Ph.D. Candidate in Applied Ecology

Deadline: 14.03.2024

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN University) is home to over 16,000 students and 1,500 employees, and has campuses in Lillehammer, Hamar, Elverum, Rena, Evenstad and Blæstad.

INN University aspires to build strong and enduring academic and research environments that will spearhead regionally, nationally and internationally. We are developing a new and better institution with high academic and pedagogical quality, aiming at achieving university accreditation by 2025.

Our vision is "Stronger Together".

The Evenstad campus is located at the heart of Østerdalen in Stor-Elvdal municipality, approximately 20 km south of the town of Koppang. The campus has a pleasant and inclusive study and academic environment, as well as scenic surroundings.

At Evenstad, we offer programs in applied ecology, forestry and wildlife management at BSc, MSc and PhD levels.

Are you our new colleague?

About the position

Sharing and combining expert and citizen science data for improved ecological inference: an interdisciplinary approach

A 100% position as a PhD candidate in applied ecology is available at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN), Faculty of Applied Ecology, Agricultural Sciences and Biotechnology. The position will run for 3 years, starting in early 2024. The candidate will be enrolled in INN’s PhD program in Applied Ecology and Biotechnology, with workplace at Campus Evenstad.

The PhD project is a part of a Biodiversa+ funded project (“BIG_PICTURE: Developing data management and analytical tools to integrate and advance professional and citizen science camera-trapping initiatives across Europe”) involving 17 partners from 10 countries. Its overall goal is to promote the sharing and enhanced use of camera-trapping data from across Europe to improve the monitoring of wildlife. To reach these goals the wider project will develop e-infrastructure in the form of interoperable databases and Artificial Intelligence algorithms for image processing as well as evaluate the most appropriate analysis approaches for data collected under different sampling regimes and to address different questions.

Faculty of Applied Ecology, Agricultural Science and BiotechnologyPhD in Applied Ecology and Biotechnology

About the project

The PhD project will focus on the issue of data sharing. The first part of the project has a social science focus and will explore the technical and social issues that enable, promote or hinder the sharing of data – with a focus on institutionalized data, such as research institutions and universities, semi-structured data, such as that collected by NGOs or small organisations / associations, and unstructured data, such as that collected by individual stakeholders or citizen scientists. A particular emphasis will be placed on hunters as an often-neglected group of citizen scientists. The second part of the project will focus on demonstrating the challenges and benefits of integrating diverse data sets, such as structured and unstructured data, in order to produce improved ecological inference. Large datasets are available, but there will be a need to integrate them for analysis.

The candidate’s main supervisor will be Associate professor Torfinn Jahren at INN. A large team of co-supervisors will contribute to different parts of the project. Professor John Linnell at INN will also play a major supporting role for certain parts of thesis and to ensure its integration into the wider project. In addition, Olivier Devineau and Petra Kaczensky at INN, Neri Horntvedt Thorsen from the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research, and Tim Hofmeester from the Swedish University of Agriculture will contribute their diverse skills to help the candidate as required.


To be admitted to the doctoral program, the applicant must have a master's degree or master's level based on a 5-year cumulative period of study (including the Bachelor’s degree) or equivalent education, within Environmental Science, Zoology, Ecology, Geography, Biostatistics or other relevant subject areas.

Furthermore, you must have a strong academic background from your previous studies, ie. the average grade should be B or better from the master's program (120 credits) or equivalent education. Calculation of the average grade is based on the credits for each course and for the master's thesis. Applicants with weaker grades than what is normally required for admission must document that they will be able to complete a doctoral degree. In cases where the education has been approved with the use of the grades passed / failed, the applicant is admitted after an individual assessment. If you have education from abroad, you can contact NOKUT for approval of your education, alternatively a similar assessment will be made in connection with the application process.

