PhD Candidate for Modelling Impacts From Marine Plastics

Gløshaugen, Norway
Friday, 27 March 2020
End of advertisement period
Friday, 22 May 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate in the Industrial Ecology Programme at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering.The appointment has a duration of 3 years. The appointment is financed by the European Research Council.

The position is part of the ERC starting grant project ATLANTIS, which is about quantifying human impacts on marine ecosystems within the framework of life cycle assessment (LCA). For more information, check: 

The topic of this PhD project is the development of models to quantify the impact of marine plastic on the marine ecosystem. The aim is to develop a global, spatially-differentiated life cycle impact assessment models for species losses from different types of plastics and for different effects (e.g. entanglement and ingestion). The impacts of macro- and microplastics shall be distinguished and uncertainty estimates shall be derived. This is a topic of utmost emerging relevance and developing models to quantify these impacts represents therefore cutting-edge research.

Interdisciplinary collaboration with oceanographers and environmental chemists is planned.

The Industrial Ecology Programme (IndEcol) is a well-established interdisciplinary group in the field of environmental sustainability analysis. Researchers at IndEcol participate in international expert groups, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the International Resource Panel (IRP), the Life Cycle Imitative hosted by UN Environment, as well as international collaborative projects.

The Head of Department is Professor Terese Løvås. The position’s supervisor is Professor Francesca Verones, the co-supervisor is Associate Professor Johan Berg Pettersen. 

Duties of the position

  • Designing and setting up models for quantifying the fate and effect of marine plastics
  • Deriving characterization factors for use in life cycle assessment
  • Application of the model in case studies
  • Dissemination of results in scholarly journals and at international conferences

Required selection criteria

Essential qualifications:

  • The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a Master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in marine biology, ecology, industrial ecology, environmental sciences or environmental engineering or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.
  • Proven analytical and computational capabilities, in courses and or/thesis deliverables 
  • Proven written and oral English communication skills
  • Experience in geographical information systems (e.g., ArcGIS, QGIS)

Desireable qualificaitons:

  • Motivated to solve environmental problems and advance sustainability
  • Excellent communication skills

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, post doctor and research assistant

Personal characteristics

  • Self-motivated, enthusiastic, and dedicated
  • Ambitious and goal-oriented
  • Team player

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

We offer

Salary and conditions

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

The period of employment is 3 years.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Engineering within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

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 criteria 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.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution on a daily basis.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Francesca Verones, If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Megan Norris,

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. It is necessary to include a Diploma Supplement with European Masters` Diplomas from outside Norway. Applicants with qualifications from China are required to provide confirmation of Masters` Diplomas from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Please refer to the application number IV-109/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 22.05.2020

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. 

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

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

Further information

This position is funded by the European Union H2020 ATLANTIS project, Whales, waste and sea walnuts: incorporating human impacts on the marine ecosystem within life cycle impact assessment. Grant agreement 850717.

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 22nd May 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Place of service Gløshaugen

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