Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Earth System Modelling – representation of high latitude vegetation

Deadline: 29.02.2020

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 the planet Earth and its comparative planetology; the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and cryosphere, the Earth's surface and its interior. The Department of Geosciences conducts research and teaching in most of the domains of geoscience; geology, geophysics, physical geography, geomatics, hydrology, meteorology and oceanography. The Department is the broadest geoscience research and education environment in Norway. The Department encompasses five sections; Meteorology and Oceanography, Geography and Hydrology, Geology and Geophysics, Physics of Geological Processes (Njord centre) and one Centre of Excellence CEED - Centre of Earth Evolution and Dynamics.


The Department aims to contribute to the new and important UN Sustainability Development Goals.The staff consists of 40 professors and associate professors, in addition to postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, researchers, technical- and administrative staff. Approximately number of employees are 240 at the Department.

Flere stillinger fra Universitetet i Oslo

Position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow available at the Department of Geosciences (http://www.geo.uio.no).

The appointment is a fulltime position and is for a period of up to four years (25 % of which is devoted to required duties, usually in the form of teaching activities). No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Oslo. Starting date no later than 01.10.2020.

Job description

The successful candidate will work in the LATICE (“Land-ATmosphere Interactions in Cold Environments”) research group, dedicated to improve our knowledge on cold environment processes and their representation in Earth System Models (ESMs). LATICE is recognized as a strategic research area by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and plays a key role in integrating the research and field activities of various disciplines within the department. A common approach is to tightly integrate field observations and model development. The postdoctoral research fellow will be part of a motivated research team with a high number of early career scientists working together in a highly interdisciplinary environment. LATICE has strong national as well as international links. For more information, see: http://mn.uio.no/latice/

With a focus on terrestrial systems at high latitudes, the Postdoc will contribute new knowledge and improved model representation of high latitude vegetation and its interactions with the wider physical environment, including snow-vegetation interactions. Complex terrain (such as in many arctic and alpine areas) with varying snow cover, soil depth or active layer (permafrost), provides a model challenge. Sub-grid tiling of vegetation and soil columns according to hill slope, soil depth and snow, which allows lateral flow of water and nutrients between soil columns, is considered a promising approach.

In-situ flux data, field observations and experimental data available within LATICE, will be exploited to evaluate the parametrisation of selected arctic, alpine and boreal plant functional types (PFTs). Furthermore, the sensitivity of the PFTs to environmental conditions, such as drought, thawing and freezing cycles, and snow depth, will be assessed. Two vegetation modules are used within the group; the default vegetation module in CLM5 with fixed vegetation distribution and CLM5-FATES, with prognostic simulation of vegetation distribution and a detailed description of vegetation demography. Another modelling platform is Shyft, a distributed hydrological model that is used to develop and test parameterizations for a variety of processes.

The candidate will interact with model developers within LATICE and contribute to model testing and improvements (own field or lab work is optional). Focus will be on large-scale (regional) model development/sensitivity analyses in the boreal/arctic zone. The work is expected to form an integrating base for land surface modeling within LATICE. Details of the research plan will be developed based on the successful candidate’s own expertise and research ideas in close collaboration with key LATICE researchers, who will act as a multidisciplinary advisory team.

The candidate will work in a highly collaborative team-oriented environment and participate in a wide array of activities. She/he is expected to play an active role in the supervision of students at all levels, including PhDs and will be provided leadership opportunities within LATICE.

Postdoctoral fellows who are appointed for a period of four years are expected to acquire basic pedagogical competency in the course of their fellowship period within the duty component of 25 %.

The main purpose of a postdoctoral fellowship is to provide the candidates with enhanced skills to pursue a scientific top position within or beyond academia. To promote a strategic career path, all postdoctoral research fellows are required to submit a professional development plan no later than one month after commencement of the postdoctoral period.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition is to be among Europe’s leading communities for research, education and innovation. 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.

Required qualifications:

  • Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in Earth Sciences, or a related discipline; e.g., a PhD in Physics or Mathematics with experience in the earth sciences.
  • Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the closing date
  • Only applicants with an approved doctoral thesis and public defense are eligible for appointment
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English is required

Applications are encouraged from dedicated candidates with strong quantitative skills and technical expertise in computer software and programming. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in numerical modelling and preferably statistics. Previous experience with numerical modelling is essential, in particular the parametrization of land surface processes in climate and/or distributed hydrological models.

The successful candidate should further demonstrate:

  • Technical expertise in scripting (e.g. Python, R) or programming (e.g. C, FORTRAN)
  • Knowledge of large data analysis and visualization tools
  • Ability and willingness to participate in interdisciplinary research
  • Evidence of creativity and capability of independent research

We offer

  • Salary NOK 523 200 – 605 500 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (position code 1352)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Professionally stimulating working environment
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Postdoctoral development programmes
  • 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, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
  • Copies of educational certificates, academic transcript of records and letters of recommendation
  • A complete list of publications and up to 5 academic works 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).

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, the project description (whenever this is required in the call for applicants), and the quality of the project as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of 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 further information please contact:

For technical questions about the recruitment system, please contact HR Adviser Therese Ringvold, telefon +47 22851606, e-mail: [email protected]

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