The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university with more than 14,000 students and close to 3,500 employees at six faculties. The university is located in the heart of Bergen. Our main contribution to society is excellent basic research and education across a wide range of disciplines.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow position within speleothem paleoclimatology

At the Department of Earth Science there is a vacancy for a postdoctoral research fellow position within speleothem paleoclimatology. The position is for a fixed term of 3 years and is associated with the T-TRAC project and SapienCE (Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour), a new centre of excellence (both financed by the Norwegian Research Council). Preferred starting date will be 01.09.2018.

About the projects

The postdoctoral fellow will be part of a team reconstructing past temperatures from speleothems from Borneo and South Africa. Our team are applying state-of-the-art techniques such as fluid inclusion microthermometry, clumped isotope thermometry, and fluid inclusion isotope analysis. The postdoctoral fellow will take part in building a new fluid inclusion extraction line for isotope analysis using our existing Picarro instruments and will be responsible for the clumped isotope thermometry and fluid inclusion isotope measurements in selected samples.

For our Borneo research, these methods have been successfully applied to a pilot sample, and will now be used to derive paleo-temperatures across the last 500,000 years within the T-TRAC project. We will mostly work on previously studied, well-dated speleothem samples, but in addition will strive to close a remaining time gap in the record. To this end, the postdoctoral fellow will perform U-Th dating of candidate stalagmites in collaboration with Professor Jess Adkins at the California Institute of Technology that will incorporate a research stay at this institute within the first year.

Analysis of the speleothems from South Africa is aimed at reconstructing paleo-environmental conditions during the period 100-50 ka, in collaboration with archaeologists in the framework of the transdisciplinary SapienCE SFF Centre of Excellence. Current archaeological evidence highlights 100-50 ka as being a watershed for human cognitive, technological and social developments in Africa. More research is needed to understand where, when and why early humans started to think and behave like we do today. Improved understanding of the environmental conditions such as climate change under which these developments occurred is a critical piece of this puzzle.

The postdoctoral fellow will have the opportunity to take part in fieldwork in South Africa and/or Borneo. The affiliation of this position with both the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research and SapienCE will offer ample opportunities for cross-disciplinary exchange and collaboration.

Work tasks

  • Sample preparation for carbonate isotope and fluid inclusion analysis
  • Clumped isotope measurements
  • Contribute to setting up a crushing line for fluid inclusion measurement
  • Fluid inclusion isotope measurements
  • U-Th dating of candidate stalagmites in collaboration with Jess Adkins, Caltech (aided by technician at Caltech)
  • Co-supervision of master students
  • Data interpretation and collaboration with climate modelers

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • Applicants must hold a Norwegian PhD or an equivalent degree within Earth Science, Environmental Science, or a related discipline or must have submitted his/her doctoral thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the PhD has been awarded.
  • Prior experience in speleothem research is of great advantage
  • Hands-on experience with the analysis of stable isotopes in carbonates and/or water is highly valuable
  • Hands-on experience with fluid inclusion analysis in speleothems is an advantage
  • Experience and excellent skills in experimental work and technical problem-solving is valuable
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and have the ability to cooperate with others.
  • Applicants must have excellent skills in oral and written English
  • Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Research experience, ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.

About the position of postdoctoral research fellow:

The postdoctoral position is a fixed term position with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. If the appointee lacks teaching experience, or other relevant qualifications, the employment period may be increased to 3 years and 3 months. Teaching and other duties will in such cases be added to the position. The position may be extended by up to one year (maximum 4 years in total) if the appointee is granted externally financed research stays abroad. Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow at the same institution.

For postdoctoral research fellow positions associated with externally financed projects, the completion of the project proposal for the qualifying work, as well as a progress plan, will be developed in cooperation with the supervisor and head of department.

It is a requirement that the project is completed in the course of the period of employment.

We can offer:

  • A good and professionally challenging working environment
  • Salary at pay grade 57 (code 1352 / pay range 24, alternative 1) according to the state salary scale upon appointment. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 490 500. Further promotions are made according to length of service.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IW)
  • Good welfare benefits

Your application must include:

  • A brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position.
  • The names and contact information for two referees. One of these should be the main advisor from the PhD programme.
  • CV
  • Transcripts and diplomas and official confirmation that the doctoral thesis has been submitted
  • Relevant certificates/references
  • List of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • Publications (as applicable)

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at JobbNorge

General information

For further details about the position, please contact: Dr. Anna Nele Meckler, Department of Earth Science,, Tel +47 555 83530

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

We encourage women to apply. If multiple applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the rules pertaining to moderate gender quotas shall apply.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

Further information about our employment process can be found here.

posted: 15 May 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.