Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Earth System/Land Surface Modelling

Oslo, Norway
04 Oct 2019
End of advertisement period
01 Nov 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

A position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow is available at the Department of Geosciences.

The fellowship will be for a period of three years, with an expected starting date early January 2020.

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

The fellowship is part of the project “A green-blue link made browner: how terrestrial climate change affects marine ecology (GreenBlue)” funded by the Research Council of Norway and coordinated by the University of Bergen. The successful candidate will work in the Centre for Boiogeochemistry of the Anthropocene (CBA). Also she/he will work in the LATICE (“Land-ATmosphere Interactions in Cold Environments”) research group with scientists with expertise within various disciplines related to observing, analyzing and parameterization of the land surface. LATICE is recognized as a strategic research area by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, dedicated to improving our knowledge on cold environment processes and their representation in Earth System Models (ESMs). The research focuses on cold-regions exchange processes and particularly aims to advance the knowledge base concerning land-atmosphere interactions and their role in controlling climate variability and climate change at high northern latitudes. LATICE plays a key role in integrating the research and field activities of the various disciplines of the department and nationally, including the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere and the cryosphere. A common approach is to tightly integrate field observations in model development. For more information, see the LATICE web site.

The postdoctoral research fellow will be part of a motivated research team with a high number of early career scientists working together in a highly interdisciplinary environment.

More about the position

The project is a collaboration with the University of Bergen, and has the following main objectives; 1) to investigate how land use change and climate warming may have increased runoff of dissolved organic matter (DOM) to lakes and rivers (UiO), and 2) how this will influence light conditions and thereby also the ecology in coastal waters. One of the main hypotheses underpinning the project is an expectation that increased DOM concentration will cause darker coastal waters, and thus delay the spring phytoplankton bloom, which in turn will have consequences for other parts of the coastal ecosystem, including zooplankton and fish.

The successful candidate will use the Community Land Model V5.0 (CLM5) which is a module of the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM). CLM5 will be applied to quantify how changes in soil carbon and vegetation driven by climate and land use change, increasing CO2 levels, and anthropogenic nitrogen deposition affect the leakage of dissolved organic carbon (DOM) and nutrients to aquatic systems; rivers, lakes and coastal water.

The work of the successful candidate will include:

  • reconstructing historical evolution and constructing future projections of vegetation cover and accompanying transport of DOM to rivers and lakes, by
  • establishing meteorological forcing fields for a grid covering the entire drainage basin of the Baltic Sea, North Sea, and the Norwegian Coastal Waters
  • establishing land use and nitrogen deposition forcing fields
  • running CLM5 for the established grid to describe evolution of vegetation cover, cycling of carbon and nitrogen, and leakage of DOM and nitrogen to rivers and lakes

Details of the research plan will be developed based on the successful candidate’s own expertise and research ideas in close collaboration with key CBA and LATICE researchers, who will act as a multidisciplinary advisory team. Model platforms used within the group include the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, NorESM, and several other models, including the hydrological modelling framework Shyft; models that are used to develop and test parameterizations for a variety of processes. The candidate will interact with model developers within LATICE and contribute to model testing and improvements.

The main purpose of post-doctoral research fellowships is to qualify researchers for work in top academic positions within their disciplines.

To promote a strategic career path, all postdoctoral research fellows are required to submit a professional development plan no later than one month after commencement of the postdoctoral period.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. 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.

Applications are encouraged from dedicated candidates with strong quantitative skills and technical expertise in computer software and programming. Previous experience with numerical modelling is essential, in particular the parametrization of land surface processes in climate and/or distributed hydrological models.

  • Applicants must hold a PhD or other corresponding education equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in Geosciences, or a related discipline; e.g., a PhD in Physics or Mathematics with experience in the earth sciences. Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the closing date. Appointment is dependent on the public defense of the doctoral thesis being approved.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English is required 
  • Applications are encouraged from dedicated candidates with strong quantitative skills and technical expertise in computer software and programming. Previous experience with numerical modelling is essential, in particular the parametrization of land surface processes in climate and/or distributed hydrological models.

The successful candidate should further demonstrate:

  • Technical expertise in scripting (e.g. Python, R) or programming (e.g. C, FORTRAN)
  • Evidence of creativity and capability of independent research
  • Knowledge of large data analysis and visualization tools
  • Ability and willingness to participate in interdisciplinary research

Creativity and innovation are valued, as is a demonstrated high working capacity, passion for research, and self-motivation. The candidate should expect to work in a highly collaborative team-oriented environment and participate in a wide array of activities related to land-atmosphere processes with an emphasis on land surface processes in cold environments.

We offer

  • salary NOK 523 200 - 605 500 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (position code 1352)
  • attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • professionally stimulating working environment
  • vibrant international academic environment
  • postdoctoral development programs
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include

  • Application letter, including a statement of interest and a preferred starting date
  • Project proposal for the qualifying work
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript of records and letters of recommendation
  • A complete list of publications
  • 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. 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).

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed as Postdoctoral Fellow for more than one specified period at the same institution.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and 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.

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

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

Professor Terje K Berntsen,

Professor Frode Stordal,

For technical question regarding the recruitment system, please contact HR Adviser; Torunn Standal Guttormsen,, phone:+47 22854272

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 planet Earth; the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and cryosphere, the earth's surface and it’s interior. The Department of Geosciences is Norway’s widest ranging academic geoscience research environment, encompassing four sections (Meteorology and Oceanography, Geography and Hydrology, Geology and Geophysics, Physics of Geological Processes) and one Centre of Excellence (Centre of Earth Evolution and Dynamics). In addition we participate in other centres and hold several ERC grants. The staff consists of 40 professors and associate professors, in addition to postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, researchers, technical staff and administrative personnel, to a total number of 240.