PhD-position in Peatland Ecology

Trondheim, Norway
21 Dec 2017
End of advertisement period
21 Jan 2018
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

PhD-position in Peatland Ecology available at NTNU University Museum, Department of Natural History

The NTNU University Museum is seeking a highly qualified, ambitious and motivated candidate for a PhD-position in Peatland Ecology (peat mosses, carbon sequestration, interspecific competition, biodiversity and ecosystem services). The position has a duration of 4 years, where 1 year is duty work established in agreement with the Department. The duties will involve e.g. teaching, work with collections and public outreach performed at the Museum.The position is available from March 1, 2018.

The position

The successful candidate will be a member of the Department of Natural History at the NTNU University Museum and will be supervised by Associate Professor Kristian Hassel, Researcher Anders Lyngstad and Professor Hans K. Stenøien.

The successful candidate will conduct his/her research in a project focusing on understanding the role of peatlands in global carbon sequestration and especially the ecological role of peat mosses. The project outcome will, in addition to publications in international research journals, result in guidelines for future restoration of peatlands. The project will involve work in the field as well as in the laboratory, and the research group will collaborate with international groups within the area.

The project is interdisciplinary, and the work of the PhD-candidate will be closely associated with both the Systematics and Evolution (SEG) and Conservation Biology (BB) research groups at the Department of Natural History, as well as with members of the Department of Archaeology and Cultural History and The National Laboratory for Age Determination. The project is financed by the NTNU University Museum.


Essential qualifications of the successful applicant:

  • A master degree in plant ecology, population biology, evolutionary biology or closely related fields of biodiversity research. 
  • Documented excellent results from their education or through later research activity,

The successful applicant must fulfill the requirements of PhD-students at NTNU, and apply for admission to the PhD-study as soon as possible and no more than 3 months after the appointment.

Desirable qualifications of the successful applicant: 

  • Experience in peatland ecology and peat mosses
  • Skills in statistics and modelling
  • Experience with scientific writing
  • Experience from field work 
  • Experience in public outreach
  • Experience with teaching

The successful candidate should have good cooperative skills, be motivated, creative, resourceful and able to deliver.

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

The evaluation of candidates will be based on: 

  • The master thesis (or equivalent)
  • Scientific publications
  • Course grades on relevant university-level courses
  • Relevant experience 
  • Reference letters
  • Statement about how this position would fit career plan and interest of the applicant

The regulations for PhD programs at NTNU state that a Master degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies and an average grade of A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best) for the two last years of the MSc is required and C or higher of the BSc. Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement, or a similar document, which in detail describes the study, grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree, see

Information about the working environment

The NTNU University Museum, Department of Natural History currently has 16 faculty positions, six temporary research positions, 10 PhD students and 12 technical and administrative positions. The department’s research activity is facilitated through two research groups: the Systematics and Evolution Group and the Conservation Biology Group. The Department cooperates formally with the NTNU Department of Biology and is also responsible for teaching biosystematics (systematics, taxonomy, biogeography, floristics, faunistics) at the university.

The NTNU University Museum is located in historic Trondheim, Norway’s third most populous municipality. Nestled at the meeting of the Nidelva River and the Trondheimsfjord, the mountainous surrounding area boasts many opportunities for hiking, skiing, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Trondheim itself offers exciting activities for students as well as good connections to major European transport hubs. More information about Trondheim here: Information about Norway’s consistent top placement in global quality-of-life rankings can be found here:


The PhD position follows code 1017, starting grade 50, gross NOK 436 900 per year (before tax). There will be a 2 % deduction to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Found from gross salary.

Other information

The terms of employment will be in accordance with existing national regulations of 31 January 2006, with NTNU’s supplementary regulations of 1 August 2012. The applicant must commit to undertake organized PhD studies within the employment period. Employment as a PhD candidate requires admission to the PhD program in Biology at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. The best qualified applicants will be invited to an interview. Information about the applicants may be open to public inspection under the Freedom of Information Act.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants. The employee is expected to accept possible changes in work tasks. It is a major political objective to achieve a balance of age and gender in the national labour force and to recruit people with an immigrant background. Accordingly, immigrants are encouraged to apply for all advertised positions. For more information about the museum see:

Further information about the department and the open position can be obtained from Associate Professor Kristian Hassel: +47 73 59 22 52, e-mail or Head of Department Torkild Bakken phone: +47 73 59 23 82, e-mail

The application

Applications must be submitted electronically with the following attachments: 

  1. CV
  2. Certificates for both Bachelor and Masters degrees, 
  3. Copies of scientific publications and other scientific work of relevance (including a short explanation of the applicant’s contribution in cases where there is more than one author), 
  4. Copies of transcripts (including copies of documentation on English language proficiency test for non-English applicants), 
  5. Written documentation of relevant experience, 
  6. Reference letters
  7. A statement detailing how this position would fit career plan and interest of the applicant (approximately 1 A4 page, 12 point times new roman font and single space).

The application must be submitted through Please mark the application 2017/xxxxx .

Application deadline: 21.01.2018.