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PhD scholarship within socio-ecological analysis of changes in dry forests

Deadline: 23.10.2020

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 and 5,200 students. The university is divided into seven faculties and has campuses in Ås and Oslo. We will be co-located in Ås from 2021.


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
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We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with an interest in multidisciplinary research.

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 social-ecological-environmental analysis of changes in dry forest ecosystem services.

The successful candidate will be part of a team of researchers in the project “Towards a climate-smart policy and management framework for conservation and use of dry forest ecosystem services and resources in Ethiopia” and will engage in multidisciplinary applied research. For more information about the project, please visit the following link. https://www.nmbu.no/en/projects/node/41318

Dry forests are among the world’s most threatened ecosystems due to human, natural and climate change-induced factors. On the other hand, they provide a wide range of ecosystem services that are particularly essential to the livelihoods of more than 500 million inhabitants in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

The urgent need for policies and management approaches that can support resilient and sustainable utilization of dry forest ecosystem services is widely recognized by scientists and policymakers globally. However, a lack of necessary data, including on the underling drivers that shape dry forest ecosystems continues to hamper efforts to develop site-specific and evidence-based policy and management instruments to reduce degradation and promote sustainable utilization of dry forests.

The aim of this PhD project is to identify, understand and disentangle anthropogenic, climate change and natural drivers of change in dry forests and their ecosystem services in selected areas of Ethiopia, where dry forests make up 80% of the country’s forests and woodlands.

Main tasks

  • Conducting 6 months of field work in Ethiopia
  • Collecting data from national and international data sources
  • Designing and setting up analytical models
  • Performing statistical modeling and analysis
  • Writing and publishing of scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals
  • Presentation of project results in workshops and conferences
  • Collaborating with project members

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.

Competence

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

Required Academic qualifications:

  • MSc level degree in interdisciplinary environmental sciences (e.g. ecological anthropology, ecological economics, social ecology, political ecology) or related disciplines;
  • Knowledge of quantitative research methods and statistics;
  • Knowledge of qualitative research methods; and
  • Experience with the use of geographical information systems.

The following experiences and skills will be considered advantageous:

  • Experience in field research;
  • Knowledge of or research experience in Ethiopia or another SSA country; and
  • Amharic/Tigrigna/Afar language skills.

The following experiences and skills will be emphasized:

  • Skills in statistical modeling of spatial data and/or dynamical modelling; and
  • Programming skills in R or similar programming languages.

In addition, the applicant should have the following:

  • Capacity to work across scientific disciplines
  • Good communication and collaboration skills
  • Excellent oral and written command of English
  • Strong scientific capacity and analytical skills

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 479.600,-) 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:

  • Dr. Meley Mekonen Rannestad (Researcher), E-mail: [email protected]; phone +47 (96656375)

Information for PhD applicants and general Information to applicants

Application

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: 23.10.2020

Applications should include (electronically) a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, full publication list, copies of degree certificates and transcripts of academic records (all certified), and a list of two persons who may act as references (with phone numbers and e-mail addresses).

Publications should be included electronically within the application deadline. The relevant NMBU Department may require further documentation, e.g. proof of English proficiency.

Printed material which cannot be sent electronically should be sent by surface mail to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA), P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, within 23.10.2020. Please quote reference number 20/03893.)

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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