PhD Fellow: Photonic Integrated Sensor for Climate Research

Deadline: 29.03.2023

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a multi-campus comprehensive university at the international forefront. Our vision is to be a driving force for developing the High North. The Northern Sami notion eallju, which means eagerness to work, sets the tone for this motive power at UiT. Along with students, staff and the wider community, we aim to utilise our location in Northern Norway and Sápmi, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio and interdisciplinary advantage to shape the future.

Our social mission is to provide research-based education of high quality, perform artistic development and carry out research of the highest international quality standards in the entire range from basic to applied. We will convey knowledge about disciplines and contribute to innovation. Our social mission unites UiT across various studies, research fields and large geographical distances. This demands good cooperation with trade and industry and civil society as well as with international partners. We will strengthen knowledge-based and sustainable development at a regional, national and international level.

Academic freedom and scientific and ethical principles form the basis for all UiT’s activities. Participation, co-determination, transparency and good processes will provide the decision-making basis we need to make wise and far-sighted priorities. Our students and staff will have the opportunity to develop their abilities and potential. Founded on academic integrity, we will be courageous, committed and generous in close contact with disciplines, people and contemporary developments.

We will demonstrate adaptability and seek good and purposeful utilisation of resources, so we are ready to meet the expectations and opportunities of the future. We will strengthen the quality and impact of our disciplines and core tasks through the following three strategic priority areas.



Develop an on-chip trace gas sensor prototype based on air-suspended nanophotonic integrated waveguides and laser absorption spectroscopy.

The position

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is an international and multidisciplinary research university that addresses both fundamental and applied problems in life and science. The Department of Physics and Technology offers:

3-year PhD position “Photonic Integrated Sensor for Climate Research”

The position combines basic research in photonics and spectroscopy with field applications, good remuneration, and a great work environment within the stunning landscape of Tromsø.

The nominal length of the PhD programme is three years. The objective of the position is to complete research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to the PhD programme is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer.

The position’s field of research

The research team led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jana Jágerská focuses on the development, fabrication and testing of novel photonics concepts for on-chip trace gas detection. Nowadays, research-grade gas sensors that supply data for climate and space research have detection limits at ppt levels, i.e., they can detect one molecule of target gas among one trillion of other molecules. Our aim is to develop sensors whose performance is similar, but the external size is smaller, so-called chip-scale waveguide sensors. A sensor of this type consists of a source, a waveguide sensing element, and a detector integrated into a photonics circuit.

We have recently demonstrated several novel and promising photonic concepts for on-chip trace gas detection, including mid-infrared sensors based on ultra-thin free-standing photonic waveguides. With those waveguides, first detection of greenhouse gases down to ppb levels was demonstrated, being 3-orders of magnitude more sensitive than what was reported elsewhere. The next task is to develop a sensor prototype and conduct its first deployment.

Our collaborations:

  • NTNU Trondheim / Nanolab (Norway) provides access to a clean room for photonic components processing.
  • Arctic and Marine Biology at UiT and NORCE will help to apply the sensor for (i) the study of bacteria metabolism in permafrost soils and (ii) drone-conducted quantification on methane and CO2 emissions in the Arctic.

The research is also funded by two external projects, among others a prestigious ERC Starting Grant. Currently, the group counts 6 members: 2 PhD students, 2 Post-Doctoral Fellows, and 2 MSc students.

Want to know more? Here is our web page.

What will you do?

You will become part of a team working on development of the on-chip trace gas sensor prototype, and your main tasks will be as follows:

  • Optimization, fabrication and testing of the waveguide sensor
  • Processing and analysis of the spectral data received from the waveguide sensor
  • Collaboration with our partners to integrate key elements onto a single photonic platform

The candidate is expected to take a leading role in the project, actively collaborate with other team members, prepare scientific papers and present results at international conferences, coordinate collaboration with partners, and participate in dissemination and potentially commercialization of the results. We will encourage and fund short-term overseas research stays during the appointment period.


If you are interested, apply now! We look forward to getting to know you.

For further information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Dr. Jana Jágerská:


This position requires the following:

  • A master’s degree or equivalent in experimental physics, micro-/ nanotechnology, photonics, or similar programs. If you are close to completing your Master’s degree, you may still apply.
  • Solid background in experimental physics
  • Hands-on experience in an optical or photonic laboratory and experience with relevant measurement techniques and instrument control
  • A high degree of independence, initiative, and commitment
  • Excellent command of English, both orally and in writing
  • Good management and organization skills

In addition, it is of advantage that the applicant has:

  • Background in optics and photonics and prior experience with optical waveguides
  • Experience with gas sensors and IR spectroscopy
  • Good programming skills (LabView, Python)
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Knowledge of Norwegian or any other Scandinavian language

Applicants must document fluency of in English in one of the following ways. Nordic applicants can document their English capabilities by attaching their high school diploma. 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 Engineering 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.

UiT normally accepts higher education from countries that are part of the Lisbon Recognition Convention.

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. Depending on which country the education is from, one or two additional years of university education may be required to fulfil admission requirements, e.g. a 4-year bachelor's degree and a 2-year master's degree.

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

  • Position with the duration of 3 years
  • A unique opportunity to join an international team and develop the first on-chip trace gas sensor prototype, and conduct its field deployment
  • Advanced technological infrastructure in Norway with the ability of free training
  • Mentoring by leading researchers
  • Contribute to scientific publications and patents
  • Perspective topic for a PhD thesis
  • Compensation of moving expenses by UiT
  • Starting date: late spring or early summer 2023
  • PhD Fellows are normally given a salary of 501 200 NOK/year with a 3% yearly increase
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund 

Norwegian health policy aims to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their personal finances and where they live, has access to good health and care services of equal standard. As an employee you will become member of the National Insurance Scheme which also include health care services.

More practical information about working and living in Norway can be found here.


Your application must include:

  • CV (max two pages)
  • Motivation letter (max one page)
  • 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)
  • Description of your past research projects and their relevance to the current application (max one page)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Three references, including the MSc thesis supervisor
  • Master’s thesis, and any other academic works

Qualification with a master’s degree 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 and a statement from your supervisor or institution indicating when the degree will be obtained. 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. If English proficiency is not documented in the application, it must be documented before starting in the position. 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. As a state employee, you have one of the best pension schemes availiable. For more information see: spk.no.

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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