PhD scholarship within forest planning for uncertainty quantification and risk assessment

Deadline: 15.11.2021

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU has a particular responsibility for research and education that secures the basis for the life of future generations. Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we deliver knowledge for life. NMBU has 1,800 employees of which about 250 phd scholarships and 6,000 students. The university is divided into seven faculties.

NMBU believes that a good working environment is characterised by diversity.

We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, functional ability, cultural background or whether you have been outside the labour market for a period. If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at www.nmbu.no.

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 interested in mitigating ecological, economic, and climatic risks related to forest management?

About the position

Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA) at Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), has a vacant 3-year PhD position related to evaluating the importance of accuracy of forest data in forest planning and decision-making processes.

Managing forests involves periodic silvicultural decisions. Forest ecosystem and management models are used to forecast forest development, economic, and ecological values. None of these components are measured or modeled perfectly, which can lead to poor decisions. To improve the decision-making process, these uncertainties can be quantified and used to assess the risk related to the specific management targets. The PhD student will be central in designing methodological approaches linking data and model uncertainty to forest planning processes. The results will be useful to guide data collection efforts, model improvements and allow for risk management to be integrated into the decision-making process.

These results will improve management decisions under future environmental and social risks. This work will be done with close collaboration with forest data experts, forest modelling experts and decision analytic experts.

The research conducted in this position will be closely linked to a key task of the recently established “SmartForest” Centre of Research-based Innovation (www.smartforest.no), led by Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), where NMBU is the main partner from the university sector.

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 program at the institution.

Main tasks

  • Assess the importance of data and models for the management plan.
  • Evaluate the effects of data quality and model certainty.
  • Method development to quantify forestry related uncertainty
  • Assess approaches to integrate risk management into forest planning.

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 Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are at master's degree level. 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.

Required Academic qualifications

  • Master’s degree in a relevant scientific field such as forest sciences, environmental sciences, or operations research.
  • Documented quantitative skills.

The following experiences and skills will be emphasized:

  • Competence in forest management and primary forest production.
  • Interest in modelling and programming (e.g. R or Python).
  • Competence in statistical methods.
  • Knowledge of forest simulators.

You need to:

  • be strongly motivated and committed
  • be creative and have the ability to work result-oriented, accurate and structured
  • have analytical ability
  • have the ability to work independently as well as in a team
  • be proficient in both written and oral communication

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD Fellow, pay scale 20 (salary step. 54-62). PhD Fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 491.200, -) 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


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 program at the institution. The documentation that is necessary to ensure that the admission requirements are met must be uploaded as an attachment.

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: 15.11.2021

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., Diploma, 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
  • Names and contact details for two references.
  • Documentation of additional professional activities (for example a list of scientific publications).

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