PhD Position in Material Flow Analysis for Informing a Circular Bioeconomy

Trondheim, Norway
21 Sep 2021
End of advertisement period
04 Oct 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position

The goal of BALANCE is to develop a strategic tool that facilitates the transition to a circular bioeconomy in Norway by enabling policy makers, businesses, and civil society to coordinate actions for balancing employment, climate change mitigation, and resource use. The aim is to develop a framework for integrating the socio-economic and the demographic metabolism, and to apply this framework for a case study on the Bioeconomy in Norway. The application focuses on production (agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries, and forestry) and consumption (food and buildings).

During the first year, the candidate will be involved (50%) in another, related, project on modelling the phosphorus cycle in Norway. The total duration of the project is 3.5 years. The PhD candidate is expected to complete his doctoral education with a doctoral degree within this timeframe.

You will report to Professor Daniel Müller. The Head of Department is Professor Terese Løvås.

Duties of the position

  • Contribute to the common framework development
  • Develop a material flow analysis (MFA) model for the Bioeconomy in Norway, building on ongoing projects
  • Expand the model by including demographic information related to labour.
  • Contribute to the common scenario development for the circular Bioeconomy in Norway and quantify the scenarios based on the expanded model
  • Contribute to the formulation of policy recommendation
  • Cooperate with the other PhD students in BALANCE and work towards individual and common publications
  • Support the project leader in project organization

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in industrial ecology with experience in MFA. 
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level 
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education. 
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program (
  • You must have documented work experience in agriculture and aquaculture systems, in particular also related to phosphorus management.
  • You must have documented work experience in demography.
  • You must be willing to spend one semester in Vienna and work at IIASA.

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

  • Good communication skills
  • Strong computer programming skills (perferably with Python)
  • Good written and oral English and Norwegian language skills 
  • Familiarity with the relevant questions related to Circular Bioeconomy in Norway 

Personal characteristics

  • Confidence in working independently
  • Ability and willingness to work in inter- and transdisciplinary teams
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 482 200 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 3,5 years (with teaching duties in the project MIND-P).

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Industrial Ecology ( 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 of the NFR project BALANCE.

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 (ta stilling til dette)

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): 

  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted. 
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position. 
  • Project proposal  
  • Research plan 
  • Name and address of three referees 
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work 

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.

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.

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 Daniel Beat Müller, email: If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Renate Fjellheim, email:

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. Please refer to the application number IV-211/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 04.10.2021

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.

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 4th October 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Place of service NTNU - Gløshaugen

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