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 Fellow position in regional climate
modeling and analysis

There is a vacancy for a postdoctoral research fellow position in regional climate modeling and analysis at the recently established Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour at the University of Bergen. Sapiens was established in 2017 under the highly competitive program for Norwegian Centers of Excellence administered by the Research Council of Norway. The postdoctoral position is for a period of 3 years. Formal appointment will be with the Department of Earth Science at the University of Bergen.

About the project/work tasks

We are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated climate scientist to participate in the transdisciplinary Sapiens Centre of Excellence. This represents a unique opportunity for an early career scientist to establish a high-profile research portfolio and contribute to findings that will fundamentally change how we understand early humans and their relation to their environment. The selected candidate will develop and conduct innovative regional climate modeling experiments, which will allow for a more robust understanding of local-regional scale climate conditions over Southern Africa ~100-50 ka. Furthermore, the fellow will, though collaborations with other researchers at the centre, help elucidate the crucial links between climate reconstructions, archaeological evidence and early human behaviour. 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 the way we do today. Improved understanding of the environmental and climatic conditions under which these developments occurred is a critical piece of this puzzle.

SapienCE brings together leading researchers from the University of Bergen and local and international partners in the fields of archaeology, cognitive sciences, psychology, climate science, and more, under the directorship of Prof. Christopher Henshilwood. Together they aim to answer some of the most fundamental questions surrounding what it means to be human. The climate reconstruction team formed by scientists from the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research is led by Prof. Eystein Jansen (former director of the Bjerknes Centre) and consists of leading paleoclimate scientists, global climate modelers and regional climate specialists. The position will be under the supervision of Dr. Stefan Sobolowski who leads the regional modeling activity at the centre.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • The applicant must have completed a doctoral degree in atmospheric sciences, meteorology or a climate science related field, 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.
  • Experience with regional climate modeling and analysis is required. This should include designing, running and analyzing simulations.
  • Ability to work comfortably in the Unix/Linux environment and experience with statistical analysis of climate data, basic shell scripting, Matlab/python or similar analysis software is required.
  • An ability to demonstrate potential to publish high-impact articles is required.
  • Demonstrable familiarity with regional scale climate dynamics and/or meteorology is required.
  • Experience with the WRF modeling system will be considered an advantage.
  • Knowledge of present/past climate over southern Africa is an advantage.
  • Experience with large-scale climate dynamics, the general circulation of the atmosphere and global climate modeling is advantage.
  • Paleoclimate experience is considered an advantage but is not required.
  • In addition, it is an advantage to have experience with land-atmosphere interactions and land cover change experiments.
  • Ability to work independently and willingness to cooperate with others in the project team is necessary. It is especially advantageous to have had experience in highly interdisciplinary projects.
  • High proficiency in both written and oral 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 fellow:

The duration of the postdoctoral research position is fixed at 3 years, with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. If the appointee lack teaching experience, the employment period may be increased to up to 3 years and 3 months, where the department funds the 3 extra months. Teaching and other duties in the department will in that case be added as duties of 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 required 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 59 (Code 1109/Pay range 24, alternative 3) in the state salary scale. This currently amounts to an annual salary of NOK 514 800,-. Further increase in salary will depend on seniority.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IA enterprise).
  • Good welfare benefits.

Your application must include:

  • A cover letter, which clearly details the applicant’s motivation for applying and how they meet the qualification criteria described above.
  • A brief (1 page) statement of your research interests and how they pertain to the advertised position and the Sapiens Centre.
  • The names and contact information for two references. One of these should be the main advisor from the PhD program.
  • CV
  • Transcripts and diplomas or official confirmation that the doctoral thesis has been submitted. Relevant certificates/references.
  • List of any works of a scientific nature (publication list).
  • The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

General information:

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting:

Research Professor Stefan Sobolowski, Uni Research Climate & the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research ( or +47 55 58 38 25), or Prof. Eystein Jansen, Dep. of Earth Science & the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research ( or +47 906 18 858)

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. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

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

Upon the expiry of the closing date for applications, an evaluation committee will be appointed. As an applicant, you have a right of access to the committee’s description of your formal and professional qualifications. If you wish to take advantage of this right of access, please contact the executive officer in charge after receiving information about the appointment of the evaluation committee.

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: 06 July 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.