University of Agder, (UiA) - PhD Research Fellow in Solar Cell Technology

The University of Agder has more than 1200 employees and 12000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.

We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.

PhD Research Fellow in Solar Cell Technology

Closing date: 09.05.17

A position as PhD Research Fellow is available at the Energy Materials Group, Department of Engineering Sciences, which is located in Grimstad. The fellowship is for 3 years. The starting date is 01.09.17 or negotiable with the faculty.

The Department of Engineering Sciences has more than 90 employees in scientific positions, and more than 1500 students at all levels. A variety of research is conducted within all the groups; Renewable Energy, Mechatronics, Civil Engineering and Industrial Economy, and we also welcome interdisciplinary projects within the department or with other research groups. This position will be associated with the Energy Materials Group, which works closely with the Energy Systems Group. We have a broad international cooperation, and close collaboration with industrial partners and public services in the region. This is a benefit both for teaching and research. The partners contribute with assignments, competence and resources.

Project description


The Energy Materials Research Group mainly carries out research in the fields of Solar-cell Technology and Thermoelectric Materials. The group has extensive cooperation with industry. Research related to solar-cell technology includes improvements of commercial multi-crystalline solar cells, long-term monitoring of solar modules at campus lab, and the development of experimental methods for solar-cell and module classifications. There is also some theoretical research on advanced third-generation solar cells and some applied research on end use, such as performance monitoring and analysis of building-attached and building- integrated PV systems carried out by the group. The group is a member of the national Research Centre for Sustainable Solar-cell Technology (FME Centre for Environment-Friendly Energy Research), with regular meetings and cooperation with the major research and industrial players within this field in Norway.

One task for the candidate will be the testing of the performance and stability of solar modules at our rooftop test laboratory at Campus Grimstad. This includes the measurement of solar irradiation for the evaluation of spectral and angular intensity distributions, coupled with temperature and I-V measurements for the evaluation of different technologies or installation methods for grid-connected systems or building integration. The experimental results must be related to the physical processes in the solar modules. It is therefore expected that the work will lead to publications where experimental results are explained theoretically. The work will mainly be a continuation of the ongoing research by the group, but new initiatives and suggestions by the candidate are welcomed.

Qualifications and requirements

The candidate is required to have a good knowledge of photovoltaic principles and solar-cell technology. Experience with outdoor field testing, data logging equipment, laboratory work and instrumentation for solar cell/module characterisation would be advantageous. The purpose of the fellowship is research training, leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. The chosen candidate must be approved by the PPCE committee at the Faculty in order to obtain admission to the PhD study programme at the university.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree or equivalent higher degree in solid state physics, materials science with a specialisation in functional materials, or similar. Master’s students about to finish their thesis work will also be considered. Candidates with documented experience in the field of photovoltaics will be preferred. Good communication skills and a good command of English are required.

The applicant must submit an approved project description within three months of appointment.

Further provisions relating to the position as PhD Research Fellow can be found in the “Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the position of Post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident”.

Applicants should be fluent in English. Knowledge of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language is an advantage. At the University of Agder, PhD dissertations may be written in Norwegian, another Scandinavian Language or English.

Applicants from some countries must document their English proficiency through one of the following tests with the stated results or better:

  • TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language with a minimum score of 550 on the Paper-based Test (PBT), or 80 on the Internet based Test (iBT)
  • IELTS - International English Language Testing System, with a result of at least 6.0.

Regarding English skills, please check here to see if an English test is required. 

Please note that the English test requirement applies to applicants from most countries according to the list cited above. No other tests will be approved, and certifications/statements cannot replace a test.

Personal suitability and good teamwork skills will be emphasised in the evaluation as well as relevant practical experience. Research Fellows are expected to contribute to the active research community at the University. The position places demands on the applicant’s capacity for independent goal-oriented work, their ability to concentrate, and on attention to detail. Applicants will be assessed on the basis of academic background and results, attainment, and any previous research activity. Applicants are encouraged to submit a research proposal with the application (see below).

Research visits to an external institution or with a national or international partner for part of the period of employment may be anticipated, as indicated in the above text.

Short-listed applicants will be invited for interviews.  With the applicant’s permission, UiA will also conduct a reference check before appointment.


The position is remunerated according to the State Salary Scale, code 1017 Research Fellow, salary NOK 435 500 gross per year. A 2 % compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.

The Norwegian Public Service is committed to reflecting the diversity of society, and the personnel policy of the University of Agder aims to achieve a balanced workforce. All qualified persons are therefore encouraged to apply for the position, irrespective of cultural background, gender, age or disability.

Appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions. The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the Public Service.


Submit your application and CV online. Please click on the link Apply for this job. The following documentation should be submitted as attachments to the online application:

  • A letter of application which includes a rationale for applying for the position together with an outline of the applicant’s research interests and background for the proposed project.
  • Certificates and/or grades for all post-secondary education, up to and including bachelor's level; master's degree/higher degree certificate, with a summary of the courses/subjects included  in the degree;
  • Applicants with foreign higher education must attach an official description of the grading  system used at the issuing institution; applicants  who are required to document their English proficiency must submit their TOEFL or IELTS test results (these may be forwarded after the closing date);  an additional  assessment of English may be undertaken at the time of interview;
  • Summary and links to the applicant's scientific publications if produced;
  • Applicants are encouraged to submit a short research proposal (preliminary) that sets out background, rationale, recent work and research design for the intended study. This should not extend beyond about 5 pages.

Original documents must be presented for verification to the University of Agder. Successful candidates will be asked, normally during the interview, to ensure that the issuing university submits documents in a sealed envelope directly to UiA or provide access to their documents online, which allows UiA to verify the authenticity of these electronic documents via a secure website hosted at the issuing university (a contact person at UiA will be provided later for certain candidates).

The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete documentation. Without complete documentation we cannot, unfortunately, include you in the assessment process.

All documentation of education must be in the original language and in English, Norwegian, Swedish, or Danish (if the original language is not one of these). The application should include a translation, which should preferably be from the issuing university. Additional documentation must be in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

Closing date: 09.05.17

For further information please contact:

  • Professor Anne Gerd Imenes, tel. +47 472 93 203 / +47 37 23 33 13, email  or
  • Assistant Head of Department Tom Viggo Nilsen, tel. +47 37 23 32 55, email 

In accordance with §25(2) of the Freedom of Information Act, applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the name of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right.

Apply for this job

Søknadsfrist: 09.05.2017

Kontakt: Professor Anne Gerd Imenes
Telefon: +47 472 93 203 / +47 37 23 33 13

Kontakt 2: Tom Viggo Nilsen (Assistant Head of Department)
Telefon: +47 37 23 32 55