PhD Position - Department of Geoscience and Petroleum

Trondheim, Norway
05 Apr 2017
End of advertisement period
30 Apr 2017
SO IV-13/17
Contract Type
Full Time

The Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP) has an open PhD position related to this topic:
- Multiscale 3D analysis of silicate-hosted magnetic inclusions.

Importance of the research area:

Paleomagnetic measurements of single crystals of quartz containing nanoscale magnetic inclusions demonstrate that the geodynamo was active at least 3.5 billion years ago and that the intensity of the magnetic field was ~50-70% of the present day field. There are currently no paleomagnetic data that predate 3.5 Ga, meaning that the behaviour of the geodynamo for the first one billion years of Earth’s history remains unknown. Silicate-hosted magnetic inclusions have the potential to provide information about the early geodynamo. However little is know about their nature and origin. If they are primary magmatic inclusions then they may retain a thermoremanent magnetiation relating to the ancient geodynamo. If they are secondary inclusions formed through later processes (e.g. hydrothermal alteration), then this primary magnetic information may have been changed or lost completely. Understanding the nanoscale mineralogy and chemisty of silicate-hosted magnetic inclusions is a pressing issue that could help to unlock information about the earliest history of the geodynamo.

The project:

The proposed project will focus on the mineralogy of silicate-hosted magnetic inclusions from a range of rocks. Our chief aims are a) to understand the formation mechanism of magnetic inclusions in a range of silicate hosts and develop methods to distinguish between primary and secondary inclusions, b) to explore the potential of these inclusions as a paleomagnetic recorders, c) to constrain how and when they became magnetised, and to develop both experimental and computational methods to enable their paleomagnetic properties to be measured and interpreted. Primarily the work will focus on new correlative methods of 3D mineralogical analysis linking behaviour across multiple length scales (nanometre to micrometre).

What the student will do:

The student will use a variety of cutting edge methods to explore the potential of silicate-hosted magnetic inclusions as paleomagnetic archives in ancient earth rocks. They will use slice-and-view tomography to determine the 3-dimensional chemical and crystallographic make up of the inclusions  at the nm-µm scale, and thereby determine their formation mechanism. This involves taking succesive ~20 nm slices through the crystals using a focussed ion beam (FIB), acquiring detailed chemical and crystallographic information from each slice using energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy and electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD) to build up a 3D reconstruction of the microstructure. 3D information will be used to create computer models that accurately describe the paleomagnetic behaviour of these integrowths and determine how and when they became magnetised. The observations will be linked to high-spatial resolution magnetic measurements using magneto tunnel junction (MTJ) magnetic microscopy.


The student will receive training in a number of cutting edge 2D and 3D imaging techniques, including FEI QEMSCAN, Helios Dual beam FIB, transmission electron microscopy and MTJ microscopy. They will receive training in the acquisition, processing and interpretation of a wide range of experimental imaging methods, as well as learning how to create sophisticated computer models of magnetic behaviour based on their results. They will receive training in the presentation of their results at international conferences and writing papers for high profile journals.

The position requires a Master’s degree within the general areas of mineralogy, petrology, or rock/mineral magnetism. Candidates with previous experience in scanning electron microscopy will be preferred. Good written and oral English is a prerequisite. The successful candidate should be enthusiastic and highly motivated and be willing to work both independently and with other researchers. The successful candidate must also fulfill the requirement for admission to a doctoral program:

PhD Candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross NOK 432,300 before tax. There will be a 2 % deduction to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund from gross wage.

Engagement as a PhD Candidate is done in accordance with “Regulation concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident”, given by the Ministry of Education and Research of 19.07.2010. The goal of the positions is to obtain a PhD degree. Applicants will engage in an organized PhD training program, and appointment requires approval of the applicants plan for a PhD study within three months from the date of commencement.

The position is of 4 years duration, of which 25% duties.

For further information about the position, please contact Professor Suzanne McEnroe, email:, or Adjunct Professor Richard Harrison, email,

See for more information.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants. The positions adhere to the Norwegian Government's policy of balanced ethnicity, age and gender. Women are encouraged to apply.

The application
The application must contain information of educational background and work experience. Certified copies of transcripts and reference letters should be enclosed. Applications with CV, grade transcripts and other enclosures should be submitted via this webpage at Mark the application with SO IV-13/17.

Start-up date may be discussed, however August 2017 is preferred.

Application deadline is 30 April 2017

According to the new Freedom of Information Act, information concerning the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to be included in the list of applicants.

About this job

  • Deadline Sunday, April 30, 2017
  • Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Website
  • Municipality Trondheim
  • Place of service Department of Geoscience and Petroleum
  • Jobbnorge ID 136841
  • Internal ID SO IV-13/17
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Temporary

About applications

  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Academic CV
  • Please refer to where you first saw this job advertised!

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