PhD position in Arctic Geophysics

at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)

UNIS is a state owned 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.

Currently the Department of Arctic Geophysics/ constitutes 4 professors, 4 associate professors, 3 post-doctoral research fellows, 5 PhD students, and 10 Adjunct Professors (10 or 20% positions). The research within the department is currently focused into two groups; Air-Cryosphere-Sea Interactions (ACSI), and Space Physics. The announced position is within the ACSI group.

Description of the vacant position

The scientific theme of this position centres on air-sea-ice interactions in the high-latitude North-Atlantic, with particular focus on the area around Svalbard. Over the last few decades, there has been a regime shift in the winter time atmospheric circulation in this region. More cyclones have tended to follow a meridional path through the Fram Strait and over Svalbard, rather than a zonal path over the Barents Sea. As a result, the atmospheric forcing of the ocean and sea ice in the region has been altered. Simultaneously, there has been an atlantification of the water masses (intrusion of warmer and more saline water) on the West Spitsbergen shelf and in the fjords adjacent to it. This includes Isfjorden, the largest fjord on the west coast of Spitsbergen. As a consequence, the sea ice cover in these areas has been reduced substantially and increased calving rates of marine terminating glaciers have been recorded. Until now, several studies have focused on changes in either one of these atmospheric, cryospheric, or oceanic components that make up the regional climate system. However, there are still gaps in our understanding of the relations of cause and effect between them. The successful candidate will have access to and make use of a wide range of observational and model data from the atmosphere, cryosphere, and ocean in order to help fill the described gaps in our understanding. The PhD candidate is expected to take a leading role in producing peer-reviewed scientific articles within the mentioned topics that eventually will lead to the final PhD dissertation.

Qualifications and personal qualities

  • Applicants must hold a master's degree or the equivalent in meteorology, oceanography, or a related field. Master students can apply, but must have submitted their master's thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master's degree has been awarded.
  • Good knowledge of physical processes in the atmosphere, snow/ice or ocean and good skills in mathematics and programming are required.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, but also function well within a team.
  • 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.
  • Strong motivation and personal suitability will be emphasized.

Employment conditions

The PhD candidate will be based at the Department of Arctic Geophysics at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), and he/she must live in Longyearbyen. Shorter scientific stays on mainland Norway and or abroad will be encouraged. The duration of the PhD position is 4 years, of which 25% comprises teaching duties at UNIS. The employment potentially includes supervision duties of master students.

All salaries are set in accordance with the Norwegian government's University salary scale. PhD research fellows start at a gross salary of NOK 479 200 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%, 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

As a PhD candidate, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 4 years. A final plan for the implementation of the research training must be approved by the University of Bergen within two months after you have commenced in the position. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.

Selection, appointment and application

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:

Assoc. Prof. Marius O. Jonassen, phone: +47 79023339, email: mariusj@unis.no
Assoc. Prof. Ragnheid Skogseth, phone: +47 79023377, email: ragnheids@unis.no

Please apply online on http://www.jobbnorge.no

Any applications submitted by other means, for example via email, will not be evaluated.

The following documents must be included as part of the online application:

  • 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).
  • The names and contact information for two references. One of these should be the main advisor for the master's or equivalent thesis.
  • CV, including a complete overview of education, professional training, and professional work.
  • 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).
  • A copy of your master thesis.

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

posted: 05 June 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.