PhD Candidate in Advancing LCA Methods and Applications for a Sustainable Bioeconomy Transition

Trondheim, Norway
13 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
07 Apr 2023
Contract Type
Full Time

About the job

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

We have a vacancy for a PhD student at the Industrial Ecology Programme. The position is of 3 years duration.

Your immediate leader is Prof. Francesco Cherubini.

The announced position gives the opportunity to perform a PhD study at the Industrial Ecology Programme (IndEcol) at NTNU. IndEcol is a well-known research group with an international leading role in the field of environmental sustainability analysis and climate change mitigation strategies. IndEcol currently consists of about 80 employees in scientific positions and features publications of scientific articles in top-ranked journals, direct contributions to assessment reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and leading roles in several large-scale projects and initiatives at a national and European level.

In order to achieve ambitious targets of climate change mitigation, the sustainable expansion of a bio-based circular economy is a fundamental prerequisite. In order to secure a sustainable transition, there is an evident need for a better quantification of the environmental implications of novel technologies in terms of resource supply and competition, energy efficiency and climate-friendly solutions. Biomass supply through sustainable land management and circular economy offers opportunities for a sustainable energy transition, but holistic approaches are essential to discern the interlinkages of the land-climate-energy nexus and guide future societal and technological developments.

We seek a candidate that is strongly motivated to study the interactions across space and time between climate change, emissions of greenhouse gases, and the growing needs for clean energy and material sources from an expanding bioeconomy, with a particular focus on industrial applications and circular economy of bio-based materials. The main objective is to improve existing methods of environmental sustainability analysis (mostly for climate change, air pollution, or future scenarios) and apply them to case studies that are relevant for the decarbonization of our economy. The candidate will perform both methodological and applied research, and will have the opportunity to attend a PhD program with access to the most up-to-date approaches in Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA), interact with the major global experts in the field, and collaborate with national industries. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, we deem interest and ability to explore new fields and sub-fields important.

Duties of the position

  • Perform and advance climate impact analysis with up-to-date methods and metrics, and devise optimal climate change mitigation strategies for a sustainable and circular bioeconomy.
  • Integrate the climate analysis of emissions of GHGs and/or future scenarios with a life-cycle assessment approach, and apply/develop methods to assess co-benefits and trade-offs for land use competition, air quality, human and ecosystem health impacts.
  • Data processing, compilation of datasets, emission inventories, scenario analysis and impact assessment models.
  • Publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Presentation of results at international conferences.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a Master degree in Industrial Ecology, Environmental Sciences, Natural Science, Climate Science or relevant for the field of this position.
  • Previous experience with LCA and/or other environmental sustainability analysis methods.
  • Good understanding of fundamentals in mathematics and physics.
  • In addition to the cover letter, candidates are required to submit a one-page sketch on how their education and work experience match the required and preferred criteria, as well as the main objectives of this PhD position.
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, 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.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Phd candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate 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

  • Previous experience with the LCA softwares (e.g., SimaPro, Brightway) or climate/ecosystem models is an advantage.
  • Good programming skills in one or several languages (e.g., Python, Matlab)

Personal characteristics

  • Strongly motivated to advance our and his own current knowledge on the topic of this position.
  • Strong analytical capabilities.
  • Be a good team player while also being able to work independently.
  • Open to interact in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment.
  • Soft skills.

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 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.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme 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 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 scientific work must follow the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include:

  • CV and certificates.
  • 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.
  • In addition to the cover letter, candidates are required to submit a one-page sketch on how their education and work experience match the required criteria and duties of the position.
  • Recommendation letters of 2 referees, and name and contact information of three referees.
  • Complete answers to the mandatory survey on the application webpage.
  • 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.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short 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

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality. NTNU has started a Women in Sience initiative, where EPT has established "EPT Women in Sience". As part of the initiative we are building an international network, inviting prominent female acedemics within and beyond the field of Engineering to speak at our events. 

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.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Prof. Francesco Cherubini, email: If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Mathilde Smith-Nilsen, e-mail:

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  

The date for starting the position is the 4th of September 2023. 

Application deadline: 07.04.2023


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 7th April 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Gløshaugen