Professor / Associate Professor in Basin Geology

Deadline: 04.12.2020


UNIS is the world's northernmost educational institution, located in Longyearbyen. UNIS has technical and scientific equipment, laboratories and infrastructure for teaching and research in Arctic natural science and technology for sea, land and atmosphere. The disciplines include Arctic Biology, - Geophysics, - Geology and - Technology. All teaching is in English, and about half of the staff and students is from abroad. UNIS is a state-owned corporation.

Longyearbyen is located in Svalbard, in the midst of a varied and beautiful Arctic nature with good opportunities for outdoor activities.

Longyearbyen is a modern town with approx. 2200 inhabitants and has a good service offering including kindergartens, swimming / sports hall and a varied association, sports and cultural life.

The Department of Arctic Geology at UNIS invites applications for a permanent, full time (Associate) Professor position in Basin geology. Currently the department constitutes 4 professors, 4 associate professors, 4 post-doctoral research fellow, 10 PhD students and 8 adjunct professors (10-20 % positions). The department conducts research and education in Arctic marine and terrestrial geology, and currently provides 24 courses at bachelor, master and PhD levels.

The department focuses on three main geoscientific areas all with an emphasis on High Arctic systems: Arctic Basins, Quaternary geology and Cryosphere. Additional information about the department can be found at www.unis.no – ongoing research projects are listed at https://www.unis.no/research/arctic-geology/.

UNIS carries significant responsibilities in research and education, with a curriculum that includes training of Master and Doctorate students. The importance of field studies is stressed at all levels throughout the teaching programs.

Description of the vacant position and qualifications

We seek candidates for a permanent position as Professor or Associate Professor in Basin Geology.

The geological record of Svalbard comprises sedimentary basins from Palaeozoic to Palaeogene age, formed under both extensional and compressional regimes, where glacially eroded fjords and valleys provide world-class outcrops. In addition drill-cores and geophysical data exist from a number of basins providing field-based research and teaching laboratories in basin geology. In addition we have field-based laboratories surface sediment dynamics and implications for high latitude sedimentary systems. Current research areas in the Arctic Basins group span from sedimentary dynamics, high resolution source to sink systems and palaeoclimate to CO2 sequestration, subsurface fluid flow studies, subsurface data integration and implementing digital geological techniques in teaching and research.

We seek to build a strong research team with complementary skills and are looking for a candidate with a strong research background in, for example, source-to-sink studies, tectono-stratigraphy, deep-time palaeoclimate or geo-energy. Quantitative methods would be an advantage to supplement current activities. We seek an ambitious candidate who is able to create an independent research program, but who is also interested in developing added value from collaborating with existing staff members and adjunct professors associated with the Arctic Basins group. A collaborative attitude and research plans opening avenues for cross-disciplinary research both within the Arctic geology department and between UNIS departments will be an advantage.

The appointed person will be responsible for undergraduate and/or graduate courses and is expected to supervise students at MSc and/or PhD level. The candidate is expected to develop teaching at UNIS further at his/her field. The department has a focus on educational quality in the Centre of Excellent Education, SFU (www.iEarth.no). Experience from or motivation to focus on development of teaching practices especially within field-learning is advantageous.

For a position as an associate professor/professor, basic competence in teaching and supervision at university and university college level is required. This include basic skills in planning, implementation, evaluation and development of teaching and supervision and can be achieved through having completed

1) A pedagogical training course at minimum 200 hours with the aim of qualifying for all aspects of the basic competence or

2) Relevant courses in combination with own teaching which the institution considers to be equivalent to a pedagogical training course of at least 200 hours

Teaching competence must be documented through a teaching portfolio. This shall include an overview of practical teaching experience and competence, documentation of this and a brief reflection note. The reflection note shall primarily be linked to one's own teaching philosophy and evaluation of one's own teaching in relation to knowledge about students' learning in higher education.

Applicants that do not meet the requirements above may for particularly compelling reasons be employed, provided that the requirements are being met within two years.

The candidate must demonstrate evidence of high-quality research and teaching, and will be evaluated based on research plan and the possibility to create synergies in the department. Fieldwork at UNIS is performed year-round in both teaching and research. Experience from fieldwork in remote/Arctic areas and demonstrated experience with field leadership is an advantage. Applicants for the position must document their qualifications as full or associate professor. The minimum requirement for Associate Professor is a PhD degree. Professor qualifications must be documented as UNIS does not evaluate applicants for professorships. Knowledge and experience from the Norwegian university sector is an advantage.

Employment conditions for faculty positions at UNIS

At the time, sixty percent of the working time of full-time faculty at UNIS is reserved for research and professional development. In addition, staff is required to be involved in teaching, administration and be willing to contribute to the development of UNIS in a more general sense.

The vacant position is a full-time permanent position within the Arctic Geology department.

All scientific staff is responsible for planning the content of their primary subject and must make all necessary arrangements with external guest lecturers, as well as preparing for, and coordinating, the stays of guest lecturers coming to Svalbard. All faculty members are also responsible for budget compliance and financial follow-up for their primary subject and for providing continuity of contact with the students in their primary course. They must also provide assistance in handling these tasks in secondary courses assigned to them.

The successful candidate is expected to take an active part in the advancement of his/her field of research and must also be willing to contribute to the development of UNIS in a more general sense.

UNIS offers

  • Free arrival passage for you and your family, and relocation expenses associated with initiation of the engagement
  • Annual holiday travel grant, in accordance with current regulations
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Pension Fund
  • Favorable conditions for sabbatical leave


All salaries are set in accordance with the Norwegian government’s University salary scale, professor code 1013 or associate professor code 1011.

The salaries are depending on experience/seniority. A social Security contribution of 2 per cent to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted from the salary.

Selection and appointment

A scientific committee will evaluate the applications. Based on the report, an interview committee will invite the top ranked applicant(s) for a trial lecture and an interview.

The appointment will be made by the Managing director of UNIS based on the recommendation from the committees and an appointment committee. As UNIS would like to increase the percentage of females in academic positions, women are especially invited to apply.

You can request to have your application kept from public access cf. the open files act § 25. The request must be explained. UNIS will determine if the application will be kept from public access or not, based on the explanation and the regulations from the open files act. If the application will not be accepted, the candidate will be contacted.


Inquiries about this position may be directed to:


At the end of the online application form the candidate should attach:

  • An extensive CV including a full list of publications and previously held grants
  • Research plan outline for the next five years, with particular focus on maximizing synergies with ongoing research activity and strengths (max 2 pages)
  • Five publications (authored or co-authored by the candidate) that you want to have evaluated for consideration for appointment to this position
  • Teaching portfolio or similar, outlining a teaching and learning philosophy, teaching experience and own development in teaching and learning*
  • Education, pedagogics or teaching certificates (including a list of previously supervised graduate and PhD students, where applicable)

The committee could ask for further documentation or copies of parts of the complete scientific production described by the applicants.

*Details about the teaching portfolio:

- The teaching portfolio should describe and document pedagogical qualifications divided into the following areas; 1) Teaching philosophy, 2) Pedagogical or other relevant teaching courses and education, 3) Teaching activities, 4) Pedagogical research and development work, 5) Sharing experience, dissemination and outreach related to teaching activities and/or educational development.

- The following attachments may be relevant in the teaching portfolio:

  • Pedagogical and teaching training certificates
  • Evaluation reports of the applicants teaching
  • Overview of masters and doctoral degree supervision and results
  • Teaching merits and other awards
  • Educational publications
  • Teaching compendiums and materials
  • Reports that shows participation in projects related to the development of teaching, such as students active learning, digital learning methods, supervision or/and learning environment

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