Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

PhD Research Fellow in Space Sensors and Systems

Deadline: 29.02.2024

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 University of Oslo (UiO) is expanding the activity at Campus Kjeller to strengthen our education, research, and innovation in technology for a sustainable future. UiO is a well-ranked research university where the Department of Technology Systems at Kjeller (ITS) is focused on applied research in sustainable energy, autonomous systems, space, and security. At Kjeller, ITS is co-located with the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI) and the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), which both offer rich opportunities for collaboration. ITS also has a range of interdisciplinary research collaborations that include the UiO Blindern Campus and Oslo Science City, as well as many other national and international institutions and industries.

ITS offers several master level programmes, alone and jointly with other departments: Renewable energy systems, Cybernetics and autonomous systems, Robotics and intelligent systems, and Information security. ITS also hosts the Centre for Space Sensors and Systems (CENSSS), which incorporates operation of an instrument on the NASA Perseverance rover on Mars. A new master program in Space systems is in the planning stage. The department currently has 9 permanent scientific staff, approximately 35 adjunct staff from the research institutes at Kjeller and from industry, as well as about 20 PhD candidates.

This position is part of an ongoing expansion of the UiO activity at Campus Kjeller. Campus Kjeller is located 20 km northeast of Oslo, between the city center and Oslo Airport. It is a 20 minutes commute with public transportation from Oslo city center to the campus.

About the position

One position as PhD Research Fellow is available at the Centre for Space Sensors and Systems (CENSSS) at the Department of Technology Systems (ITS).

The starting date will be set to be as soon as possible and no later than 1 October, 2024.

The appointment is a fulltime position for a period of three years. 

A fourth year may be considered with a workload of 25 % that may consist of teaching, supervision duties, and/or research assistance. This is dependent upon the qualification of the applicant and the current needs of the department.

CENSSS is a Centre for Research-based Innovation (SFI), funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN) and UiO for up to eight years, starting in November 2020. CENSSS has three research partners and nine user partners. CENSSS is located at Kjeller, Norway, where there is a long history of space science and technology dating back to the 1960s.

CENSSS will address challenges and opportunities in science, technology and business related to “New-Space” satellites and systems for Earth Observation, as well as Space Exploration, by focusing on novel sensors, systems and services. CENSSS is operating the RIMFAX ground penetrating radar on the NASA Perseverance Mars rover

CENSSS aims to strengthen competence and capabilities of all its participants in development of space systems. CENSSS plans to develop and launch a research satellite.

The core activity of the Centre shall support Researchers, PhD candidates and Postdocs. They work in close contact with the research and user partners of CENSSS. In 2023, the department started a Master’s degree program in Space systems, in collaboration with other departments at UiO and other organizations.No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

Job description

Deep space exploration and especially settling humans on extraterrestrial bodies, such as the Moon and Mars, depend among others on the capability to utilize locally available resources, such as water, oxygen, and methane. To identify, localize and characterize the quantity and quality of these resources, different sensors, both spaceborne and on ground are required.

The PhD position shall work with the design, development, and characterization of a novel compact gamma-ray and neutron detector with the long-term goal of mapping planetary surfaces. At this stage of development, the focus will be on terrestrial demonstration and an in-orbit demonstration of the instrument on a CubeSat in Low-Earth orbit. 

The PhD research work will include the following topics and tasks:

  • Modeling of the environment and instrument to identify relevant detector parameters and optimize the design of the instrument
  • Adapt the design of an existing protype or design a new instrument taking into the account the simulated parameters 
  • Characterize and calibrate the prototype in the lab
  • Support the design of test platforms and integrate the instrument into it
  • Perform field test to characterize the instrument performance
  • Dissemination through scientific publications

The specific project description will be developed together with the supervisor and the partners, depending on the skillset and interest of the PhD fellow. It is expected that the PhD fellow will work closely with one or more partners at CENSSS.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition 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.

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in experimental physics, electronics, space engineering, computer/data science, geophysics, or related fields. 
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Experience in at least two or more of the following fields: 
    • Radiation detection (preferably gamma and/or neutrons), 
    • Instrument or measurement setup design, 
    • Modelling and Monte-Carlo simulations (preferably GEANT4), 
    • Programming in C, C++ and/or python
    • Electronics design, 
    • Testing & verification, 
    • Space technology
    • Planetology

The research area for the position can include technologies or infor-mation referred to in the Ministry's export control regulations or the Norwegian National Security Act (Lov om Nasjonal Sikkerhet, a.k.a. “Sikkerhetsloven”), and the candidate must be eligible for (but not necessarily hold) a Norwegian security clearance.

Grade requirements:

The norm is as follows:

  • The average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. 

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position.

For more information see here.

Personal skills

  • Ability to take initiative and come up with new ideas to solve theoretical and practical problems 
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team 
  • Good personal communication skills

We offer

  • Salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement 
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Career development programmes
  • 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 and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma and transcripts of records
  • Documentation of English proficiency if applicable
  • List of publications and academic work 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.

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

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 candidate's motivation and personal suitability as assessed via interviews.

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

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

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.

UiO has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

For further information about the position please contact: Anja Kohfeldt anja.kohfeldt@its.uio.no

For questions regarding Jobbnorge, please contact HR Adviser Olga Holmlund, e-mail: olga.holmlund@mn.uio.no

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