PhD Research Fellow in past abrupt climate and ocean circulation changes (palaeoceanography)

University of Bergen
December 09, 2022
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD Research Fellow in past abrupt climate and ocean circulation changes


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PhD Research Fellow in past abrupt climate and ocean circulation changes


There is a vacancy for a PhD Research Fellow in past abrupt climate and ocean circulation changes at the Department of Earth Science and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research at the University of Bergen.The position is for a fixed- term period of 3 years with the possibility of a 4th year with compulsory other work (e.g. teaching duties at the Department).

The position is funded through the Centre for Climate Dynamics at the University of Bergen. The Centre for Climate Dynamics is a collaborative organization administratively located at the University of Bergen and has earmarked funding from the Ministry of Education, presently up to and including 2026. The Centre draws upon the expertise developed by - and the accomplishments of - the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research since its inception as a national Centre of Excellence in 2002. The BCCR combines expertise in climate dynamics from its partners: the University of Bergen, NORCE, Institute of Marine Research, and the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre. The BCCR is one of Europe's largest and most recognized research environments for the understanding of climate variability and change. BCCCRs vision is to be the leading international centre for predicting Arctic- Atlantic climate change in a global context and be the key national provider of climate knowledge. The thematic research areas of the centre are global climate, polar climate, hazards, and carbon. In all research areas, modern observations, model simulations, and reconstructions from the geological record are used, often in combination, to derive robust knowledge on the climate system. The Bjerknes Centre is an active international and open environment for PhD students and early career scientists.

About the project/work tasks:

About the project:

Knowledge of the ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere changes and their interactions is essential to understand how abrupt climate transitions in the Earth system occur. In particular, the ventilation and circulation of deep and intermediate waters, and their climate sensitivity, represent major knowledge gaps in our understanding of the operation of the climate system. Interior water mass ventilation transmits polar changes throughout the ocean, impacting global nutrient cycling and productivity, overturning circulation, atmospheric CO2 uptake, ocean oxygenation and global modes of climate variability. Thus, they play an integral role in the coupled climate system and have been shown to be sensitive responders to ocean, atmosphere, and cryosphere changes such as those currently underway in polar and subpolar regions. Yet their long-term response to ongoing climate change, their underlying sensitivity, thresholds, and ultimate consequences, remain highly uncertain. More knowledge of the ocean beyond the brief instrumental period is urgently needed to constrain the variability and climate sensitivity of interior ocean ventilation on longer (multi-decadal to millennial) timescales.

This PhD project will constrain past ocean variability to test key theories for how ongoing climate changes could alter ocean circulation, regional climate, ocean anoxia, carbon uptake, and nutrient availability and productivity. In particular, changes on societally relevant (e.g. multidecadal-centennial) timescales will be investigated in order to determine the sensitivity and thresholds of intermediate ocean ventilation to periods of past circumpolar warming. These will be used to determine key tipping points in the ocean response to climate changes and the biogeochemical cycling they modulate.

Work tasks:

  • Preparing foraminifera samples for analysis (including wet-sieving sediment samples, picking foraminifera under a microscope, cleaning, and weighing)
  • Scientific data analysis and interpretation, also possibly in collaboration with climate modelers.
  • The project may also involve field work (cruises/expeditions) to gather sample material.
  • Qualifications and personal qualities:
  • Applicants must hold a master's degree or equivalent education in earth science and must have submitted his/her master's thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master's degree has been awarded.
  • The candidate must demonstrate experience from either palaeoceanography or marine geology with emphasize on geochemistry and micropalaeontology (for instance: planktic and benthic foraminifera, stable isotopes, lithic counts, sortable silt, XRF or other geochemical proxies) theory and methods.
  • Hands-on experience with either marine sediment preparation techniques, stable isotope analyses, foraminiferal census counts (benthic and planktic) or geochronology is a strong advantage.
  • Experience with oceanography is an advantage, but not a requirement.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English.
  • Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Ambitions, previous academic performance, and the candidate's research motivation and academic potential will be central when evaluating the candidates.

    About the PhD position (applies to university PhD positions):

    About the PhD Research Fellow

    The fellowship will be for a period of 3 years, with the possibility for a 4th year, consisting of 25 % compulsory work (e.g. teaching responsibilities at the department) distributed over the employment period. The 4th year is contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the teaching needs of the department and will be decided by the head of department upon appointment.

    The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a qualifying post (e.g. research fellow, research assistant).

    About the research training

    As a PhD Research Fellow, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. The deadline for applying for admission to the PhD programme at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences is 2 months after you start your position or after the start of the research project that will lead to the PhD degree. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.

    We can offer:
  • a good and professionally stimulating working environment
  • salary as PhD research fellow (code 1017) in the state salary scale. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 501 200 (equivalent to pay grade 54). Further increases in salary are made according to length of service in the position.
  • enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • good welfare benefits
  • Your application must include:
  • a brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position. Applicants are encouraged to suggest their own research proposal or objective.
  • the names and contact information for two referees. One of these should be the main advisor for the master's thesis or equivalent thesis
  • CV
  • transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not yet completed your master's degree, please submit a statement from your institution confirming that the master's thesis has been submitted
  • relevant certificates/references
  • approved documentation of proficiency in English (if required, cf. English language requirements for PhD admission)
  • a list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • any publications in your name
  • The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.

    General information:

    For further details about the position, please contact Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research Director, Dr. Kikki Flesche Kleiven: e-mail:; phone +47 416 06 45.

    The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

    We encourage women to apply. If multiple applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the rules pertaining to moderate gender quotas shall apply.

    The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

    Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

    Further information about the employment process can be found here.

    Life as a PhD candidate at UiB

    Marion Claireaux tells about life and work as a PhD candidate at UiB.

    About UiB

    The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad.

    There are seven departments and several centres at Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Read more about the faculty and departments.


    9th December 2022


    University of Bergen




    Fulltime (1 jobs) Fulltime (%)


    Fixed Term

    Place of service

    Department of Earth Science

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