Associate Professor in Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology

Deadline: 10.06.2022


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. The administrative language is Norwegian.


The Department of Arctic Technology at UNIS invites applications for a permanent, full time Associate Professor position in environmental chemistry and toxicology. Currently the department constitutes 3 professors, 2 associate professors, 1 post-doctoral research fellow, 3 PhD students and 13 adjunct professors (10-20 % positions). The department conducts research and education in Arctic environmental technology ranging from soil and ice physics to environmental toxicology and risk assessment and provides 16 courses at bachelor, master and PhD levels.

The department focuses on five main areas all with an emphasis on High Arctic systems: soil physics and geotechnical engineering, sea ice properties and structure interaction, sustainable Arctic energy, contaminants and their effects on the ecosystem as well as risks related to avalanches and land/rockslides. Additional information about the department can be found at www.unis.no – ongoing research projects are listed here.

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 Associate Professor in environmental chemistry and toxicology.

Arctic science is heavily preoccupied with climate change, yet it is well known that pollution is an additional environmental stressor that deserves significant research attention. This is the result of the atmospheric and marine currents that enable long-range, trans-boundary pollution to the Arctic, the impacts of increasing human activities within the region, such as industry, transport (air and sea), tourism and expansion of human settlements, and the significant influence upon contaminant dynamics that are imposed by strong seasonality in climate. As a consequence, there are well-known problems with bioaccumulative contaminants within Arctic foodwebs, and Svalbard research has contributed strongly to their understanding. Furthermore, long-range atmospheric contaminant delivery to the Svalbard snow cover has been a major research activity at Ny Ålesund, where an international research presence has also started to examine almost every aspect of the life-cycle of harmful contaminants including their deposition, their transfer through land towards the sea and their subsequent bioaccumulation potential and harmful effects on biota. Recent studies have focused on the fate and effects of pollution originating from local sources at Svalbard, such as poly- and perfluorinated substances (PFAS) originating from fire-fighting foam, locally derived heavy metal and polyaromatic (PAH) pollution and releases of anthropogenic pollutants caused by melting glaciers and permafrost.

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, biogeochemistry and/or ecotoxicology. Experience from applying field-based methods would be an advantage to connect to current activities. We seek an ambitious candidate who is able to create a research program and is interested in developing added value from collaborating with existing staff members and adjunct professors associated within the Arctic Technology department as well as the other departments at UNIS. A collaborative attitude and research plan opening avenues for cross-disciplinary research both within the Arctic technology 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 in his/her field. UNIS has a focus on educational quality in the Centre of Excellent Education, SFU (www.iEarth.no and https://bioceed.w.uib.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, 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 (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, SoTL).

Applicants that do not meet the requirements above may for particularly compelling reasons be employed, provided the candidate has described a realistic plan to meet these requirements within two years.

The candidate must demonstrate potential for high-quality research and teaching and will be evaluated based on research plan and the possibility to create interdisciplinary synergies across UNIS departments. 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 associate professor. The minimum requirement for Associate Professor is a PhD degree. UNIS does not evaluate applicants for professorships, but the successful candidate when employed by UNIS, may apply for qualification assessment based on the national guidelines for professor competence.

UNIS is a Norwegian institution and all the education we offer is to be compliant with Norwegian universities. Knowledge and experience from the Norwegian university sector is an advantage. Non-native Scandinavians must pass an approved Norwegian language test at B2 level on the Council of Europe Level Scale for Languages (CEFR) within two years.

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 Technology 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.

Associate professors at UNIS can apply for promotion to full professor position based on qualification and expertise. This is according to the Regulation concerning appointment and promotion to teaching and research posts. The application deadline is August 31 each year.

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, 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 internal interview committee will invite the most suitable 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 both 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 exempted from public access cf. the open files act § 25. The request must be clearly motivated. UNIS will determine if the application will be exempted from public access or not, based on the terms and regulations of the open files act. If the request is not be accepted, the candidate will be contacted and can decide to withdraw the application.


Inquiries about this position may be directed to:

Deadline for applications is 10. June 2022

Please apply online on www.jobbnorge.no

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, pedagogical 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


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. 2400 inhabitants and has a good service offering, swimming / sports hall and a varied association, sports and cultural life.

Apply for position

Powered by Labrador CMS