Postdoctoral Fellow in Arctic Neogene and Quaternary palynology and paleoceanography

Deadline: 25.08.2024

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a multi-campus comprehensive university at the international forefront. Our vision is to be a driving force for developing the High North. The Northern Sami notion eallju, which means eagerness to work, sets the tone for this motive power at UiT. Along with students, staff and the wider community, we aim to utilise our location in Northern Norway and Sápmi, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio and interdisciplinary advantage to shape the future.

Our social mission is to provide research-based education of high quality, perform artistic development and carry out research of the highest international quality standards in the entire range from basic to applied. We will convey knowledge about disciplines and contribute to innovation. Our social mission unites UiT across various studies, research fields and large geographical distances. This demands good cooperation with trade and industry and civil society as well as with international partners. We will strengthen knowledge-based and sustainable development at a regional, national and international level.

Academic freedom and scientific and ethical principles form the basis for all UiT’s activities. Participation, co-determination, transparency and good processes will provide the decision-making basis we need to make wise and far-sighted priorities. Our students and staff will have the opportunity to develop their abilities and potential. Founded on academic integrity, we will be courageous, committed and generous in close contact with disciplines, people and contemporary developments.

We will demonstrate adaptability and seek good and purposeful utilisation of resources, so we are ready to meet the expectations and opportunities of the future. We will strengthen the quality and impact of our disciplines and core tasks through the following three strategic priority areas.

Faculty of Science and Technology

The position

A Postdoctoral Research Fellow position is available at the Department of GeosciencesFaculty of Science and Technology in Arctic palynology and paleoceanography. 

The position is a fixed term position for a duration of 4 years. Appointment to the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow is mainly intended to provide qualification for work in top academic positions. It is a prerequisite that the applicant can carry out the project over the full course of the employment period. No person may hold more than one fixed term position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the same institution.

The main working place is at the Norwegian Research Centre AS (NORCE) in Bergen, Norway. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer, and latest 1st of February 2025.

The i2B Into The Blue project (ERC Synergy Grant)

The position is part of the European Research Council Synergy Grant “i2B – Into The Blue”, which fosters collaboration between UiT in Tromsø (Norway), NORCE Climate and Environment in Bergen (Norway), and The Alfred Wegener Institute – Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven (Germany). i2B is funded for 6 years (starting in November 2024) and aims to fill a major research gap in Arctic science by investigating processes, consequences, and impact of past “greenhouse” (warmer than present) conditions. In i2B we will retrieve new, key Arctic geological archives of past warmth and employ climate models to bring our current knowledge about a warm Arctic beyond the state-of-the-art. The major strength and aim of i2B are the expertise, knowledge, skills and planned synergies of our Arctic paleoclimate and modelling teams at UiT, NORCE and AWI.

Postdoctoral Project

The overall aim of this postdoctoral project is to use marine palynology (dinoflagellate cysts) to determine the age of the investigated sediments and investigate Arctic Neogene and Quaternary paleoceanography. 

A major pillar of i2B, is to quantify how a warm Arctic looked like during key Quaternary interglacials (MIS 5e, 11c), and Pliocene and Miocene warm intervals. We will use different approaches to date our key sediment records, and dinoflagellate cyst biostratigraphy will be an essential tool, because calcareous microfossils are often absent in Neogene and Quaternary Arctic sediments. Furthermore, organic-walled dinoflagellate cyst assemblages will be essential to investigate the paleoceanography and climate of those past warm intervals.

The specific tasks of this postdoctoral project are:

  • dating the Qutarnary and Neogene study sites and integrate the results with other stratigraphic tools employed in the project (i.e. paleomagnetics, bio-stratigraphy)
  • reconstructing surface ocean conditions during past greenhouse climate states
  • contributing to conceptual models to evaluate the processes and dynamics leading to or resulting from past greenhouse climate states in the Arctic
  • involvement in all aspects of the research, from study design and planning, conducting research, data analyses to publishing results
  • participation in Arctic sea-going expeditions with research vessel "Kronprins Haakon"

The material you will work on comes from the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition #403 to the Fram Strait in summer 2024. You are also expected to join planned expeditions onboard the ice-breaking research vessel "Kronprins Haakon" in 2025 and 2026 to retrieve sediments from key Late Quaternary, Pliocene and Miocene “greenhouse” time intervals.

