PhD Fellow in Space Physics

Deadline: 08.07.2022

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

The position

The Department of Physics and Technology announces a vacant PhD position in the area of Space Physics at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. The fellow will conduct research related to the EISCAT 3D infrastructure.

The position is for a fixed term of four years. The nominal length of the PhD program is three years. The fourth year is normally distributed with 25% of the student’s ongoing effort devoted to teaching or other duties for the Department of Physics and Technology. 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 fellow shall participate in the faculty’s organized research training, and the PhD project shall be completed during the period of employment.

The Department of Physics and Technology consists of six research groups: Complex Systems Modelling, Earth Observation, Renewable Energy, Machine Learning, Space Physics, and Ultrasound, Microwaves and Optics. The department provides education at Bachelor, Master, and PhD levels.

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

Studentship affiliation

The position is attached to the Space Physics group at the Department of Physics and Technology, located in the Tromsø campus of UiT. The Space Physics group has a long tradition in using the radar instruments of the EISCAT Scientific Association in Northern Scandinavia, and plays an important role in preparing for the new advanced atmospheric radar facility, EISCAT 3D. Scientists in the group conduct research on topics including auroral ionosphere; ionospheric modification; space weather; laboratory plasmas; space debris; planetary radar techniques and observations; cosmic dust, meteors, and dusty plasma in the mesosphere; long-term trends in the ionosphere; and planetary magnetospheres.

Field of research and the role of the PhD Fellow

The high‐latitude ionosphere is a complex, highly variable system strongly influenced by its coupling to the thermosphere, magnetosphere, and solar wind. Visible examples of this coupling manifest in the aurora, and associated phenomena comprise electron and ion precipitation, electrostatic and electromagnetic waves, as well as instabilities and turbulence. The overall theme for the PhD position is the study the ionospheric dynamics and structures resulting from this coupling, with emphasis on the physical processes involved in the context of Space weather and their impact on technology.

The PhD position is a part of a strategic support to the EISCAT_3D infrastructure, a new generation incoherent scatter radar system capable of volumetric imaging, and of providing 3-dimensional vector measurements of key ionospheric parameters with unprecedented temporal and spatial resolutions. The studies will thus be related to data or observations from EISCAT, the radar system operated near Tromsø and on Svalbard, and likely from the new EISCAT_3D. It will also be possible to use other observational data such as the ones obtained in situ from satellites and/or sounding rockets, and to combine observations with numerical simulations. There will be opportunities to participate in cooperative projects with both national and international research groups, and an exchange visit abroad can be included in the project plan.


Further information about the position, UiT, and project details is available by contacting:


The position requires a Norwegian Master’s degree, or a foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) ideally within Space physics, plasma physics, physics, or similar (relevant to the topic).

Suitable candidates must be proficient in both written and oral English, and should be able to work within an international collaboration.

A good knowledge about theoretical aspects and/or data analysis/scientific computing relevant to one or more of the following fields is an advantage: magnetospheric and/or ionospheric physics and coupling, space weather impacts, auroral dynamics, waves and turbulence.

Other required qualification skills include:

  • Excellence in Master’s thesis work and from grade transcripts
  • Independence and self-motivation
  • Creative thinking
  • Excellent work ethic and commitment to the job

The assessment for the position will emphasize your potential for research, motivation and personal suitability for the position.

In the assessment, the emphasis is on the applicant's potential to complete a research education based on the master's thesis or equivalent, and any other scientific work. In addition, other experience of significance for the completion of the doctoral programme may be given consideration.

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.

Admission to the PhD programme

For employment in the PhD position, you must be qualified for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Science and Technology and participate in organized doctoral studies within the employment period.

Admission normally requires:

  • A bachelor's degree of 180 ECTS and a master's degree of 120 ECTS, or an integrated master's degree of 300 ECTS.
  • A master's thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 30 ECTS for a master's degree of 120 ECTS.
  • A master's thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 20 ECTS for an integrated master's degree of 300 ECTS.

In order to gain admission to the programme, the applicant must have a grade point average of C or better for the master’s degree and for relevant subjects of the bachelor’s degree. A more detailed description of admission requirements can be found here.

Applicants with a foreign education will be subjected to an evaluation of whether the educational background is equal to Norwegian higher education, following national guidelines from NOKUT.

If you are employed in the position, you will be provisionally admitted to the PhD programme. Application for final admission must be submitted no later than two months after taking up the position.

Inclusion and diversity

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is working actively to promote equality, gender balance and diversity among employees and students, and to create an inclusive and safe working environment. We believe that inclusion and diversity are a strength and we want employees with different competencies, professional experience, life experience and perspectives.

If you have a disability, a gap in your CV or immigrant background, we encourage you to tick the box for this in your application. If there are qualified applicants, we invite at least one in each group for an interview. If you get the job, we will adapt the working conditions if you need it. Apart from selecting the right candidates, we will only use the information for anonymous statistics.

We offer

  • Involvement in an interesting research project
  • Good career opportunities
  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues 
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement 
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund 
  • More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here: https://uit.no/staffmobility


Your application must include:

  • Application letter including a brief research statement (maximum 1 page)
  • CV (maximum 2 pages)
  • Diploma for bachelor's and master's degree
  • Transcript of grades/academic record for bachelor's and master's degree
  • Explanation of the grading system for foreign education (Diploma Supplement if available)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Three references, preferably including the Master’s thesis supervisor
  • Master’s thesis, and any other academic works, up to ten

If you are near completion of your master’s degree, you may still apply and submit a draft version of the thesis and a statement from your supervisor or institution indicating when the degree will be obtained. You must document successful completion of your degree before commencement in the position.

You must still submit your transcripts for the master’s degree with your application.

All documentation to be considered must be in a Scandinavian language or English. Diplomas and transcripts must also be submitted in the original language, if not in English or Scandinavian. We only accept applications and documentation sent via Jobbnorge within the application deadline.

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.

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.

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.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act (Offentleglova). According to the Personal Data Act 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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