PhD Candidate in Geographic Information Science and Biodiversity

Trondheim, Norway
17 Apr 2018
End of advertisement period
27 May 2018
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Geography
Contract Type
Full Time

There is a temporary position available at the Department of Geography as PhD Candidate in Geographic Information Science and Biodiversity for a period of four years with obligation to work. This is an educational position that shall provide promising research recruits the opportunity for professional development through studies towards a PhD. The position is connected to the PhD-program at the faculty of Social and Educational Science.

Currently, the Department employs 9 professors, 10 associate professors, 6 researchers, and 12 PhD candidates. The Department has defined four strategic areas: Natural hazards and the effects of climate change; Environment, resources and management; Mobility, transnationalism and inequality; and Innovation and regional changes. The available PhD position will contribute particularly to the area Environment, resources and management.

The PhD position will be one of five PhD candidates that contributes to an interdisciplinary research group at NTNU on Transforming Citizen Science for Biodiversity. The group will develop tools and methods to improve the way that members of the general public collect data on what they observe in the natural world, and the way this data is used to inform us about the natural world and how it is changing. The amount of data being generated and uploaded to databased such as the Norwegian Artsobservasjoner is massive, and the unsystematic way the data are collected provides challenges when making inferences from the data. This project will (1) encourage citizens to collect data, (2) help scientists correctly interpret and use this data, and (3) provide information back to the citizens about how the data they have collected is being used.

The project is a collaboration between four departments at NTNU and two organisations (NINA and Artsdatabanken) that are heavily involved in the collection and use of citizen science data. Five students will be employed to work on the following topics:

  1. Tools for a Biodiversity Atlas: based at the Dept. of Mathematical Sciences, with collaboration from Artsdatabanken
  2. Quality Control in Citizen Science data: based at the Dept. of Mathematical Sciences, with collaboration from Artsdatabanken
  3. Transforming the Geography of Citizen Science: based at the Dept. of Geography with collaboration from NINA
  4. Extending Digital Data collection in Citizen Science: based at the Dept. of Energy and Process Engineering, in collaboration with NINA
  5. Transforming Ecology with Citizen Science: based at the Museum of Natural History, in collaboration with NINA.

The available PhD position (3) is about the geography of citizen science data, looking primarily at three tasks:

  1. Map the distribution of citizen science efforts,
  2. Investigate methods to help inspire citizens to collect more targeted data, and
  3. Develop tools to map areas where greater observation effort would be helpful.

The research should be applicable to the collection of biodiversity and associated data by citizen scientists. NINA and Artsdatabanken, two of the major Norwegian actors in this field, are partners in the research group.


The holder of the position is expected to:

  • Contribute to the research group on project: Transforming Citizen Science for Biodiversity.
  • Contribute to other projects at the department where citizens science and spatial crowdsourcing is of importance, such as Citizen Sensing - Urban Climate Resilience through Participatory Risk Management Systems (CitiSense), Climate change and natural hazards: the geography of community resilience in Norway (ClimRes), and GEO GO: game based approach to field course education
  • Contribute to teaching of GIS courses at the department.


We seek a passionate, dedicated and sociable person who meets the required qualifications for a PhD candidate. The applicant must have generally strong technical skills and particularly within geographical information technologies. Previous experience with citizens sensing, spatial crowdsourcing, participatory GIS, volunteered geographic information, or similar, is considered beneficial. Independency, solution-oriented attitude as well as motivation to contribute to a good working environment at the department will be ascribed high importance. The requirement for the position is a completed master’s degree in geography, geomatics or ecology with documented strong background in geographic information science, or similar education to equivalent level. 

Applicants must have a strong academic record from their previous studies, and must have a weighted average grade for the last two years of their master's or equivalent education (equivalent to 120 credits) of B or higher in terms of NTNU's grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be admitted only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree. Fluent English skills are required.

Employment will be activated in accordance with existing regulations of Employment will be activated in accordance to existing regulations of 31.01.06

Salary and Working Conditions

The PhD position is paid according to the national salary scheme, from gross NOK 436 900 per year, of which 2 % is deducted for the State Pension Scheme.

Please find more information about the appointment of PhD Candidates in NTNUs supplementary purviews of 23.01.12,

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. Primary residency in Trondheim is a prerequisite.

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, disabilities or cultural background. NTNU is an inclusive workplace.


Employment in a PhD position requires admission to a PhD-program. Application for admission to the PhD program must be submitted as soon as the candidate is employed in the position, no later than 3 months after employment. More information about the PhD program is available at:

You can find the relevant application schedules here;

Application should within deadline include:

  • A preliminary project description of approximately 5-10 pages, with requests for final approval within six months after admission to the PhD program.
  • CV, recommendations, certificates and diplomas.
  • Publications and other relevant scientific work.
  • Application for admission to the PhD program.

Joint work will be evaluated. If it is difficult to identify the contributions from individuals in a joint piece of work, applicants should enclose a short descriptive summary of what he/she contributed to the work.

Information about the applicants may be open to public inspection as provided by the Freedom of Information Act.

Further information about the position is available by contacting Prof. Jan Ketil Rød, phone 73592772 and e-mail For more information about the Transforming Citizen Science for Biodiversity project, contact Prof. Bob O'Hara (

For information about processing of applications, please contact HR, Brith-Eli Åsland, e-mail:

An application including attachments should be sent electronically through: Application deadline: 27.05:2018. The starting date can be from 01.08.2018.»

About this job

  • Deadline Sunday, May 27, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet
  • Website
  • Municipality Trondheim
  • Place of service Dragvoll
  • Jobbnorge ID 151410
  • Internal ID 2018/11093
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Temporary

About applications

  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Academic CV
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