The Department of Geography has a vacancy for a
PhD candidate related to plastics in coastal sediments
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
Research Collaboration in Sustainability
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
In this position, the candidate is expected to cooperate with the other PhD
students in the project
About the position
We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate related to plastics in coastal sediments
at the Department of Geography. The appointment has a duration of three years,
with the possibility of 1 year duty work upon agreement, and is financed by
NTNU through its call for interdisciplinary research collaboration in
The position is part of the MAPLE project (Marine Plastic Pollution:
Environmental impact and life cycle scenarios). MAPLE is an interdisciplinary
research project between researchers from the departments of Energy and
Process Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geography, and
Biology, and includes four PhD positions.
An increasingly urgent issue for marine ecosystems is plastic pollution.
Plastic is a diverse material that has been observed floating on the ocean
surface, suspended in the water column, and sitting on or buried beneath the
seafloor. As such, macro- and microplastics have the potential to affect the
biological communities that occupy all of these marine biogeographic realms.
If we want to solve the plastic crisis in the oceans, we need to understand
how and where plastic is emanating from and accumulating, what impact
microbial communities have on the degree of degradation and sedimentation of
plastic particles, and what the options are to minimize the use and
mismanagement of plastic in the first place.
MAPLE focuses on marine plastic pollution and its environmental impacts in
Trondheimsfjord and the outer central coast of Norway. We combine field
studies, laboratory studies and computer modelling in an interdisciplinary
approach to understand this complex problem.
The topic of the PhD position in the Department of Geography is centred on
mapping and sampling marine plastic debris in Trondheimsfjord and the outer,
central coast of Norway. The candidate will work closely with other PhD
candidates and their supervisors within this research group to:
1. ground-truth modelled predictions of transport pathways of plastic debris
2. assess the role of microbial communities in facilitating the degradation
and sedimentation of plastic
3. determine the sources and types of plastic debris found in the study area,
which will contribute to the development of life cycle assessment scenarios
For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education
up to an obtained doctoral degree.
You will report to the Head of Department of Geography, NTNU. Associate
Professor Chantel Nixon is planned to be the PhD Candidate's supervisor.
Duties of the position
Fieldwork: conduct ship- and ground-based fieldwork in Trondheimsfjord and
the outer coast of Trøndelag, Norway, to collect sediment and water
samples for microplastic analysis based on a strategic sampling plan.
Lab work: analyse basic sedimentary characteristics as well as macro- and
microplastic concentrations in sediment samples.
Create maps of plastic pollution in the study area that document sources,
transport pathways, and sinks.
Work with MAPLE co-collaborators to provide data, ground-truth model
predictions, and design and conduct fieldwork and lab experiments in order
to meet the larger project goals.
Disseminate results in scholarly journals and at international
Required selection criteria
You must have a professionally relevant background in physical geography
or environmental science. Bachelor's and master's degrees in other
disciplines will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme,
where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
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 Faculty of Social and
Educational Sciences' PhD programme
Proven written and oral English communication skills
Preferred selection criteria
Documented experience working in marine and/or coastal sedimentary
environments (through courses, master's thesis, work experience, etc.)
Documented experience with microplastics (through courses, master's
thesis, work experience, etc.)
Experience with geographic information systems (e.g., ArcGIS, QGIS)
Study background or courses in sediments and sedimentology, marine
geology, oceanography, marine ecosystems, pollution, biogeochemistry
Knowledge of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language
Self-motivated, willing to take initiative, problem solver
Meticulous, organized, and safety-conscious in the lab and in the field
Positive and professional
Motivated to solve environmental problems and advance sustainability
Enthusiasm for both field and lab work
Strong communication skills for working in a multidisciplinary project in
a multidisciplinary department
In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be
placed on education, experience and personal suitability, in terms of the
qualification requirements specified in the advertisement.
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
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 3 years with the possibility of 1 year duty work
Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD
programme in the Department of Geography, Faculty of Social and Educational
Sciences 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:
A cover letter describing your motivation for applying for the position of
PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at NTNU, as well as why you
feel you are professionally and personally suitable for this particular
Proposal (maximum 5 pages or 1000-1500 words) describing how you would
meet the main objectives of this PhD project (described above). The
project proposal should include relevance of the project, a proposed
sampling strategy, methods (including field and lab analyses), a
timeline with important project milestones, and a reference list.
Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have
not completed the master's degree, you must include confirmation that the
master's thesis has been submitted and documentation of a completed
master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
Name and contact information for three referees.
List of 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 Chantel Nixon,
telephone +47 458 39 803, email email@example.com. If you have any
questions about the recruitment process, please contact Renate Lillian
Johansen, e-mail: 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. Please refer to the application number
SU-662 when applying.
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 Geography
We conduct research and teach in subject areas related to the major societal
challenges of our time: climate change, migration, urbanization, economic
transition and environmental threats. We have a robust fieldwork tradition,
and our teaching activities are closely linked to our research. The Department
of Geography is one of seven departments at the Faculty of Social and
7th January 2022
NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
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