Ledig stilling ved UiT Norges arktiske universitet

1-3 Postdoctoral Research Fellow positions in climate science, fusion plasma physics and complex systems modelling

Deadline: 08.03.2020

The UiT Aurora Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Systems Modelling (DYNAMO).

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.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway has established the UiT Aurora Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Systems Modelling (DYNAMO). This is an interdisciplinary centre with thematic focus on the most profound challenges for our society – climate change, its impact on ecosystems, and its mitigation by development of fusion power as an unlimited source of sustainable energy. The announced positions will strengthen the UiT Aurora Centre by recruiting excellent researchers within relevant areas of climate science, fusion plasma physics and complex systems modeling. The successful candidates will perform research in close collabora with other members of the DYNAMO centre and its extensive international network.

The position

The UiT Aurora Centre DYNAMO announces vacant Postdoctoral Research Fellow positions in the areas of the climate system, fusion plasma physics and complex systems modelling at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. The appointment is for a period of 3 years, with a possibility of prolongation. The candidates will work in a large, international and interdisciplinary team and will have possibilities for research stays abroad. The positions will be supervised by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Physics and Technology.

The Department of Physics and Technology consists of six research groups: (1) Complex Systems Modelling, (2) Earth Observation, (3) Sustainable Energy, (4) Machine Learning, (5) Space Physics, and (6) Ultrasound, Microwaves and Optics. The department provides education at the Bachelor, Master, and PhD levels, and comprises 21 permanent scientific employees, and a technical/administrative staff of 12 persons.

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics has three research groups: (1) Algebra, (2) Complex Systems Modelling, and (3) Geometry and Mathematical Physics. The department provides education at the Bachelor, Master, and PhD levels. It comprises 17 permanent scientific employees. The research group in Complex Systems Modelling currently has five professors in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and three professors in the Department of Physics and Technology. The main research activity is related to climate science and fusion energy. However, group members are also involved in research in chaos, complex systems modelling, ecology, economy, epidemiology, fluid turbulence, and non-linear optics.

Appointment to the positon of Postdoctoral Research Fellow is mainly intended to provide qualification for work in top academic positions. It is a prerequisite that the applicant be able to carry out the project over the full course of the employment period. No person may hold more than one fixed-term position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the same institution.

The position can/will additionally be assigned to teaching and related work for UiT in an amount equivalent to a maximum 25 % of a full-time employment.

The project/position's field of research

The enormous success of natural sciences in the industrial age has been built on the paradigm of reductionism, which attempts to explain systems in terms of their constituent parts and the individual interactions between them. Empirical laws have been explained by fundamental principles that have been experimentally verified with remarkable precision. However, largely due to the revolution in scientific computing, we are now discovering new scientific laws that emerge from non-linear interactions in systems with many degrees of freedom which cannot be deduced from the first principles-based equations that define the systems. Such complex systems have many components which may interact with each other resulting in a behaviour which is intrinsically difficult to model and predict due to the dependencies, competitions, and relationships between their parts or with their environment. Distinctive properties of complex systems are chaos, nonlinearity, emergence, spontaneous order, adaptation, and feedback loops, among others. A major part of complex systems science is devoted to universality and commonalities between systems with strong non-linear interactions and collective behaviour. However, a general theory of such systems has not been developed. The most important advances in the field has come through a combination of domain-specific modelling as development and application of conceptual mathematical and statistical models, and general mathematical concepts such as symmetry, invariance and stability. Theories of turbulence, intermittency, fractal geometry, multifractal measures and self-organized criticality are all developed as tools to describe emergent phenomena in complex systems. The UiT Aurora Centre DYNAMO is organized in three research themes: the climate system, Arctic ecosystems, and fusion plasmas. These are areas of research where complex systems modelling is particularly fruitful. The implementation is structured into four work packages corresponding to the main methodological frameworks: long range dependence and temporal scale invariance, bifurcations and transients, instabilities and chaotic dynamics, and ensemble studies. Scientific computations and data analysis are essential tools in all research themes and work packages. The main objective is to develop and combine dynamical, phenomenological and stochastic models in order to describe non-linear dynamics and emergent structures common to complex systems.

