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PhD Research Fellowship in data and cold-region science

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.

The geosciences are the studies of the planet Earth and its comparative planetology; the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and cryosphere, the Earth's surface and its interior. The Department of Geosciences conducts research and teaching in most of the domains of geoscience; geology, geophysics, physical geography, geomatics, hydrology, meteorology and oceanography. The Department is the broadest geoscience research and education environment in Norway. The Department encompasses five sections; Meteorology and Oceanography, Geography and Hydrology, Study of sedimentary basins, Environmental geosciences and Crustal Processes. We also hosts one Centre of Excellence CEED - Centre of Earth Evolution and Dynamics.

The Department aims to contribute to the new and important UN Sustainability Development Goals, and are important contributors to IPCC (UN’s Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change). The staff consists of 40 professors and associate professors, in addition to postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, researchers, technical- and administrative staff. The Department has more than 200 employees.

About the position

A PhD Research Fellowship at the intersection of data and cold-region sciences is available at the Department of Geosciences at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

The fellowship has a 4-year duration and will be devoted to research education at the intersection of data science and cryospheric sciences. The PhD project is in particular investigating possibilities to use data science approaches for quantifying mountain permafrost and its hydrological significance under climate change, based on a combination of data science with remote sensing, numerical modelling and field experiments. The position is funded through the University of Oslo dScience centre to which the successful candidate will contribute a working time equivalent of 25%. The PhD fellow will be expected to participate in regular project team meetings and will be able to spend an extended period abroad visiting one of our international collaborators. The PhD fellow is also expected to publish research results in leading international journals and present at major international conferences. Note that no one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo. Starting date no later than 01.10.2023.

The position is affiliated with the Department’s Section for Physical Geography and Hydrology, which has long-term experience in investigating the terrestrial cryosphere and is involved in various high-level research projects and centers. (See for instance here). We offer a lively, friendly and collaborative research environment in cold regions sciences, in particular in glaciology, remote sensing, geohazards, hydrology and geomatics. We participate among others in projects by the European Union and the European Space Agency, for instance its climate change initiative, such that the successful candidate will have excellent opportunity to participate in international research networks.

The position is in collaboration with Centre for Computational and Data Science (dScience) at the University of Oslo (UiO). dScience is a center developing and supporting interdisciplinary research within computational and data science across UiO together with partners in industry and public sector. In addition to hosting research programs and projects, dScience develops mechanisms collecting, managing, and sharing high-quality data for academic and business development purposes in Norway and internationally. dScience focuses on basic, long-term research, creates collaboration across disciplines and sectors, offers community services and contributes to the education and supervision of students.

Job description:

The PhD candidate will combine data science approaches such as machine learning with remote sensing data sets for land cover classification and ground motion, numerical model output related to mountain permafrost (such as the CryoGrid permafrost model), and field measurements related to permafrost hydrology. Candidates with relevant prior research experience in these areas will therefore be given preference. A detailed project plan will be developed in col-laboration with the successful candidate.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. 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.

  • Applicants must hold a Master’s degree or the equivalent in a relevant scientific field, e.g. geosciences, data sciences, geomatics, physics, environmental sciences, or similar.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a strong background and interest in one or several of data science approaches, remote sensing and numerical modelling.
  • Applicants should be able and willing to participate in fieldwork in cold environments.
  • Applicants should have an inquisitive nature and desire to work with complex environmental questions.
  • Applicants should show enthusiasm for research, be motivated to learn new techniques and show the ability to work independently, while being an active member of a research team.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English are required.

In particular, previous experience with one or several of the following topics will be regarded beneficial in the selection process:1. data science approaches such as machine learning and big data methods,2. remote sensing of Earth surface processes, 3. numerical modelling of permafrost,4. geophysical methods for permafrost and mountain hydrology, 5. skills in programming and remote sensing processing.

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:

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 (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • A highly dynamic and motivated team of international researchers
  • Career development programmes, professional courses and workshops
  • Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its 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 educational certificates and transcripts
  • 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).

When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project. 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.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period 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 appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

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 Jobbnorge, please contact HR Adviser Ole Rustad, e-mail: ole.rustad@mn.uio.no.

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