Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

PhD Research Fellow in Rock Deformation Processes

Deadline: 15.03.2023

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 Rock Deformation Processes available at the Njord Centre, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo (UiO).

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo. Starting date is preferably August 1, 2023, but no later than October 1, 2023.

The fellowship period is 3 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.

More about the position

We invite applications for a PhD position in Rock Deformation Processes to investigate the mechanisms responsible for cyclical switches from aseismic creep to seismic slip in lower-crustal faults to better understand the origin of earthquakes in the deep crust. The project will combine field work, high resolution microstructural analysis, mechanical tests with nanoindentation, and numerical modelling of deformation. The PhD student will analyze natural samples of lower-crustal shear zones displaying mutually overprinting mylonites (produced during aseismic creep) and pseudotachylytes (produced during seismic slip) from Lofoten and the Western Gneiss Region (Norway).

The PhD is part of the project “CONTINENT – Conditions for earthquake nucleation in the lower crust” funded by the Research Council of Norway, which will run as a collaboration between the Njord Centre at the University of Oslo, the University of Cambridge, the University of Leeds and the University of Bayreuth. Scanning- and transmission electron microscopy will be used for sample characterization and advanced analysis, with a strong focus on the cutting-edge high-angular resolution electron backscatter diffraction (HR-EBSD) technique. Nanoindentation experiments will be performed to investigate the strength of lower-crustal mineral phases during plastic deformation at high stresses, and will inform numerical models of dislocation interactions during plastic deformation. All the analytical and experimental facilities are available at the host institution, where the candidate will be part of a lively research environment at the Njord Centre. The candidate will have the opportunity to spend research visits in Cambridge, Leeds and Bayreuth in the course of the project.

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 Earth Sciences.
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system

Candidates without a Master’s degree have until 30 June, 2023 to complete the final exam.

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:

Applicants must hold an MSc degree in Earth Sciences with competences in structural and metamorphic geology. The position requires interest in deformation mechanisms and microstructures.

The following competences are required:

  • Microstructural analysis of fault rocks with polarized light microscopy
  • Experience with electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and with electron microscopy imaging techniques
  • Experience with programming in Matlab and/or Python
  • Geological field work and structural analysis

Desired skills:

  • Experimental rock deformation
  • Computational skills

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 501 200 – 544 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow NOK 501 200 – 544 400)
  • 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, transcripts of records and
  • 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.

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 please contact:

For questions regarding the recruitment system, please contact HR Adviser Elin Thoresen, e-mail: [email protected]

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