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Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)
Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)

Researcher in Modeling of Permafrost Hydrology with Focus on Peat Geosciences

Deadline: 16.06.2020

Universitetet i 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, Geology and Geophysics, Physics of Geological Processes (Njord centre) and 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.

The staff consists of 40 professors and associate professors, in addition to postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, researchers, technical- and administrative staff. Approximately number of employees are 240 at the Department.

Job description

Position as Researcher available at Department of Geosciences.

The 30 % position is for a period of 23 months. Starting date no later than 01.08.2020

More about the position

The candidate will work in the EU-Horizon2020 project “Nunataryuk” (www.nunataryuk.org). The goal is to develop and evaluate numerical modeling of hydrology and tracer transport in permafrost environments, with specific focus on cold environments dominated by peat. The candidate will become part of a research group by Dr. Sebastian Westermann (www.mn.uio.no/geo/english/people/aca/geohyd/sebaswe/).

The CryoGrid permafrost model (www.geosci-model-dev.net/9/523/2016/gmd-9-523-2016.pdf) is a land-surface scheme written in MATLAB with simple numerics, so that new processes can be implemented in a relatively easy way. CryoGrid is a major tool in Nunataryuk, and the candidate will take a leading role in developing the model further.

A particular focus will be the implementation and testing of horizontal and lateral fluxes of both water and water-soluble tracers in peat-rich environments, which are characterized by a high hydraulic conductivity and dynamic water tables. To simulate this dynamics in a coherent fashion, we want to implement an existing state-of-the-art scheme for peat accumulation and decomposition for different hydrological regimes in CryoGrid.In Nunataryuk, the candidate is mainly associated with work package 1 “Terrestrial permafrost” (www.nunataryuk.org/science/work-packages/wp-1-terrestrial-permafrost), but is expected to interact closely with scientists from other work packages. Scientific publications in international journals are expected.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition is to be among Europe’s leading communities for research, education and innovation. 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 degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in Geosciences, Physics, Mathematics, Engineering or Computer Science (or similar), with a strong record in numerical modeling. Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the closing date. Only applicants with an approved doctoral thesis and public defence are eligible for appointment.
  • Experience with permafrost modeling in the CryoGrid framework is a prerequisite to apply, in particular modeling ground temperatures and water contents in polygonal tundra landscapes. The candidate must have experience with developing new modules within CryoGrid.
  • Theoretical knowledge and practical experience with peat accumulation and decomposition modeling in Earth System models is required, for example the peatland representations within the LPG-GUESS model family.
  • The candidate must have long-term expertise in programming, in particular using MATLAB.
  • The candidate’s publication record must show evidence of creativity and capability of independent research.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English are necessary

The following qualifications will count in the assessment of the applicants:

  • The applicant’s publication record in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • The applicant’s experience and previous success in applying for and securing research funding.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 496 100– 532 000 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Researcher (position code 1109)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Professionally stimulating working environment
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • 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, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
  • Copies of educational certificates, academic transcript of records and letters of recommendation
  • A complete list of publications and up to 5 academic works 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, please follow the link “Apply for this job”. 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, the project description (whenever this is required in the call for applicants), and the quality of the project as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations

According to the Norwegian Freedom and 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 a.o.

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

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:

For questions regarding the racruitment system please contact: Torunn S Guttormsen, phone: +47 228 54272 , e-mail: [email protected].

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