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Phd Candidate In Norwegian Nuclear Energy, Are We Prepared From A Safety Point Of View

Trondheim, Norway
NOK 532 200 per annum
Closing date
20 Jun 2024

About the job

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

We are looking for a PhD Candidate that wants to explore how prepared Norway is to operate nuclear reactors from a safety point of view. 

The dramatic climatic changes force the world to make a shift towards energy sources with low greenhouse gas emission. The Norwegian government has recently announced that a public exposition will be launched to support the Norwegian strategy towards nuclear energy.

Your research will be part of the research within Team Nuclear Energy at NTNU where various aspects of nuclear energy is explored. A key question from a safety point of view is how prepared we are for nuclear power production in Norway. The Norwegian oil and gas industry as well as actors in the transportation sector have over the years established a very strong safety culture and the collaboration between the industry and the national safety authorities is very good. Therefore it is expected that Norway can build on this to rather fast establish good safety standards also for a nuclear strategy.

Your will work on reviewing safety principles for nuclear energy production, relevant risk analysis methods, safety standards and the role of regulatory bodies to ensure high safety. Important topics are:

  • Safety principles for nuclear energy production
  • State of the art of nuclear risk analysis methodology and a comparison with state of the art in the Norwegian oil & gas industry
  • Bridging current process industry practices on functional safety from IEC 61508/IEC 61511 with the corresponding nuclear standard IEC 61513
  • Opportunities for improved safety with support of AI 
  • What is the role of the Norwegian tripartite cooperation (trepartssamarbeid) in Norwegian industry as such, and how does it affect safety?
  • What is required to pursue the tripartite collaboration to a Norwegian nuclear strategy?
  • Available nuclear safety competence in Norway

The main supervisor of the research is Professor Jørn Vatn.

Duties of the position

  • take part in the mandatory Ph.D. research education program
  • conduct independent research and publish the results in recognized scientific journals and conferences
  • participate actively in RAMS PhD seminars at the department

Required selection criteria

  • you must have a professionally relevant background in RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety)
  • 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
  • excellent English writing and oral skills

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

  • experience in writing scientific papers
  • knowledge about energy production and nuclear energy in particular
  • experience in seeking relevant information from Norwegian regulatory bodies 
  • experience in seeking information regarding the Halden Reactor Project
  • documented knowledge regarding basic risk analysis methods like FTA, ETA, Markov and HRA

Personal characteristics

  • team oriented – able to work with others
  • curious – eager and able to learn new things
  • creative – able to generate more ways to solve problems
  • critical – able to question and reflect on own and others’ work

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 532 200 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 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.

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 be attached to 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.
  • name and contact information of three referees
  • application letter 
  • research statement (max 3 pages) identifying initial research direction among the proposed research topics
  • previous publications or other relevant research work or experience

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.

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 Professor Jørn Vatn, e-mail: If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Hedda Winnberg, 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.  

Application deadline: 20.06.2024


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 Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

We educate graduates who can create new products, operate and maintain products, and manage projects. The Department has a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes. We conduct wide-ranging research in fields such as technology, energy, product quality and development, and productivity. The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 20th June 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Richard Birkelands vei 2B, 7034 Trondheim

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