
Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences
(https: // www. ntnu.edu/studies/phbi)
Strong computational and statistical capabilities (e.g. using R, Matlab)
Experience with data management and interpretation of larger data sets
Proven written and oral English communication skills
Creative, with a strong ability to work towards positive solutions
Enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and
working in teams
The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force
concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and Regulations concerning the
degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in
artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and
Preferred selection criteria
Experience with complex data sets (using empirical and modelling data)
Experience with meta-analysis and/or ecosystem modelling
Background in marine conservation, ecosystem management and/or ecological
Interdisciplinary background (e.g. at the interface between biology and
Good written and oral English language skills
Self-motivated, enthusiastic, and dedicated
Motivated to solve environmental problems and advance sustainability
Ambitious and goal-oriented
Excellent communication skills
exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic
an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues
favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
Salary and conditions
PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at
gross from NOK 491 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and
seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian
Public Service Pension Fund.
The period of employment is three years, with the possibility of one
additional year of compulsory work (a decision of 3 or 4 years is made in
connection with the recommendation and offer, after assessment of whether
compulsory work is suitable for the relevant candidate).
Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD
programme within three months of employment, and that you participate in an
organized PhD programme during the employment period.
The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force
concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to
Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates
who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with
the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU.
After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of
It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution
About the application
The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the
assessment must be in English.
Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please
note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available
on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows
clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out
The application must include:
CV, certificates and diplomas
transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have
not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the
master's thesis has been submitted.
A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your
master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a
completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
A motivation letter (1-2 pages), describing the relevance of your
disciplinary background, your interest in the project, and how you would
approach the given topic.
Name and address of three referees
If you have publications or other relevant research work
If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to
attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both
bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education.
Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already
have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.
Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your
contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your
In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be
placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities.
Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the
NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality
according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.
Working at NTNU
A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified
candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or
The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural
scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of
200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools,
kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the
world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available.
Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including
international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family
life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.
As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the
development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are
In accordance with The Public Information Act (Offentleglova), your name,
age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested
not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.
If you have any questions about the position, please contact Nicole Aberle-
Malzahn, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no with your CV,
diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be
considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master
Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide
confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).
If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of
transcripts and reference letters.
Application deadline: 07.01.2022
NTNU - knowledge for a better world
NTNU - knowledge for a better world
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge
for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.
Department of Biology
We work with global challenges in natural diversity, climate, the environment,
health and nutrition. Our expertise in biological processes at all levels –
from molecules to ecosystems – contributes to a sustainable society. The
Department educate graduates for a wide range of careers in public
administration, business and academia. The Department of Biology is one of
eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.
7th January 2022
NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
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