PhD Fellow in climate science as part of the CriticalEarth project

Deadline: 06.03.2021

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT is a multi-campus research university in Norway and the northernmost university of the world. Our central location in the High North, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio, and our interdisciplinary qualities make us uniquely suited to meet the challenges of the future. At UiT you can explore global issues from a close-up perspective.

Credibility, academic freedom, closeness, creativity and commitment shall be hallmarks of the relationship between our employees, between our employees and our students and between UiT and our partners.

Faculty of Science and Technology / Department of Mathematics and Statistics

The position

A PhD position in climiate science is available at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics , Faculty of Science and Technology. The position is part of the CriticalEarth prohect - "Multiscale Critical Transitions in the Earth System" - funded through the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions program under Grant number 956170.

We encourage applications from candidates worldwide to pursue a Ph.D. degree in climate science. We seek candidates interested in the following research areas: Applied Mathematics, Climate Physics, Climate Modelling, Data-driven Climate Modelling, and Abrupt Climate Transitions.

The workplace is at UiT in Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time, within 6 months after receiving the offer.

The position is for a period of three years. The objective of the position is to complete research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to a PhD programme is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position. The PhD candidate shall participate in the faculty’s organized research training, and the PhD project shall be completed during the period of employment. Information about the application process for admission to the PhD programme, application form and regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) are available here.

About the project and research group

You will be part of research groups investigating abrupt transitions in Earth system dynamics on different time scales at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UiT, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Freie Universität Berlin, and the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. You will join an international network of 15 Ph.D. Fellows (ESRs), trained to research new methods for assessing the mechanisms underlying critical transitions in the Earth system, and spend 12 months at a partner research institution in the network.

The project will investigate tipping points – abrupt transitions of potentially unstable Earth system components, such as the Greenland ice sheet and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Different types of climate models and analysis techniques will be combined, and the project will focus on climate transitions caused by a warming Arctic.

The principal supervisor will be Professor Martin Rypdal, head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UiT. Second supervisors are Dr. Niklas Boers, group leader at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Freie Universität Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and Professor Peter Ditlevsen, Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, the coordinator of CriticalEarth.


For further information about the position, please contact:

We offer

  • Involvement in an exciting research project
  • A fantastic work environment with friendly and dedicated colleagues
  • Good career opportunities
  • A significant degree of independence in work
  • Opportunities to collaborate with leadning scientist across Europe
  • Flexible working hours
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund

The UiT campus is near the center of Tromsø, a vibrant city located in Northern Norway with approximately 75 000 inhabitants, surrounded by the stunning landscape of Northern Scandinavia. The location also offers ample opportunities, e.g., sighting aurora, hiking, and skiing.

More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here: Welcome to UiT!


Qualification with a Master’s degree in physics, mathematics, meteorology, oceanography or similar is required before commencement in the position. If you are near completion of your Master’s degree, you may still apply and submit a draft version of the thesis. You must document completion of your degree before commencement in the position.

The position requires admission to the Faculty's PhD programme. Information about the requirements is available here. Excellent programming and documented knowledge of English as stated here is also required.

Because EU ITN projects aim to attract candidates from worldwide locations, applicants must not have resided and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary (i.e., Norway) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date — unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention (1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol). If you are applying from a location that requires a visa or permit, we will be able to provide support and advice throughout the relocation process for you and your family. Feel free to ask us questions in advance if you need more information and reassurance.

The applicant must be an early-stage researcher (ESR), i.e., at the time of recruitment. You must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career. This time is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally qualify you to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.

Other beneficial skills for this position:

  • Excellence in master thesis work and from grade transcripts
  • Independence and self-motivation
  • Creativity and ability to think outside the box
  • Excellent work ethic and commitment to the job
  • A backround in mathematics, atmospheric physics or climate modeling
  • International experience

Emphasis will ultimately be put on the candidates potential for research, motivation and personal suitability for the position.


The application must be submitted electronically via www.jobbnorge.no and must include:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV (maximum 2 pages)
  • Diplomas, diploma supplements and transcripts (all degrees)
  • Documentation on English proficiency.
  • Three references, preferably including the Master thesis supervisor
  • Contact information to 1-3 references
  • Master thesis, and any other academic works

The documentation has to be in English or a Scandinavian language.

We look forward to recieving your application!

General information

The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants.

As many as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized research training. If you already hold a PhD or have equivalent competence, we will not appoint you to this position.

A shorter period of appointment may be decided when the PhD Fellow has already completed parts of their research training programme or when the appointment is based on a previous qualifying position PhD Fellow, research assistant, or the like in such a way that the total time used for research training amounts to three years. If you already hold a Ph.D. or have equivalent competence, we will not appoint you to this position.

Remuneration for the position of PhD Fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1017. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. UiT will emphasize making the necessary adaptations to the working conditions for employees with reduced functional ability.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act (Offentleglova). According to Offentleglova information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication, if you have requested non-disclosure.

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