PhD Candidate in atmospheric physics and climate dynamics

Deadline: November 22, 2018

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT The Arctic University of Norway with its main campus located in Tromsø is the northernmost university in the world. Its focus on climate and environment is clearly dictated by the geographical location at the edge of the Arctic. The main task of the Faculty of Science and Technology is to conduct research and teaching at high national and international level. Prioritized research areas include energy, climate, environment, maritime, marine, nano-, space-, and information technology; addressing both general topics and topics relevant for the High North.

The Department of Physics and Technology announces a vacant PhD Candidate position in the area of atmospheric and climate science at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Faculty of Science and Technology.

The position is available for commencement from January 1, 2019, and the appointment is for a period of three years.

The position is part of the project “The role of the atmospheric energy transport in recent Arctic climate change” funded by The Research Council of Norway (project number: 280727). In addition to the announced position, this project also involves a postdoctoral fellow, two senior scientists from the department, and cooperation with research groups from the Netherlands and the US.

The Department of Physics and Technology consists of five research groups: (1) Earth Observation, (2) Energy and Climate, (3) Machine Learning, (4) Space Physics, and (5) Ultrasound, Microwaves and Optics. The department provides education on the Bachelor, Master, and PhD levels, and comprises 21 permanent scientific positions and a technical/administrative staff of 12 persons.

This position will be associated with the Energy and Climate group at the Department of Physics and Technology. The group consists of five permanent academic staffs and several postdoctoral and PhD fellows. Within the Energy and Climate group, the position is affiliated with the discipline polar meteorology and atmospheric and climate science led by professor Rune Graversen.

Further information about the position, UiT, and project details is available by contacting professor Rune Graversen by email [email protected] or telephone +47 4140 3687.

The position’s field of research and the role of the PhD Candidate

The Arctic region shows some of the world's most significant signs of climate change. These signs include a negative trend in summer sea-ice cover of around 15 % per decade, and a surface-air warming which is three times larger than the global average. A large concern for humanity is that the climate change in the polar regions will lead to significant melting of the ice sheets and glaciers. The discharge water from the Greenland ice sheet has in recent decades increased to the extent that this ice sheet is now one of the major contributors to sea-level rise.

The atmospheric northward energy transport plays a crucial role for the Arctic climate; in fact this transport brings to the Arctic an amount of energy comparable to that provided directly by the sun. There has been little emphasis on the role of the energy transport in recent Arctic climate change, and only during the last years it has been acknowledged that different forms of the energy transport affect the Arctic climate differently.

The candidate will investigate circulation changes in the atmosphere and ocean and their role in melting of the Greenland ice sheet. A separation of changes that are due to anthropogenic climate forcing and natural variability will be attempted. The work will be based on ice sheet modelling, advanced statistical analysis of observations, climate modelling, and developing of methods for separating effects of dynamical processes. The project will in particular investigate and further develop a method that separates the atmospheric energy transport by cyclones and planetary waves, which has newly been suggested by the group.

The candidate will work in a very active scientific environment located at the Arctic boundary and having close connections to other research communities in the area. The position is part of a project which involves some of the world leading research groups within Arctic climate change.


This position requires a Norwegian Master’s degree within either atmospheric sciences and meteorology, oceanography, physics or similar, or a corresponding foreign Master’s degree recognised as equivalent to a Norwegian Master’s degree.

To gain admission to the PhD programme, you must have a grade average of C or better. Further information about requirements for admission to PhD studies is available here:

The suitable candidate must have a background within fluid dynamics and should have excellent skills in programming and English. Knowledge of atmospheric physics, climate dynamics, ice sheet dynamics as well as climate modelling is an advantage. Other required qualification skills include:

  • Excellence in master 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 job

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


Your application must include:

  • Application and motivation letter (max 1 page)
  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • Documentation of English language proficiency
  • Three references, preferably including the Master’s thesis supervisor
  • Master’s thesis and any other academic works, up to ten
  • Diplomas and transcripts (diploma supplement)

Qualification with a Master’s degree is required before commencement in the position. If you are near completion of your Master’s degree, you may still apply and submit a draft version of the thesis and a statement from your supervisor or institution indicating when the degree will be obtained. You must document completion of your degree before commencement in the position.

All documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language. The application must be submitted electronically through Jobbnorge.

We offer

  • An interesting research project funded by the Research Council of Norway
  • A fantastic work environment with nice and dedicated colleagues
  • Good career opportunities
  • A large degree of independence in work
  • Opportunities to travel and meet other leading scientists within the field
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund

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

Terms of employment

Remuneration of PhD Candidate positions are in salary code 1017, and normally starts at salary grade 51 on the pay scale for Norwegian state employees corresponding to approx. 37 400 NOK/month in 2018. 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.

UiT has good welfare arrangements for employees, including beneficial arrangements for pension, insurances and loans in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

You have to be qualified for and participate in our PhD study program. As many as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized research training; thus, if you already hold a PhD or have equivalent competence, we will not appoint you to this position.

More information about moving to Norway:


We make the appointment in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway has HR policy objectives that emphasize diversity, and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of their age, gender, functional ability and national or ethnic background. The university is an IW (Inclusive Workplace) enterprise, and we will emphasize making the necessary adaptations to the working conditions for employees with reduced functional ability.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act. You may request to not be registered on the public list of applicants, but the University may decide that your name will be made public. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication.

We look forward to receiving your application!

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