PhD Position in Extending Digital Data Collection in Citizen Science

Trondheim, Norway
19 Apr 2018
End of advertisement period
27 May 2018
SO IV-145/18
Contract Type
Full Time

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has a vacancy for 5 positions as PhD Research Fellows within the project “Transforming Citizen Science for Biodiversity”. The project is in NTNU’s strategic portfolio of projects to pursue transformative research on the development and application of digital transformation technology. Multidisciplinarity is a key objective in all the projects, and close cooperation between the PhD research fellows and the disciplines is essential for Transforming Citizen Science for Biodiversity to succeed. More info:

About Transforming Citizen Science for Biodiversity

The project "Transforming Citizen Science for Biodiversity" is an interdisciplinary research programme that 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 this 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.

About the PhD position in extending digital data collection and life cycle assessment

This student will look at how citizen scientists can expand the range of what they record, to help ground-truth remote sensing data and improve detection of changes in habitat quality and pollution
levels. The following tasks will be carried out:

  1. Develop models that use citizen science information for ground-truthing of satellite pictures, with
  2. specific focus on factors related to habitat quality and ecosystem health parameters.
  3. Develop models in collaboration with the other PhD students to make these visualizations available in an interactive way, that will inspire citizens to collect targeted data needed for ground-truthing.

Link the above models to develop life cycle impact assessment models for impacts on land use change that can be used for other projects within the same research group.

The primary supervisor will be Assoc. Prof. F. Verones (Industrial Ecology Programme), with Prof. Rød (Department of Geograpgy) and Prof. Steinsland (Department of Mathematical Sciences) as
co-supervisors, and collaboration with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA).


The candidate should have a relevant Master’s degree in natural or engineering sciences, such as ecology/biology, environmental engineering, industrial ecology. Strong analytical capabilities and good written and oral communications skills are essential. Competence in remote sensing, a mathematical modelling tool (e.g., Matlab, R) and geographical information systems (e.g., ArcGIS) are of strong advantage. To be qualified for admission to the PhD program of Industrial Ecology at NTNU, the candidate must demonstrate a B average or better (on the European Credit Transfer System -ECTS- grading scale) at the MSc level.

In addition, the applicant must be fluent in English.

Trondheim is the place of duty.

The Industrial Ecology programme (IndEcol) at NTNU is an interdisciplinary research and teaching program managing its own International MSc program and PhD program, consisting of 5 faculty members, 20 PhD students and 10 PostDocs/researchers. IndEcol has a high reputation within the field as evidenced by numerous publications and international prizes.

Conditions of appointment

PhD Candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross NOK 436 900. 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 PhD position is limited to 3 years. Depending on the candidate’s background and ability, the position can be extended to 4 years. If the position is for 4 years, one year is dedicated to duty work at the Department.

Further information on the position can be obtained from Professor Francesca Verones, Department of Energy and Process Engineering, NTNU, Trondheim. Email: General information on the industrial ecology program is available from our website

For more information about the Transforming Citizen Science for Biodiversity project, contact Prof. Bob O'Hara 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.

Master students finishing in June 2018 may 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-145/18.

Start-up date is as soon as possible or after agreement with the Department

Application deadline is May 27th 2018.

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, May 27, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Website
  • Municipality Trondheim
  • Place of service Energy and Process Engineering
  • Jobbnorge ID 151492
  • Internal ID 2018/11640
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Temporary

About applications

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

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