PhD Research Fellow on biogeochemistry in permafrost peatlands

University of Oslo
January 31, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD Research Fellow on biogeochemistry in permafrost peatlands Job description

A 3-year PhD Research Fellowship position with focus on biogeochemistry in permafrost peatlands is available at the Department of Geosciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo.

A starting date in spring 2023 is preferred, while the latest possible starting date is 1 October 2023. The position has no teaching duties, but additional teaching time and corresponding extension of the position of up to 4 years in total can be applied for at a later point.

The PhD candidate will be part of the “Center for Biogeochemistry in the Anthropocene” (CBA, https: // www. and the project is integrated in the BioGov project (https: // www. rcn-project-biogov.html) funded by the Research Council of Norway. Furthermore, the PhD candidate will collaborate closely with researchers at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) in Ås, Norway.

Note that no one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

More about the positions:

The PhD project will investigate key physical and biogeochemical controls for carbon turnover and greenhouse gas production in thawing permafrost. For this purpose, the candidate will conduct field measurements and sampling, laboratory experiments, as well as numerical modeling.

Thawing permafrost can potentially emit large amounts of greenhouse gases in a future warmer world, but we still lack basic understanding of key processes which regulate carbon turnover in these complex ecosystems.

In the PhD project, the candidate will sample permafrost peatlands in Northern Norway where material from a variety of thaw stages can be obtained. The candidate will then perform incubation experiments at the NMBU laboratory to investigate greenhouse gas production under controlled environmental conditions. The goal is to evaluate the impact of soil freezing, wetting and drying and other important physical and biogeochemical processes on the greenhouse gas production dynamics. Experimental conditions will be designed to mimic field conditions for which the candidate can make use of in-situ measurements, as well as numerical simulations with the CryoGrid permafrost model ( developed the Department of Geosciences. Finally, the candidate will evaluate the performance of existing soil carbon turnover models against the laboratory experiments, and potentially contribute to model improvements.

The PhD fellow is expected to publish research results in leading international journals and present at project meetings and major international conferences. Candidates with relevant prior research experience will be given preference. A detailed project plan will be developed together with the successful candidate.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

  • Applicants must hold a Master's degree or the equivalent in a relevant scientific field, e.g. geosciences, biology, chemistry, physics, environmental sciences, or similar.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a strong background and interest in soil biogeochemical methods, for example field measurements, laboratory studies or process models.
  • Applicants must be able and willing to participate in fieldwork in Norway.
  • Applicants should have an inquisitive nature and desire to work with complex environmental questions.
  • Applicants should show enthusiasm for research, be motivated to learn new techniques and show the ability to work independently, while being an active member of a research team.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English are required.
  • In particular, previous experience with one or several of the following topics will be regarded beneficial in the selection process: 1. participation in and organization of experimental and/or field work, 2. analysis of soils, soil water and/or soil gases, 3. field measurements of greenhouse gas emissions, 4. soil biogeochemistry models and/or land surface models, 5. programming skills in MATLAB, Python, C, julia and/or FORTRAN.

    Grade requirements:

    The norm is as follows:

  • the average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor's degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • the average grade point for courses included in the Master's degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • the Master's thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements:
  • https: // www.

    The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

    The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position. For more information see:

  • https:// www.
  • https:// www.
  • We offer
  • Salary NOK 501 200 – 544 400 per year depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • A highly dynamic and motivated team of international researchers
  • Career development programmes, professional courses and workshops
  • Oslo's family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities
  • How to apply

    The application must include

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation and research interests)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of educational certificates and transcripts
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)
  • The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

    In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

    Formal regulations

    Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

    No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

    According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

    The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

    The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

    Contact information

    For further information please contact:

  • Sebastian Westermann, [email protected] https: // www.
  • Peter Dörsch, [email protected] https: // www.
  • Norbert Pirk, [email protected] https: // www.
  • For questions regarding the recruitment system, please contact HR Adviser Ole Rustad, e-mail: [email protected]

    About the University of Oslo

    The University of Oslo is Norway's oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society.

    The geosciences are the studies of the planet Earth and its comparative planetology; the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and cryosphere, the Earth's surface and its interior. The Department of Geosciences conducts research and teaching in most of the domains of geoscience; geology, geophysics, physical geography, geomatics, hydrology, meteorology and oceanography. The Department is the broadest geoscience research and education environment in Norway. The Department encompasses five sections; Meteorology and Oceanography, Geography and Hydrology, Study of sedimentary basins, Environmental geosciences and Crustal Processes. We also hosts one Centre of Excellence CEED - Centre of Earth Evolution and Dynamics.

    The Department aims to contribute to the new and important UN Sustainability Development Goals, and are important contributors to IPCC (UN's Inter- governmental Panel on Cliamte Change). The staff consists of 40 professors and associate professors, in addition to postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, researchers, technical- and administrative staff. The Department has more than 200 employees.


    31st January 2023


    University of Oslo




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