Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)
Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)

PhD Research Fellowship in Geosciences – Glacier friction

Deadline 07.04.2019

About the position

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society.

The geosciences are the studies of planet Earth; the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and cryosphere, the earth's surface and it’s interior. The Department of Geosciences is Norway’s widest ranging academic geoscience research environment, encompassing four sections (Meteorology and Oceanography, Geography and Hydrology, Geology and Geophysics, Physics of Geological Processes) and one Centre of Excellence (Centre of Earth Evolution and Dynamics).

In addition we participate in other centres and hold several ERC grants. The staff consists of 40 professors and associate professors, in addition to postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, researchers, technical staff and administrative personnel, to a total number of 240.

Flere stillinger fra Universitetet i Oslo

PhD Research Fellowship in Geosciences–Glacier friction available at the Department of Geosciences.

The position is funded for a period of 3-years with no compulsory work or for 4-years with a 25% compulsory teaching load, contingent on suitability for teaching.

This position is associated with the section of Geography and Hydrology (https://www.mn.uio.no/geo/english/about/organisation/geohyd/). The section has currently a staff of c. 50, with 8 permanent scientific personnel. The section studies terrestrial surface and sub-surface processes at the boundary between atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. The key research focus is on the terrestrial cryosphere (snow, glaciers, permafrost and geomorphological processes associated with cold climates). The successful candidate will collaborate with researchers from the Njord Centre (https://www.mn.uio.no/njord/english/about/)

Starting date no later than 01.10.2019. No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

Job description

The position is part of the strategic research initiative EarthFlows (http://www.mn.uio.no/geo/english/research/groups/earthflows/), which brings together researchers in the fields of Physics, Mathematics and Geosciences to study tipping point phenomena and interface dynamics in geological systems.

In this project, the PhD student will build on concepts from current state-of-the-art friction theories in geomechanics to develop the next generation friction model for glacier simulations that aims to overcome constraints of current approaches. The student will work in a multidisciplinary environment consisting of glaciologists, geologists and physicists and is expected to contribute with both theory development and numerical modeling.

The PhD student will:

  • Develop a new temperature-dependent parameterization of steady state friction for glaciers. This will extent the region of validity of one of the most widely used parameterizations of friction at glaciers, which assumes temperate conditions
  • Relate the parametrized evolution of the rate-and-state friction concept to physical processes such as cavity opening and closure, temperature dependent healing of the ice-rock interface through adhesion, and rheology of deformable sediments at the glacier base
  • Couple the framework to a subglacial hydrology model to resolve feedbacks between sliding and hydraulics
  • Implement this framework in glacier simulations and investigate effects on glacier stability from perturbations in meltwater input, temperature changes, and surface mass balance

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

  • A Master’s degree (120 ECTS) or equivalent in geosciences, geophysics, physics or mechanics.
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) should correspond to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • Candidates without a Master’s degree have until 30 June, 2019 to complete the final exam
  • Demonstrated competences in numerical modelling
  • Demonstrated competences in programming (e.g. Python, Matlab, C++)
  • Demonstrated competences in solid mechanics and/or geomechanics and/or fluid mechanics

The successful candidate has a background within geophysics, geomechanics, computational geoscience, computational physics or applied mathematics. Experience in glaciology and glacier dynamics is considered a strong plus.

Grade requirements:

The norm is as follows:

  • The average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English and a Scandinavian language (due to teaching responsibilities):


We offer

  • Salary NOK 449 400 – 505 800 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter - statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Master’s degree diploma, transcripts of records and letters of recommendation
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Documentation of Scandinavian language proficiency equivalent to B2 level of the Bergenstest (this apply only if a Scandinavian language is not your native language)
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language). Applicants may be called in for an interview.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position. For more information see:


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.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

For technical questions regarding the recruitment system, please contact HR Officer Therese Ringvold, e-mail: [email protected], phone: +47 22 85 16 06.

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