Ledig stilling ved UNIS

PhD research fellowship in Arctic Marine Molecular Ecology (The Nansen Legacy, UNIS / UiT)

Deadline: 01.08.2019

Flere stillinger:

Description of the vacant position


UNIS is a stateowned limited company with five of Norway’s universities represented on the board. UNIS is located in a modern working environment in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, and is well equipped with both technical and scientific equipment and laboratories.
The institution has an infrastructure for both marine and terrestrial field, lab and experimental research. The studies at UNIS are marketed internationally and all classes are offered in English. Approximately half of the staff and students are from abroad.

The department of Arctic Biology at UNIS is seeking candidates for a full-time, 4 year position as a PhD fellow in Arctic Marine Molecular Ecology. Currently the department constitutes 3 professors, 5 associate professors, 4 PhD students, 9 Adjunct Professors and 3 technical/administrative staff. The department conducts research and education in Arctic marine and terrestrial biology, and currently provides 22 courses on bachelor, master and PhD level. The department focuses on an integrated approach to High Arctic biology. Additional information about the department can be found at www.unis.no.

The position is affiliated with the Norwegian research project The Nansen Legacy (http://nansenlegacy.org). The Nansen Legacy is the Norwegian Arctic research community’s joint effort to establish a holistic understanding of a changing marine Arctic climate and ecosystem in the northern Barents Sea and adjacent Arctic Basin. The project will provide a scientific knowledgebase needed for future sustainable resource management in the study area through collaborative work between ten Norwegian research institutions in 2018-2023. The interdisciplinary research focuses on the physics, chemistry and biology of the target area. Activities in the project include international cooperation, and several cruises with the new, ice-going research vessel Kronprins Haakon.

The advertised PhD position is in the field of Arctic marine molecular ecology. The hired applicant is expected to develop a PhD project on diet assessment of selected small pelagic, sympagic and benthic invertebrates in a seasonal perspective, using molecular tools. The regional focus is the northern Barents Sea and adjacent Arctic Basin along a transect covering the gradient from boreal to Arctic conditions, and shelf to basin. Seagoing field work under harsh conditions may be part of the research as well as short research visits with national / international collaborators.

The PhD will be based at the Department of Arctic Biology at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), and the candidate will be admitted to the PhD program at the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), and will spend part of the PhD period at UiT. The candidate will work with team members from UNIS and UiT and other Norwegian institutions in the Nansen Legacy project. The PhD student will complete course work in the marine science field as part of the degree.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • Applicants must hold a master's degree or the equivalent in a relevant field, such as Marine Biology, Marine Sciences or Molecular Biology, or must have submitted his/her master's thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master's degree has been awarded.
  • Applicants must have experience and skills in basic lab, analytical and statistical methods.
  • Applicants must be capable of carrying out field work, including participation on research cruises. Experience in marine polar field sampling is advantageous.
  • Experience and skills in the use of molecular genetic tools and analyses of molecular genetic data are strongly desirable, as is knowledge in marine ecology.
  • Experience in experimental design is a strong benefit.
  • Authorship or co-authorship of scientific publications is an advantage.
  • Prior work experience in an interdisciplinary research team setting is beneficial, as is teaching experience
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, yet function well within a team.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English.

Strong motivation and personal suitability will be emphasized. To allow assessment of this, a statement of personal and scientific interest in taking a PhD degree, and a separate outline of a relevant PhD project idea (max 2 pages) must be included in the application.

Employment conditions

The total duration of the PhD position is 4 years, of which 25% comprises teaching duties at UNIS and UiT. The employment potentially includes some supervision duties of Master students.

All salaries are set in accordance with the Norwegian government's University salary scale. PhD fellow research fellows start at a gross salary of NOK 479 600 annually. As a Svalbard resident an annual allowance of NOK 34 560 (Svalbardtillegg) will be added to the salary. A Social Security contribution of 2 per cent, to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, will be deducted from the salary. Income tax on Svalbard is 8%, plus 8,2% toward National Insurance coverage. UNIS offers a membership in the Norwegian Public Pension Fund.

About the research training

The candidate must satisfy the enrolment requirements for the doctoral degree program at UiT the Arctic University of Norway (UiT PhD program). A plan for the implementation of the research training must be approved by the faculty within six weeks after starting in the position. The candidate is expected to complete relevant courses (30 ECTS) as part of the formal PhD training.

Selection and appointment

A committee appointed by the Managing director of UNIS will evaluate the qualifications of the applicants, and invite the highest ranked person(s) for an interview. The appointment will be made by the Director of UNIS based on the recommendation from the committee.


Inquiries about this position may be directed to:

The application, submitted electronically in www.jobbnorge.no, must include:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Outline of possible PhD project (max 2 pages)
  • CV (including a complete overview of education, professional training and professional work)
  • Name and contact information for three referees

Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees, or official confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted

  • Relevant certificates/references
  • A list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • Any peer review publications you are an author or co-author on
  • A copy of the master thesis

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded in Jobbnorge.

Deadline for applications is August 1st 2019.

You can request to have your application kept from public access cf. the open files act § 25. The request must be explained. UNIS will determine if the application will be kept from public access or not, based on the explanation and the regulations from the open files act. If the application will not be accepted, the candidate will be contacted.

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