Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in computational
mineralogy and geochemistry

REF 2018/4464

A postdoctoral research fellowship (SKO 1352) is available at Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics, a Norwegian Centre of Excellence. The fellowship period for is 3 years. Note that no one can be appointed for more than one specified period at the same institution. The starting date for this position is Autumn 2018.

Project Description:

To strengthen the deep Earth materials group, we seek a postdoctoral research fellow in computational mineralogy and geochemistry (first principles atomistic simulation by DFT, using mainly the VASP platform). We focus on the phase relations, material properties, chemical exchange and heat and mass transfer in the lower mantle and outer core. Developing new and improved methodologies is an important aspect of the efforts. Our ultimate objective is to put tighter constraints on the structure, materials, physical properties and dynamics of the lower mantle and outer core, and in particular on the D"-zone, the outermost stagnant core (E'-layer) and the convecting outer core.

Projects which are partly completed include the crystal chemistry, cation ordering, Fe-spin state, electric conductivity and phase relations of bridgmanite and post-bridgmanite in the systems MgSiO3-FeSiO3, MgSiO3-FeAlO3 and MgSiO3-Al2O3, the substitution mechanisms and partitioning of Al between β-stishovite and seifertite, the melting relations in parts of the system CaO-MgO-SiO2 and the diffusion rates of He and Ne in bridgmanite and ferropericlase. We would like to expand the efforts to the equilibrium state and potential chemical exchange between the Hadean basal magma ocean and the outer core. The liquidus phase relations in the Fe-Si-O system (and possibly the Fe-Mg-O and Fe-Al-O systems) at pressures and temperatures of the Hadean to the present outer core are of special interest and importance.

An additional activity, aimed at addressing the structure, composition and dynamics of lower mantle lithologies, is to use the BurnMan code or other programs to develop density and seismic velocity profiles for fertile peridotite, subducted harzburgite and basalt, candidate LLSVP-materials, as well as MgSiO3-dominated and highly refractory and viscous bridgmanitic domains at different thermal gradients. We would also like to use atomistic simulations to determine the partitioning of selected trace elements between silicate melt and the minerals bridgmanite, ferropericlase and Ca-perovskite and between silicate and metallic melts. Based on experience and interest, the postdoctoral fellow may take charge of one or more of the suggested projects.


  • The candidates must have a PhD or other corresponding education equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in atomistic simulations in the fields of inorganic materials science (chemistry, physics or Earth science) at the start of employment.
  • Strong curiosity, motivation and career ambitions to unravel the mineralogy, structure, dynamics and evolution of the Earth are essential.


Position code 1352, Pay Grade NOK 483 700 - 560 700 per year, depending on qualifications and seniority.

The application must include:

  • Application letter
  • Statement of research experience and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
  • Copies of educational certificates and university transcripts
  • A complete list of publications
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

All documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

For the full advertisement and how to apply, please see:

posted: 09 April 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.