PhD scholarship within Forest Ecology

Deadline: 18.03.2024

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU will contribute to securing the future of life through outstanding research, education, communication and innovation. We have the country's most satisfied university students, who receive research-based education in a unique student environment. Our graduates gain a high level of competence in interdisciplinary collaboration and are popular in the labor market. NMBU has internationally leading research environments in several subjects. Together with our partners in society and business, we contribute to solving some of the biggest societal challenges of our time.

We focus on innovation, communication and entrepreneurship because we believe these challenges are best solved with joint efforts. We believe that a good working environment is characterized by diversity.

If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at www.nmbu.no/en.

About The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management

The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA) works with nature and the environment, sustainable use of natural resources, biological and geological processes.

MINA’s employees undertake teaching, research and dissemination within the fields of geology, hydrology and limnology, soil science, environmental chemistry, forestry, ecology, natural resource management, renewable energy, and nature-based tourism.

Our vision is to be a key actor in knowledge production and dissemination, and our goal is to deliver research of high, international quality, and varied and excellent teaching. The faculty’s employees are significant participants within their respective fields of expertise, both nationally and internationally. The faculty is dominated by a vital research culture and high levels of scientific production.

The faculty has about 200 employees, 90 PhD students and 650 students.

Read more about MINA here.

Are you eager to explore the biodiversity in boreal forests?

About the position

Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management at Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant 3-year PhD-position in forest ecology.

The position is part of the project BioDivAbove “Biodiversity mapping of forests from above” funded by the Research Council of Norway running from 2023-2027. BioDivAbove is a unique collaboration between researchers in ecology and forestry (NMBU, UiO), the forest industry (Mathiesen Eidsvold Værk and Norskog) and NGOs (Sabima, WWF). One PhD-candidate and one postdoc will be recruited to the project.

The biodiversity in Norwegian forests is highly influenced by forestry, including clear-cutting. Our goal in the BioDivAbove project is to develop a method to locate important biodiversity in Norwegian spruce forests by combining remote-sensing data with high-throughput biodiversity inventory. The method should be usable for forest management to prevent species loss and the functions they provide.

The forest property of Mathiesen Eidsvold Værk (MEV) in Hurdal north of Oslo (Norway) will be used as a study area. We will acquire new remote sensing data and use DNA metabarcoding analyses to identify insects and fungi from soil, dead wood, and air. We will also categorize each site according to NiN, survey dead wood and measure forest age and structure.

The biodiversity will be monitored at 300 locations distributed across the forest property, representing the variation in environmental conditions, biodiversity and species composition across the area. A particular focus will be on differences in forest management regimes. By combining remote sensing data, environmental variables and species occurrence data, we aim to model wall-to-wall maps of the biodiversity at the property and compare with existing biodiversity data.

The successful candidate for the position will focus on modelling of biodiversity patterns such as species richness, turnover and composition in relation to forest naturalness, productivity and other environmental variation in space and time.

The candidate will be formally supervised by 3-4 researchers at NMBU and UiO, but will interact with a high number of project participants, including non-research partners.

The starting date for the position will ideally be June 2024, but for the right candidate, both earlier and later starts may be negotiable.

The applicant is made aware that an application for a PhD position at NMBU is at the same time an application for admission to a PhD programme at the institution. The documentation that is necessary to ensure that the admission requirements are met must be uploaded as an attachment.

Main tasks

The main activities will be related to the following tasks:

  • Fieldwork, organize data, statistical analyses and modelling, scientific writing, and dissemination of results. There will be a possibility to do lab-work according to qualification and interest.

The successful candidate is expected to enter a plan for the progress of the work towards a PhD degree during the first months of the appointment, with a view to completing a doctorate within the PhD scholarship period.


The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year master’s degree or a cand.med.vet. degree, with a learning outcome corresponding to the descriptions in the Norwegian Qualification Framework, second cycle. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and be able to document proficiency in both written and oral English. For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the relevant PhD programme description.

The applicant must document expertise and interest in the research subject.

Required Academic qualifications:

  • Master’s degree within a relevant field, such as ecology, biology, forest sciences or similar with good results. 
  • Fundamental knowledge in ecology and biodiversity
  • Strong statistical competence 

The following experiences and skills will be emphasized:

  • Motivation for the outlined research project
  • Experience with handling large datasets, preferably with good competences in R
  • Experience with multivariate and univariate modelling methods, including analysis of ecological gradient relationships and species distribution modelling
  • Experience with identification of insects/arthropods or fungi
  • Experience with field- and laboratory work
  • Experience with scientific writing and dissemination
  • Experience with DNA-metabarcoding

Personal characteristics important for the positions are:

  • Strong scientific capacity and analytical skills
  • Good social and collaboration skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Driving license

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD. Fellow. PhD. Fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 532 200 statens lønnstabell) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

Employment is conducted according to national guidelines for University and Technical College PhD scholars.

For further information, please contact:

Information for PhD applicants and general information to applicants


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply for this job' button above. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Application deadline: 18.03.2024

Your CV must be entered in JobbNorge's CV form and not just included as an attachment. This is to be able to comply with the regulations of §15 of the Public Administration Act.

In the application, the candidate must confirm that information and documentation (in the form of attachments) submitted via the job application can also be used by NMBU in a possible admission process.

Applicants invited for an interview are expected to present original diplomas and certificates.

The following documents must be attached to the application:

  • Motivation letter (maximum 1 page)
  • Complete CV 
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates. (i.e. Di-ploma, transcript. Diploma supplement for both bachelor and master). Diplomas, transcripts and diploma supplements that are not in Norwegian or English must be uploaded in the original language. An English translation of these documents must also be attached.
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement, or a similar document, which describes in detail the study program and grading system.
  • Documentation of proficiency in written and oral English in accordance with NMBU PhD regulation section 5-2 (3)
  • Names and contact details for two references
  • Additional relevant documentation of professional knowledge (for example, list of scientific works). If it is difficult to judge the applicant’s contribution for publications with multiple authors, a short description of the applicant’s contribution must be included.

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