Work place

While the candidate is a member of ERC i2B, they will be employed at the Department of Geosciences at UiT´s Faculty of Science and Technology. However, the main workplace will be within the palynological expert group of Dr. Stijn De Schepper at the NORCE Climate and Environment Division in Bergen. 

It is central to the philosphy of the ERC synergy grant to closely collaborate with the entire i2B team that is spread over the three institutes. There will be secondments of up to 2 months per year at both UiT and AWI, to ensure synergies with other team members from different disciplines.


For further information about the position, please contact main PIs at UiT and NORCE: 

Jochen Knies, UiT the Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø

or Stijn De Schepper, NORCE Climate and Environment, Bergen


This position requires a Norwegian doctoral degree (PhD) or an equivalent foreign doctoral degree in Earth Sciences, Geography, Biology, or another relevant field.

Successful applicants must fulfil these requirements:

  • Experience with palynology, from sample processing to microscope analysis
  • Experience with stratigraphy and/or paleoceanography
  • Basic skills in data processing, analysis and in (multivariate) statistics
  • Proficiency in both written and oral English. Nordic applicants can document their capabilities by attaching their high school diploma. 

We strongly encourage applications from candidates with a background in Neogene–Quaternary dinoflagellate cysts, stratigraphy and paleoceanography.

During the job application assessment emphasis will be put on the candidate’s motivation, potential for research, and personal suitability for the position. It is expected that the applicants are able to work independently and in a well-structured manner. The ability to work across disciplines and demonstration of good cooperative skills are essential. Experience with international mobility is an advantage. Applicants are asked to reflect on these points in their application.

At UiT we put emphasis on the quality, relevance and significance of the research work and not on where the work is published, in accordance with the principles of The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

Inclusion and diversity

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is working actively to promote equality, gender balance and diversity among employees and students, and to create an inclusive and safe working environment. We believe that inclusion and diversity is a strength, and we want employees with different competencies, professional experience, life experience and perspectives.

If you have a disability, a gap in your CV or immigrant background, we encourage you to tick the box for this in your application. If there are qualified applicants, we invite least one in each group for an interview. If you get the job, we will adapt the working conditions if you need it. Apart from selecting the right candidates, we will only use the information for anonymous statistics. 

We offer

  • A unique opportunity to join an ERC Synergy Team that works across disciplines at three leading institutes in Arctic paleoclimate research
  • Involvement in an exciting research project 
  • Good career opportunities 
  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund

Norwegian health policy aims to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their personal finances and where they live, has access to good health and care services of equal standard. As an employee you will become member of the National Insurance Scheme which also include health care services.

More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here.


Your application must include:

  • A cover letter outlining your motivation and research interests for this position along with details of how you fit the required and desirable qualifications for the position (max. 2 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae containing a complete overview of education and professional work (max. 4 pages)
  • Diplomas and transcripts (all degrees)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Contact information to 2-3 references
  • Description of your academic production, stating which works you consider most important (and relevant for the position)
  • Academic works, up to ten. The doctoral thesis is regarded as one work.

If you're in the final stages of your PhD, you may still apply for the position, provided that you submit parts of your dissertation along with your application. This enables the evaluation committee to assess the quality and likelihood of completion by the desired employment date. You must include a statement from your supervisor or institution stating the expected completion date for your PhD degree. Documentation of your completed PhD degree must be submitted before commencement.

All documentation to be considered must be in a Scandinavian language or English. We only accept applications and documentation sent via Jobbnorge within the application deadline.


The applicants will be assessed by an expert committee. The committee's mandate is to undertake an assessment of the applicants' qualifications based on the written material presented by the applicants, and the detailed description draw up for the position.

The applicants who are assessed as best qualified will be called to an interview. The interview should among other things, aim to clarify the applicant’s motivation and personal suitability for the position. A trial lecture may also be held.

General information

The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment. 

After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The remuneration for Postdoctoral research fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1352. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted. You will become a member of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which gives you many benefits in addition to a lifelong pension: You may be entitled to financial support if you become ill or disabled, your family may be entitled to financial support when you die, you become insured against occupational injury or occupational disease, and you can get good terms on a mortgage. Read more about your employee benefits at: spk.no.

The successful candidate must be willing to get involved in the ongoing development of their department and the university as a whole.

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. 

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