PhD Position in Statistical Models and Methods for Spatio-Temporal Data

Trondheim, Norway
25 Jan 2022
End of advertisement period
25 Feb 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The Centre for Geophysical Forecasting (CGF) at NTNU has vacancies for 2 PhD positions in mathematical statistics. The Centre is one of the Norwegian centres for research-driven innovation, funded by the Research Council of Norway and industry partners. The goal of the CGF is to become a world-leading research and innovation hub for the geophysical sciences, creating innovative new products and services in Earth sensing and forecasting domains. As the global ecosystem enters a period of dramatic change, there is a strong need for accurate monitoring and forecasting of the Earth. Statistical modelling and methodologies play important roles here, enabling reliable predictions and uncertainty quantification that aid decision support.

Key research and innovation areas include new ways to monitor the geological storage of CO2, reconfiguring Earth resources production, and to develop new geohazard early warning systems.  The primary focus for the CGF will be to bring valuable, cost-effective and robust geophysical monitoring and forecasting services, creating both new market segments for partners and establishing successful spin off companies.

Norway is already at the forefront of global exploration geophysics.  The CGF will catalyse a new wave of geophysical capabilities, much broader than hydrocarbon exploration and production, applying disruptive new technologies to novel enterprises that will be game changers in the transition from hydrocarbon geophysics to the new blue economy and to important terrestrial geohazard risk monitoring and early warning applications.

The successful applicants will work at the CGF premises at NTNU in Trondheim in our team of key researchers. The PhD research fellowships will be hosted by the Department of Mathematical Sciences, NTNU.   Successful candidates will be offered a three-year position. The project has close contact with industry partners Aker BP, ASN, BaneNor, Digital Geologi, Equinor, Magseis Fairfield, NPRA (Statens Vegvesen), NVE, Shearwater, Tampnet, TietoEvry and Uninett, as well as research partners NORSAR and Jamstec in Japan. 

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.  

Duties of the position

The PhD candidates will be conducting statistical research on spatial and spatio-temporal processes that can be used for extracting relevant information from various types of geophysical data. The study foci of the PhD projects are on the development of new statistical methodologies for analysing geophysical data. Such data include seismic and electromagnetic measurements, as well as newer data types such as fiber-optical sensing data. The projects will also focus on using statistical methodologies for research developments in the centre.

Core components of the PhD projects include Bayesian hierarchical modeling and methods for conditioning in such models. We aim for a coherent interpretable modeling approach honoring the large-size spatio-temporal data. The PhDs will work on the statistical foundations for such frameworks.

An important part of the PhD projects is cooperation with centre partners, and in doing so disseminating statistical research and innovation results. The PhD research work will be in statistics, but the students will also be part of a cross-disciplinary team working towards a common goal.

The CGF is determined to deliver research-based innovation, and it will strongly stimulate PhD candidates to create and develop innovative ideas into business potential both for the center partners as well as in spin-off companies.

Required selection criteria

We are looking for highly motivated candidates with a MSc degree in statistics or equivalent, with a keen interest in multidisciplinary scientific research and innovation. 

Interesting candidates must have a solid background in multivariate mathematical and statistical modeling. They must further document strong skills in computational statistics. Knowledge and experience with spatial statistics or other large-scale uncertain systems is an advantage.

Applicants must satisfy the requirements for entering the PhD program at NTNU; please see e.g. 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.

MSc students who expect to complete their Master degree studies by summer 2022 are encouraged to apply.  Employment will then start when the MSc degree is completed.

Applicants who are not fluent in a Scandinavian language must document a thorough knowledge of English (equivalent to a TOEFL score of 600 or more).

The CGF work with data that are subject to export control.

Personal characteristics

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education and experience, as well as personal suitability for this position which include

  • Willingness to learn new fields in a multidisciplinary research environment.
  • Strong implementation and programming knowledge.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Drive to transition new research results and technologies into innovative products and services.
  • Self-motivated, ambitious, resilient, resourceful, result-oriented, and independent.
  • Excellent writing skills, capable of synthesizing and expressing complex ideas clearly.

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. In some cases there may be options for extending the contract beyond the PhD by up to an additional year for students strongly engaged in innovation efforts or for some with interest in supplementary teaching.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Mathematical Sciences ( within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology 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. 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.

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 the following:

  • CV which includes information about education background and work experience.
  • Certified copies of relevant transcripts and diplomas. Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or similar documentation, which describes in detail the program of study, the grading system, and the rights to further studies associated with the degree obtained.
  • Contact information for two references. 
  • Documentation of fluency in the English language. 

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.

Questions about the position can be directed to Jo Eidsvik ( or Håkon Tjelmeland (

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 2022/4073 when applying.

Application deadline: 25.02.2022

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 Mathematical Sciences 

We are Norway’s largest university environment in mathematical sciences. The Department has a particular responsibility for all basis education in mathematical sciences for engineering and natural science students at NTNU. We focus on long-term basic research and applied research at a high international level. Our aim is to meet the society’s needs for mathematical and statistical expertise in business and public administration as well as in the research and education sector.  The Department of Mathematical Sciences is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

Deadline 25th February 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime (2 jobs)
Duration Project
Place of service Trondheim

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