PhD Position in Sustainable Processing Methods for Rare Earth Elements

Trondheim, Norway
20 May 2022
End of advertisement period
20 Jun 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a highly motivated PhD candidate to join the Mineral Production and HSE group within the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP). The selected candidate will be engaged in an EIT Raw Materials founded project titled “RareGreen - Sustainable processing methods for rare earth elements” which aims towards sustainable processing methods for rare earth elements. The project will develop a flowsheet, laboratory and pilot testing for the sustainable processing of minerals holding rare earth elements (REE), which are critical raw materials for the European Green Deal (and used in the manufacturing of permanent magnets in wind turbines and electric vehicles). The material to be processed comes from the Fen Carbonatite Complex in Norway, which is likely Europe’s largest REE-deposit and could potentially cover a large share of European demand. The project consortium holds extensive experience in beneficiation and hydrometallurgy and will complete an industrial pilot by 2025 and be in commercial production by 2028. The other project partners are Rare Earths Norway AS, Chalmers University of Technology and Carester SAS.

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

You will report to Head of Department.

Duties of the position

  • The main duties and responsibilities include developing and conducting mineral processing testwork which enables us to reach the project’s goals
  • Undertaking the necessary courses (30 ECTS) as part of the PhD programme within Department Geoscience and Petroleum
  • Submitting an application for admission and a research plan no later than 3 months after the employment
  • Conducting high quality research and report progress on a regular basis and in agreement with the supervisor(s)
  • Participating in the research group activities relevant for the PhD project and develop national and international research network
  • Communicating the results to the scientific audience and relevant stakeholders
  • Participating in relevant national and international conferences, publication of annual reports, and peer-reviewed journal publications to disseminate the research results.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in mineral processing, surface and colloid chemistry
  • 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 (
  • Very good written and oral English language skills 

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 with flotation test work
  • Experience with magnetic and gravity separation
  • Experience with mineral characterization
  • Experience with dynamic process modelling and process design
  • Strong commitment to safe work practices in the laboratory and field
  • Good work ethics, time management and organization skills
  • Norwegian language skill is a plus

Personal characteristics

  • Enthusiastic and highly motivated to complete PhD in time
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly acquire knowledge in new topics.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Approaches others to develop new relationships or strengthen existing ones
  • Relates to other people in an open and accepting way

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 without required duties.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in engineering ( 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.

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: 

  • 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 Professor Przemyslaw B. Kowalczuk, telephone +47 930 31 854, e-mail If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Anne-Lise Brekken, e-mail:

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).

Please refer to the application number IV-134/22 when applying.

Application deadline: 20.06.2022

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 Geoscience and Petroleum

We conduct teaching and research related to management of Earth’s geological resources. Norway’s rich resources of wind, water, oil, gas and minerals have been and are essential to the country’s prosperity, and will continue to be in the future. The Department plays a key role in the development of technology and the education of graduates who enable value creation based on our natural resources. The Department of Geoscience and Petroleum is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 20th June 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Institutt for geovitenskap og petroleum

Similar jobs

Similar jobs