PhD Research Fellow in Seismology

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PhD position

There is a vacancy for a PhD Research Fellow in Seismology with specialization in Seismic Hazard and Risk at the Department of Earth Science. The position is for a fixed-term period of 3 years with the possibility of a 4th year with compulsory work (usually teaching duties at the Department). The position is funded by the University of Bergen as part of its strategic focus on climate and energy transition.

About the project/work tasks

Seismic hazard in Norway is mostly caused by naturally occurring earthquakes, but also induced seismic events may pose a threat to society. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has been proposed as a strategy to reduce atmospheric CO2. The injection of CO2 into the ground will change the crustal stresses at local scale and may thus affect seismic activity through reactivation of faults in the injection area. At the same time, CO2 storage facilities will be vulnerable to earthquake shaking. This PhD position will focus on quantifying the relation between CCS and earthquake risk.

The main objective of the PhD project is to develop a better model of how CO2 storage may affect seismic hazard in Norway and vice versa. We will further investigate the environmental and economic implications of such changes in order to quantify the seismic risk. The project is multidisciplinary with supervisors from seismology as well as economics.

The main tasks of the project will be to:

  • Develop an open-source baseline probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA) for Norway using state-of-the-art methodology.
  • Systematically analyze seismicity over long time scales near the Horda Platform, using data from the Norwegian National Seismic Network (
  • Develop site-specific seismic hazard at a planned CO2 storage site, such as the Horda Platform, incorporating potential changes due to CO2 storage.
  • Assess the environmental, human, and economic consequences of the changes in seismic hazard.

This will result in an open and state-of-the-art seismic hazard model that is required to assess risk to CCS, as well as an understanding of the additional seismic hazard posed by CCS and a thorough analysis of the societal consequences of increased seismic hazard due to CCS.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

Applicants must hold a master's degree or equivalent education in seismology, geophysics, geology or a related discipline like physics or applied mathematics. Master students can apply provided they complete their final master exam before 01.07.2021. It is a condition of employment that the master's degree has been awarded.

  • Applicants must have good knowledge of geophysics and mathematics.
  • Additional knowledge within tectonics or structural geology is an advantage.
  • Applicants must have programming knowledge (e.g., Python, Matlab, Fortran, C).
  • Familiarity with software packages such as SEISAN, Obspy and/or seismic hazard assessment software is an advantage.
  • Applicants must be willing and interested in working multidisciplinarily.
  • Experience from seismological data analysis and seismic hazard studies, or from risk assessment for natural hazards, is an advantage.
  • Experience from writing and publishing scientific articles is an advantage.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English.

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.

The selected candidate will work on a multidisciplinary project and is expected to also develop a basic knowledge of environmental economics.

About the PhD position:

The fellowship will be for a period of 3 years, with the possibility for a 4th year, if 25% of the time are compulsory duties associated with research, teaching and dissemination of results distributed over the employment period. The 4th year is contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the teaching needs of the department and will be decided by the head of department upon appointment.

The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a qualifying post (e.g. research fellow, research assistant).

About the research training

As a PhD Research Fellow, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. The deadline for applying for admission to the PhD programme at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences is 2 months after the start of the position or after the start of the research project that will lead to the PhD degree. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.

We can offer:

  • a good and professionally stimulating working environment.
  • salary at pay grade 54 (Code 1017/Pay range 20, alternative 10) in the state salary scale. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 482 200,-. Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position.
  • enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • good welfare benefits

Your application must include:

  • a brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position.
  • a 1-page, preliminary research plan for the project.
  • the names and contact information for two referees. One of these should be the main advisor for the master's thesis or equivalent thesis.
  • CV.
  • transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not yet completed your master's degree, please submit a statement from your institution confirming the expected date of award of your master's degree. Your master's degree must be documented with transcripts and/or diploma, alternatively a confirmation from your institution on completed degree and your grade, by 01.07.2021.
  • relevant certificates/references.
  • approved documentation of proficiency in English (if required, cf. English language requirements for PhD admission)
  • a list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list).
  • any publications in your name.

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 Professor Mathilde B. Sørensen, Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen. Email:, phone: +47 55583426.

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.

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.

The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.

For further information about the recruitment process, click here.

posted: 10 May 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.