PhD Research Fellow Reproduction Ecology in Beavers

Deadline: 20.12.2021

University of South-Eastern Norway

The University of South-Eastern Norway, USN, is one of Norway’s largest higher education institutions, with around 18,000 students and 1,900 employees across eight different campuses.

We offer studies, research and knowledge dissemination, all targeting various professions and working life and with a high level of quality internationally. Our goal as a University is to create value both for the individual student and for business and commerce, the public sector and society in general. We achieve this by utilising the best tools we have: education and research.

USN is a University with a strong social commitment where studies and working life are integrated. At USN, we focus on practice-relevant, profession-oriented and applied research and education.

The students shall benefit from innovative educational methods and challenging studies closely associated with society's requirements and needs. They will learn how to adapt to a society and working life that is constantly changing. The University shall meet major social challenges with knowledge and expertise, helping to promote practical solutions, structural changes and new ways of thinking. USN’s academic activities shall be embodied by a clear dedication to the UN’s sustainable development goals. The University aims to realise this main profile in close cooperation with society and working life.

For more information on USN, please go to www.usn.no

The Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences have a vacancy for a position as PhD Research Fellow Reproduction Ecology in Beavers

About the position

The Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences has a vacancy for a position as Research Fellow in Behavioural Ecology from 01.03.22.

The position is located at the Department of Natural Sciences and Environmental Health, and the immediate superior is the Head of the Department. The main work place is in Bø, in the Municipality of Midt-Telemark, Vestfold and Telemark County, Norway.

The appointment is for a duration of three years without teaching requirement. A four year duration of appointment with a 25 % teaching requirement can be considered, depending on the needs of the Department and the competence of the applicant. There is a premise for employment that the PhD Research Fellow is enrolled in USN’s PhD-program in Ecology within three months of accession in the position.

About the PhD-project

This project will be carried out within the framework of the Norwegian Beaver Research Project (NBRP). The NBRP is one of the largest and longest-going beaver research projects in the world. More than 500 Eurasian beavers have been captured since 1997, and about 100 individuals in 25 families are followed annually. The project has a large international team of MSc and PhD students, and researchers who publish their results in international refereed scientific journals. The applicant will also be part of the research group Laboratory of Evolutionary and Behavioral Ecology at USN.

The primary advisors will be Prof. Frank Rosell, from University of South-Eastern Norway, and co-supervisors will be Dr. Martin Mayer, Aarhus University and Prof. Rory P. Wilson, Swansea University.

The general goal of the proposed PhD project is to improve our knowledge about how different factors affect the reproductive ecology of the Eurasian beaver. The successful candidate will live-capture beavers, collect dead beavers and samples, attach GPS loggers and tri-axial accelerometer loggers, analyze data, and write scientific papers.

The PhD project is proposed to consist of the following papers/manuscripts:

1) What movement and behavioural patterns do beavers show before, during and after parturition?2) How do floods affect the beavers’ movement patterns and reproduction success?3) How do different factors affect the timing of the beavers’ reproduction?4) How do a replacement of one or both territory owners (parents) affect their offspring’s survival and future reproduction?

These proposed chapters are only meant as guidelines, and the successful candidate is expected to further develop these ideas.


Applicants to the PhD position must have a Master’s degree (120 ECTS) or equivalent higher education qualifications when starting the PhD position.

It is a requirement that the successful applicant is granted admission to the university’s doctoral programme in Ecology within three months of accession in the position. For admission to the Programme the weighted average grade is B or higher is usually required.

Applicants must also have qualifications in behavioral ecology and especially reproductive ecology, or other relevant areas, with a strong background in bio-logging (GPSs and accelerometers), statistics, and handling of temporal and spatial data.

The candidate should function well in an international research environment and master both spoken and written English. In addition the candidate should be able to carry out fieldwork during the night in cold and harsh conditions, and communicate with local landowners and hunters (speaking Norwegian is an advantage).

Therefore, practical skills in handling of live-captured animals and sampling from dead animals are beneficial.

The willingness to cooperate with other PhD-, MSc students and researchers in the NBRP is essential. Co-operation between staff members is an integrated part of the working atmosphere at the University of South-Eastern Norway. The candidate must be motivated and demonstrate a proven ability to work effectively within a team and in a collegiate manner to formulate and realise common objectives.

An ideal candidate should be creative, analytical, independent and highly self-motivated, and possess good collaborative skills.

We offer

  • A stimulating and growing research environment, with good opportunities to develop your career and your academic skills
  • A good social environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits in the State Pension Plan
  • Opportunity for physical activities within working hours


PhD Research Fellow (code 1017): NOK 491 200 a year. Further promotion will be based on time served in the position. In special cases, employment in code 1378 (NOK 491 200 – 626 100 a year) may be considered.

A statutory contribution to the state pension plan will be deducted from the employee’s salary.

Other information

The Academic Appointments Board for PhD Research Fellowships is responsible for the appointment. An expert assessment of applicants will be carried out. The candidates deemed best qualified will be invited to an interview.

The person appointed must comply with the laws, regulations and agreements that apply at any given time to the post. Please note that approved work permit is a prerequisite for the employment.

According to its human resources policy, the University of South-Eastern Norway targets a balanced gender composition and aims to recruit persons with a background as an immigrant.

The University contributes to the Inkluderingsdugnaden (a voluntary scheme to promote inclusion), and it is our aim that our employees, to the fullest extent possible, shall reflect the diversity of the general population. We therefore encourage qualified applicants with disabilities to apply for the post. The University will facilitate the workplace for employees with disabilities.

Pursuant to section 25, 2nd paragraph of the Freedom of Information Act, information on the applicant may be disclosed even if the applicant has requested not be included on the list of applicants. Applicants will be notified if such requests are not allowed.

Contact information

For more information about the position, please contact: Professor Frank Rosell, phone: +47 35 95 27 62, e-mail: [email protected]

For questions regarding the recruitment process, please contact: Head of Department Live Semb Vestgarden, [email protected] / +4735952797 or Cathrine Haugen Fagerli, [email protected]

How to apply

The University of South-Eastern Norway makes use of online application management. Applicants to the post must register their application and CV with enclosures online via the Jobbnorge recruitment portal by clicking on the link on the right-hand side – “Søk stillingen” (Apply for the post).

The following documents shall be attached to the online application:

  • Transcripts and diplomas of Bachelor's and Master's Degrees (120 ECTS)
  • Other relevant certificates (e.g. driving certificate (B, BE), boat certificate and FELESA C certificate)
  • Motivation letter (maximum 2 pages)
  • Any scientific publications and reports, and a list of these
  • Three references (contact information)

Please note that all documents must be in a Scandinavian language or in English. Any translations must be certified.

The application will be assessed on the basis of the attached documentation as requested above. Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that the required documentation has been uploaded with the application deadline.

The University has been awarded a Charter & Code certificate by the European Commission, and is entitled to use the HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R) logo. The University is also a member of the EURAXESS network, which contributes to good working conditions for mobile researchers.

Apply for the post

Powered by Labrador CMS