PhD Research Fellow position in Geoscientific instrumentation / Glaciology

University of Oslo
March 31, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD Research Fellow position in Geoscientific instrumentation / Glaciology Job description

A PhD Research Fellow position with focus on novel instrumentation for subglacial applications is available at the Department of Geosciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

Starting date no later than October 1, 2023.

The fellowship period is 3 years. A fourth year may be considered with a workload of 25 % that may consist of teaching, supervision duties, and/or research assistance. This is dependent upon the qualification of the applicant and the current needs of the department.

The PhD candidate will be part of a collaboration with the Department of Technology Systems, which hosts the “Center for Space Sensors and Systems” CENSSS (https: // www. and the project is associated with the MAMMAMIA project (https: // www. funded by the Research Council of Norway.

Project description:

The PhD project will contribute to the development, testing and application of novel instrumentation of subglacial environments.

Unstable and fast sliding of glaciers has the potential to quickly release huge volumes of land-based ice into the oceans, but the lack of process understanding is one of the major uncertainties for future sea-level projections. More and better observations of key variables are required to enhance the understanding of the complex frictional processes at the base of glaciers. Available subglacial measurement technology has barely changed since the 1980s, and our ambition is to exploit the potential of modern micro- electronics, especially in terms of digital sensing and data communication.

In the PhD project, the candidate will improve an available instrument design to enable a combination of multiple off-the-shelf sensors to form a multi- sensor probe, collecting unique measurements at the base of glaciers such as water pressure, pore pressure, sediment strength, and instrument orientation. Reliability measures, such as component screening and enhanced test and characterization of the probes hardware as well as software shall ensure the suitability of the probe for autonomous operation in harsh environment. For this, a thorough test protocol shall be developed and conducted to. In a second phase, the instrument will be deployed in the field, to collect data that eventually will be analysed. Innovative methods shall be developed to analyse these new datasets considering current theories of glacier sliding, exploiting the expertise in data science available at MN's dScience center (https: // www.

The PhD fellow is expected to publish research results in leading international journals and present at project meetings and major international conferences. Candidates with relevant prior research experience will be given preference. A detailed project plan will be developed together with the successful candidate.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition to be among Europe's leading communities for research, education and innovation. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

Required qualifications:

  • Master's degree or equivalent in a relevant scientific field, for instance geosciences, physics, engineering, cybernetics, or similar.
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system.
  • Candidates without a Master's degree have until 30 June, 2023 to complete the final exam.
  • Applicants must have practical experience with instrumentation (build, deployment, data acquisition).
  • Applicants must have programming skills (for instance MATLAB, Python, julia or similar).
  • Applicants must be able and willing to participate in fieldwork in Norway.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English are required.
  • Desired qualifications (will be regarded beneficial in the selection process):

  • Experience in the following fields related to instrument design: mechanical design, electronics, embedded design, software design, test and validation.
  • Experience in experimental and/or field work.
  • Background in geosciences/ glaciology.
  • Practical experience with Arduino-compatible microcontrollers.
  • Grade requirements: The norm is as follows:

  • the average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor's degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system.
  • the average grade point for courses included in the Master's degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system.
  • the Master's thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements: https: // www.
  • Personal skills:

  • Applicants should show enthusiasm for research and be motivated to learn new techniques.
  • Ability to take initiative and come up with new ideas to solve theoretical and practical problems.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team.
  • Be an active member of the research team.
  • Good communication skills.
  • The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position. For more information see:

  • https:// www.
  • https:// www.
  • We offer
  • Salary NOK 501 200 – 544 400 per annum depending on qualifications as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • A budget for travel and research assistance
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo's family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities
  • How to apply

    The application must include

  • Cover letter - statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master's degree diploma and transcripts of records
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)
  • The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

    When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the applicant's academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project. Applicants may be called in for an interview.

    Formal regulations

    Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

    No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

    According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

    A fourth year may be considered with a workload of 25 % that may consist of teaching, supervision duties, and/or research assistance. This is dependent upon the qualification of the applicant and the current needs of the department.

    The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

    Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

    If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

    Contact information

    For further information, please contact:

    Professor Thomas V. Schuler, e-mail: [email protected]

    Associate Professor Anja Kohfeldt, e-mail: [email protected]

    For questions regarding Jobbnorge, please contact HR Adviser Ole Rustad, e-mail: [email protected]

    About the University of Oslo

    The University of Oslo is Norway's oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society.

    The geosciences are the studies of the planet Earth and its comparative planetology; the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and cryosphere, the Earth's surface and its interior. The Department of Geosciences conducts research and teaching in most of the domains of geoscience; geology, geophysics, physical geography, geomatics, hydrology, meteorology and oceanography. The Department is the broadest geoscience research and education environment in Norway. The Department encompasses five sections; Meteorology and Oceanography, Geography and Hydrology, Study of sedimentary basins, Environmental geosciences and Crustal Processes. We also hosts one Centre of Excellence CEED - Centre of Earth Evolution and Dynamics.

    The Department aims to contribute to the new and important UN Sustainability Development Goals, and are important contributors to IPCC (UN's Inter- governmental Panel on Cliamte Change). The staff consists of 40 professors and associate professors, in addition to postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, researchers, technical- and administrative staff. The Department has more than 200 employees.


    31st March 2023


    University of Oslo




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