Postdoctoral Fellow in Modelling biodiversity impacts of energy systems in Norway

Trondheim, Norway
19 May 2020
End of advertisement period
14 Jun 2020
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Energy and Process Engineering has a vacancy for a Postdoc for a project funded by the RCN and in close collaboration with NINA (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research).

Norway is committed to contribute to reaching the aims of the international community regarding e.g. the UN Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. Reaching as many SDGs as possible means that we ned to have an understanding between which goals potential conflicts might exist, and how various SDGs can be balanced. Maximizing renewable electricity production may come at a certain cost for terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Right now, we do not have models that allow us to identify these trade-offs.

It is therefore our aim to develop approaches that can quantify the ecological impacts of renewable energy systems with a life cycle perspective and a systems-wide approach. The main objective of the project is to assess overall biodiversity impacts of the Norwegian electricity production and distribution system using a holistic life-cycle perspective, for both the current electricity system and future production scenarios.

Professor Terese Løvås is the Head of the Department of Energy and Process Engineering. You will report to Professor Francesca Verones at NTNU, as well as Dr. Roel May and Dr. Bård Stokke at NINA.

Duties of the position

  • Identify the main impact pathways of powerlines on Norwegian biodiversity (mammals and birds)
  • Develop a life cycle impact assessment model for these impacts, and apply them to the Norwegian electricity transmission system
  • Assess the total biodiversity impact of energy production and transmission within the current Norwegian electricity supply-demand network
  • Evaluate potential biodiversity impacts of future renewable electricity production and distribution scenarios in Norway
  • Communicate the results to the scientific audience and relevant stakeholders

Selection criteria

Essential qualifications:

A postdoctoral research fellowship is a qualification position in which the main objective is qualification for work in academic positions.

  • You must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in ecology/biology, environmental engineering, or industrial ecology
  • You must have experience with either (wildlife) ecology or life-cycle assessments
  • You must demonstrate competence in a mathematical modelling tool (e.g., Matlab, R)
  • You must demonstrate good written and oral English language skills

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result.

Desirable qualifications:

  • Competence in geographical information systems (e.g. ArcGIS, QGIS)
  • Knowledge of species distribution modelling (e.g. Maxent)
  • Familiarity with renewable energy issues
  • Knowledge of Norwegian is a plus

Personal characteristics

  • Able to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Initiative and motivated
  • An ability to work well in teams, to take initiative, work independently and responsibly is a prerequisite 
  • A demonstrated ability to publish scientific papers and communicate results to the wider public is preferred.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability. Evaluation of the applicants will be based on the application and attached materials, including presentation of academic work, previous experience and publications. Applicants short-listed for the position will normally be invited for an interview. Prominence will be given for personal traits which are deemed relevant for the execution of the role.

We offer

Salary and conditions

The employment period is 3 years.

Postdoctoral candidates are placed in code 1352, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 542 400 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 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 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.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite that you are present at and accessible to the Department 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 academic work must accompany the application. Please note that only applications submitted before the application deadline will be evaluated. You should ensure that your application clearly demonstrates 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.

The application should contain:

  • A one-page letter where the candidate explains her/his motivation for applying for this post-doctoral fellowship and a brief description of the scientific relevance of the candidate’s research experience
  • A CV including a list of publications with bibliographical references and contact details (telephone and e-mail) for three referees
  • The 2-3 most relevant publications (including manuscripts that are not yet published) that have relevance for the evaluation of the applicant’s qualifications. Add a link to the publications instead of pdfs if possible

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

Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Questions about the position should be directed to Professor Francesca Verones, email  Questions about the recruitment process should be directed to Megan Norris, 

Under the Information Act (Offentleglova), the name, age, position and municipality of an applicant may be made public even if they have submitted a request to have their name removed from the list of applicants. 

Please refer to the application number IV-132/20 when applying. 

Application deadline: 14.06.2020

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of 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.

Employees at NTNU must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted. 

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. 

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 14th June 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Jobbnorge ID 187635