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

PhD Research Fellow in Geological Characterization of CO2 Reservoirs in Basalts

Deadline: 06.02.2022

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.

Njord is a cross-disciplinary Geology-Physics center hosted by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Oslo. We focus on the fundamental physics of geological processes related to: transport and reactions in deformable porous media, fracturing and fragmentation processes, interface dynamics during geophysical flows, and intermittency and pattern formation in geological systems far from equilibrium.

We conduct research on earth systems that range in scale from atoms to continents and apply methods where fieldwork, numerical modelling, experiments and theory act in concert.

The center includes the Oslo-branch of PoreLab, which is a Center of Excellence (CoE), the former CoE, Physics of Geological Processes (PGP) and several externally financed projects. There are 10 professors and associate professors at the center, in addition to doctoral research fellows, postdoctoral fellows, researchers and technical and administrative staff - in total about 55 persons.

Job description

Position as PhD Research Fellow in Geological Characterization of CO2 Reservoirs in Basalts available at the Njord Centre (Department of Geosciences and Department of Physics).

Starting date no later than 15.03.2021. The fellowship period is 3 years.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

More about the position

We seek a geoscientist for a 3-year PhD position in the CO2Basalt project, which aims to quantify how fluids flow through volcanic margin basalt sequences. The project is carried out at Njord, the cross-disciplinary Centre for Studies of the Physics of the Earth at UiO, and is funded by the University of Oslo, through the strategic initiative towards sustainability-relevant research projects promoted by the faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The successful candidate will join the CO2Basalt team, which includes geoscientists and physicists at Njord, and industrial partners.

CO2Basalt will research the geological and physical conditions for mineral trapping and permanent storage of carbon dioxide within basalts of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The main goal is to evaluate the hypothesis that the multiscale flow pathways in basalts can host voluminous flows of carbon dioxide mixed with water that will react with the host rock to produce carbonate minerals.

The PhD fellowship will investigate the rocks pore- and fracture-networks from the nano- to the macro-scales. Key research challenges are 1) to determine the petrophysical properties of basalts as potential CO2 reservoirs; 2) to determine how the reservoir properties affect fluid migration and reactivity; 3) to identify potential offshore carbon dioxide storage sites along the Norwegian volcanic margin and estimate their storage capacities and leakage risks. The research will be tackled with a multidisciplinary approach. Fieldwork on the Faroe Islands, a basaltic archipelago in the NE Atlantic Ocean used as an onshore field analogue of basalt sequences offshore Norway, will be integrated with virtual outcrop modelling and laboratory work (e.g., scanning electron microscopy, X-ray microtomography, and Hg-porosimetry). The fieldwork will focus on lithological and structural characterization of basalt sequences. Laboratory techniques will be used to determine the mineral composition and rock microstructure. Results from field and laboratory studies will be integrated with the analysis of core samples from regional boreholes and seismic data from the Faroe Islands, as well as from potential offshore carbon dioxide storage sites along the UK and Norwegian continental margin.

Qualification requirements

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

Essential qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Earth Sciences
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • A proven background in at least two of the following fields: CO2 storage; structural analysis of fractures and of fractured reservoirs; volcano stratigraphy, including field mapping/characterization of basalt sequences; land- and drone-based photogrammetry and interpretation.
  • Experience with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analysis, ideally of pore- and fracture-networks.

Desirable qualifications:

  • Broad knowledge of porosity and permeability characterization in volcanic rocks.
  • Experience with the acquisition and interpretation of micro-CT data.
  • Good knowledge of the geological history of the North Atlantic Igneous Province, and especially on the Faroese and Norwegian sector.

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
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements

Personal skills:

  • Teamwork skills, as well as the ability to work independently
  • Enthusiasm, personal drive, and ability to take initiative
  • Attention to detail
  • Flexibility, ability to handle pressure and meet deadlines

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:



We offer

  • Salary NOK 491 200 – 534 400 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 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
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • 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.

Applicants may be called in for an interview.

Formal regulations

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

According to the Norwegian Freedom of 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.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

For further information please contact:

For technical questions regarding the recruitment system, please contact HR Adviser Elin Thoresen, e-mail: [email protected], phone +47 22 85 71 96.

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