The following research questions will be addressed:

  • What is the likely range of global and Arctic climate sensitivity on different time scales?
  • Is the Earth system, and in particular the Arctic climate, at risk of abrupt transitions in response to anthropogenic warming? And if so, can we quantify the corresponding thresholds in temperature or radiative forcing?
  • Which are the non-linear dynamical mechanisms governing the Arctic climate response? Can cascades of instabilities in the Arctic climate be modelled and predicted?
  • Are there chaotic dynamics in Arctic ecosystems? And are there emergent properties in Arctic ecosystems that can be modelled in a robust manner by predator-prey models with seasonal effects and stochastic perturbations?
  • Can the effect of a warming climate on Arctic ecosystems, including possible tipping points, be described by conceptual models constrained by observational data using Bayesian statistics and other data-driven methods?
  • Can fluctuation-induced transport in fusion plasmas be described by stochastic models and datadriven conceptual models constrained by experimental data and first-principles-based numerical simulations?
  • Can plasma-wall interactions and material erosion in fusion reactors be predicted by using complex system methodology?

All candidates must submit a statement of their vision for how they will strengthen these research activities within the center.


Further information about the positions and project details is available by contacting:

  • DYNAMO centre leader and fusion plasma research theme leader professor Odd Erik Garcia by e-mail [email protected] or telephone +47 77 64 51 91
  • Head of Department of Mathematics and Statistics and climate system research theme leader professor Martin Rypdal by e-mail [email protected] or telephone +47 77 62 07 54


Qualification requirements for the position as Postdoctoral Fellow 1352:

  • Norwegian doctoral degree in subject area concerned or a corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognised as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree, or competence at a corresponding level documented by academic work of the same scope and quality

This position requires a Norwegian doctoral degree within applied mathematics, statistics or physics, or a corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree. Moreover, the candidates must show a good command of English, both spoken and written. The suitable candidate must have a background in physics or applied mathematics and should have excellent skills in computer programming. Knowledge of stochastic processes and/or time series analysis is considered an advantage.

Other required qualification skills include:

  • Excellence in PhD 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 work

International experience is an advantage. The assessment will emphasize motivation and personal suitability for the position.

If you’re at the final stages of your PhD, you are also qualified to apply. Having a PhD degree is required before commencement in the position. If you are in the process of completing your PhD, you must document that you have submitted your PhD thesis by the application deadline and attach a statement from your supervisor concerning termination of your PhD studies.

Since the position possibly entails teaching or equivalent duties, teaching experience and good command of a Scandinavian language can be considered an advantage.

During the assessment emphasis will be put on your potential for research, motivation and personal suitability for the position.

At UiT we put emphasis on the quality, relevance and significance of the research work and not on where the work is published, in accordance with the principles of The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

UiT wishes to increase the proportion of females in academic positions. In cases where two or more applicants are found to be approximately equally qualified, female applicants will be given priority.

We offer

  • Involvement in an interesting research project
  • A fantastic work environment with friendly and dedicated colleagues
  • Excellent career opportunities
  • A large degree of independence in work
  • Opportunities to travel and meet other leading scientists within the field
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund

UiT also has good welfare arrangements for employees including beneficial arrangements for pension and insurances. The UiT campus is located near the centre of Tromsø, a vibrant city located in Northern Norway with approximately 75 000 inhabitants. The city is surrounded by the stunning landscape of Northern Scandinavia. The location also offers ample opportunities for e.g., sighting aurora, hiking and skiing.

Remuneration of Postdoctoral Fellow positions are in salary code 1352. The starting salary is at a minimum 43 500 NOK/month in 2019, normally starting on salary grade 59 on the pay scale for Norwegian state employees corresponding to approx. There is a 2 % deduction for contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. In addition, UiT pays 12 % directly to the pension fund on top of the salary.


Your application must include:

  • Application and motivation letter (max 1 page)
  • Vision statement for at least one of the centers research themes (max 2 pages)
  • CV (max 4 pages)
  • Description of your past research project and its relevance to the advertised position (max 1 page)
  • Description of your academic production (track record) including highlights of three most important works for the advertised position (max 1 page)
  • Academic works, up to ten. The doctoral thesis is regarded as one work.
  • Diplomas and transcripts for bachelor, master and PhD level education
  • Three references, preferably including the PhD supervisor

The documentation must be in English or a Scandinavian language. Thesis and other academic works should preferably be in English or a Scandinavian language.We only accept applications sent via www.jobbnorge.no.

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. The successful candidate must be willing to get involved in the ongoing development of their department and the university as a whole.

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

According to the Norwegian Freedom and 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.

More information about moving to Norway and working at UiT: http://uit.no/mobility

We look forward to receiving your application!

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