PhD Candidate in Environmental Sustainability Analysis of Biofuels and Land Management

Trondheim, Norway
Saturday, 21 December 2019
End of advertisement period
Friday, 31 January 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD position at the Industrial Ecology Programme (Indecol) at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering (EPT). The position is of 4 years duration, with 1 year for teaching duties. IndEcol is a well-established interdisciplinary group in the field of environmental sustainability analysis, with scientists contributing to IPCC reports, UNEP/SETAC Life-Cycle Initiatives, and publications featured in high-ranked journals.

Reducing carbon intensity in the transport sector with biofuels is among the key strategies to achieve ambitious targets of climate change mitigation. There is an evident need for a comprehensive quantification of the climate change benefits of the expected biofuel transition, and its sustainability profile in terms of resource supply and impacts/benefits on human and ecosystem health.

Biofuel production systems are strictly connected to land management and land cover changes, thereby involving changes in a suite of biophysical mechanisms like surface energy fluxes and water balances that are strictly coupled to local temperature changes. Sustainable land management for biofuel production thus offer opportunities for both climate change mitigation and adaptation, and holistic approaches are essential to discern the interlinkages of the land-climate-energy nexus and guide future sustainable transitions.

The head of the Department is Professor Terese Løvås. The position's supervision is by Professor Francesco Cherubini.

Main duties and responsibilities

  • Big data processing and compilation of datasets
  • Spatial explicit mapping of land availability, land covers and resource potentials
  • Life-cycle assessment of sustainable land management systems for biofuels and climate change mitigation, using a variety of modelling approaches and environmental impacts
  • Publishing in peer-reviewed journals
  • Presentation of results at international conferences
  • Teaching assistant for selected master-level courses at Indecol

Qualification requirements

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in Industrial Ecology, Environmental Sciences, Natural Science, Climate Science, or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Other qualifications:

  • Good programming skills in one or several languages (e.g., Python, Matlab)
  • Previous experience with LCA and environmental sustainability analysis
  • Good understanding of fundamentals in mathematics and physics
  • As the position involve duties as teaching assistant, previous experience as student assistant or similar is an advantage.
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills

Candidates are requested to submit a one-page sketch summarizing how their scientific background and research ambitions match the requirements for this position.

Personal characteristics

  • Strongly motivated to advance our and his own current knowledge on the topic of this position.
  • Strong analytical capabilities
  • Be a good team player while also being able to work independently
  • Open to interact in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment
  • Soft skills

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 4 years (with 1 year of required teaching duties). Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Engineering.

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criterias in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

General information

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

Questions about the position can be directed to Prof. Francesco Cherubini, phone number 73598942, e-mail

About the application:

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Please refer to the application number IV-5/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 31.01.2020.

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Energy and Process Engineering

We conduct research and teaching covering the entire energy chain, from resources to the end-user. We look at how energy is produced and used by humans and machines in a sustainable way with regard to health, climate change and the resource base. The Department of Energy and Process Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 31st January 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Place of service NTNU Department of Energy and Process Engineering

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