The position will require a willingness to adopt an interdisciplinary approach. This will require good quantitative skills and the use of basic social science methods such as interviews and questionnaires, as well as an understanding of wildlife ecology, behavior and management. It will be essential for the candidate to participate in at least some fieldwork associated with camera trapping in boreal forest settings in both winter and summer. Campus Evenstad is in an isolated rural setting, so the candidate should ideally have a strong interest in outdoor recreation and nature-based activities and be willing to live in a very isolated rural setting. We expect the candidate to be able to work within a team of fellow PhD and postdoctoral scholars from multiple institutions and with multiple supervisors that are working on related and supporting topics, as well as take part in the professional and social life at Campus Evenstad. There will also be a need for the candidate to interact with stakeholders and citizen scientists.

There is a requirement that the candidate has: 

  • Documented experience with the quantitative analysis of ecological, or sociological, data.
  • Experience with the statistical software R (or equivalent).
  • A driving license for car
  • Good teamwork characteristics and communication skills

A preference will be given to candidates with: 

  • Documented experience or familiarity with the analysis of spatial data using tools such as occupancy modelling, species distribution or habitat modeling, or structured equation modelling.
  • Experience of working with interdisciplinary projects, social science approaches and / or with databases.
  • Documented scientific publications or other writing experience.
  • Previous fieldwork experience and / or good outdoor skills (including winter experience).
  • A familiarity with hunters, hunting, foresters or forestry.
  • Good language skills (including knowledge of multiple European languages).

Furthermore, emphasis is placed on the following attributes:

  • Professional and personal prerequisites for completing the doctoral degree program within the employment period.
  • The ability to work independently and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • The ability to work in a structured manner and having a large work capacity.
  • Solid theoretical insight and interest.

Language proficiency:

  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must document English competence through an approved test (TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

The project needs to start in early 2024 – so availability to start during late winter / early spring will also be given a priority.

Evaluation of candidates for the position will be based on a total assessment of educational background, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation and other eligibility requirements, as defined in the advertisement. In addition, the following will be emphasized: quality of the project description, documented independent research and development work or experience relevant to the project.

The position and associated tasks must be carried out in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations for government employees, including also the Act on Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology, etc. Candidates who, after assessment of the application and attachments, come into conflict with the criteria in the latter act, will not be able to take up the position at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. Necessary approvals must be maintained throughout the employment relationship.

How to apply

Your application must include:

  • Application letter tat summarizes the candidate’s motivations and how their skills and experience meet the position requirements.
  • CV detailing your relevant educational background and work experience (registered in Jobbnorge's form).
  • Copies of academic diplomas and transcripts (A certified English translation of all educational documents is required unless the documents are in Norwegian.)
  • A complete list of scientific and other publications.
  • The names and full contact information for three references.
  • Any other documentation you would like us to consider.

Attachments must be uploaded as separate files. If the attachments exceed 30 MB, they must be compressed prior to upload. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all attachments are uploaded. Documents submitted after expiry of the deadline will not be considered in the evaluation of your application.

We offer

  • A place in an ambitious and highly international environment.
  • A challenging and exciting project with opportunities for personal and scientific development.
  • An independent and flexible work setting that the successful candidate may to a large extent influence her/himself.
  • An exciting and challenging position at a developing institution
  • Position is paid and placed in position code 1017, PhD candidate in the Government Salary Scale
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension, with among other things, good pension and insurance schemes.

For more information about INN University as an employer, please see here.

General information

HINN believes that there is strength in inclusion and diversity. We desire employees with different competencies, professional combinations, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to an even better way of solving problems. We will facilitate for employees who need assistance to realise their goals. Relevant adaptations can be, for example, technical aids, adapting furniture or adjusting routines, work tasks and working hours.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, gaps in the CV or immigrant background, we shall call at least one applicant in each of these categories for an interview. In order to be considered as an applicant in these groups, the applicants must meet certain requirements. You can read more on this here.

We encourage applicants to tick in Jobbnorge if they have a disability, a gap in their CV or immigrant background. The ticks in the jobseeker portal form the basis for anonymised statistics that all state-owned enterprises report in their annual reports

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

Apply for position

Questions about the position

  • Torfinn Jahren (Main Supervisor), +4762430847, torfinn.jahren@inn.no
  • John Linnell (Project Coordinator), john.linnell@inn.no
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