PhD Candidate in Palaeoclimatology/Dendroclimatology

Trondheim, Norway
Jun 11, 2021
End of advertisement period
Aug 01, 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

A position for a PhD candidate in palaeoclimatology/dendroclimatology is available at the National Laboratory for Age Determination, NTNU University Museum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway.

The position is associated to the project ClimateCultures: Socio-natural entanglements in Little Ice Age in Norway (1500-1800), financed by the Norwegian Research Council. It asks: what happened the last time Nordic societies encountered rapid climate change? How did climate and culture interact during this Little Ice Age? The interdisciplinary project brings together historians, climatologists, and museum practitioners. It connects the ‘archives of society’ (historical documents/objects) with the ‘archives of nature’ (tree-rings/ice-cores) and disseminates its findings in partnership with museums and Oslo’s new Klimahuset.

The PhD candidate at NTNU will focus on the climatic part of the research. The successful candidate will research the climate development in Norway during the Little Ice Age (1500-1800). The work will be based on already published material from multiple proxies as well as on dendroclimatological material gathered during the project. Particular attention should be paid to extreme events (both in the historical and climatic sense). Some of the results can contribute to an exhibition.

The academic work is to result in a doctoral thesis that will be defended at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at NTNU with a view to obtaining the degree of PhD. The successful candidate is expected to join the existing research milieu or network and contribute to its development.

The candidate will be expected to cooperate closely with the other participants in the project. This includes participation in meetings, workshops, and conferences. The candidate will be based at the National Laboratory for Age Determination at NTNU in Trondheim, central Norway, with an expected start date of January 2022.

The appointment is for a duration of 3 years.

Duties of the position

The project’s main task is to build a multi-proxy reconstruction of historical climate. The focus will be on tree-ring analysis in Norway and its neighbours.

The successful candidate will:

  • Develop new climate records from tree rings to fill the gaps in the existing repositories, including sampling in the field. This may include work on tree-ring width, -density, and/or -stable isotopes.
  • Understanding the possibilities and limitations of multiple climate proxies, evaluating them and applying them in the context of the ClimateCultures project.
  • Utilise repositories such as tree ring, ice core, glacier, peat, sediment or pollen chronologies and study these at smaller chronological and spatial scales.
  • Cross referencing the climate proxy data with the historical records in collaboration with other members of the project to enable the evaluation of the impact of climate changes on society.
  • Interact with peers at the NTNU University Museum.

Required selection criteria

  • 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 natural sciences (favourably dendroclimatology, palaeoclimatology, climate modelling) or closely related fields.
  • Applicants are required to have a weighted average grade of B or higher (in accordance with NTNU's grading system) in the two last years of their master's degree (equivalent to 120 ECTS). 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.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the Faculty of Natural Sciences doctoral program 
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

  • Experience in working with climate proxy data, climate modelling, and/or chronology development.
  • Skills in statistical handling of time series and climate reconstructions.
  • Previous scientific merit, relevance of previous research, and the applicant’s ability to complete research training.

Personal characteristics

  • Willingness to do fieldwork (required).
  • Good collaboration skills and an ability to join interdisciplinary academic communities.
  • The applicant's estimated academic and personal ability to complete the project within the time frame.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 491 200 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 admission to a NTNU PhD programme at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. 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 (see PhD study handbook for the Faculty of Natural Sciences).

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 daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

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. 

The application must include (Departments to choose from the following): 

  • An application letter describing how this position fits their career plan, ambitions and interests.
  • A CV (education, positions held, experience in working with climate proxies, and other qualifying activities, including a complete list of publications)
  • Names of two references.
  • Up to 5 pieces of academic writing (including the master thesis or a draft if not yet submitted). Joint works will be evaluated. 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.

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe are encouraged to document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

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

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background.

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.

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.

In accordance with The Public 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.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Researcher Helene Løvstrand Svarva: or Dominik Collet: If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR-manager Christen Torvik.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

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

Application deadline: 01.08.2021.

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.

The National Laboratory for Age Determination

Our subject areas are dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating. We determine the age of archaeological and geological material, and provide chronological dating for research, heritage management and private-sector organizations. The staff conduct research on dating methods and their application. Our own history dates back to 1953, and since then the laboratory has been a leader in radiocarbon dating. The National Laboratory for Age Determination is a section in the NTNU University Museum

Deadline 1st August 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

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