PhD Research Fellow in climate change research within marine benthic ecology

Updated: 9 months ago
Deadline: 01 Oct 2019

About the position

A temporary 100 % position is available at the University of Agder (UiA), Faculty of Engineering and Science as a PhD Research Fellow in the thematic area of effects of climate change on coastal, benthic ecosystems, for a period of three years.

The position will be located at NIVA, Region South, which is in the immediate vicinity of UiA’s campus in Grimstad. The candidate will also benefit from the Centre for Coastal Research (CCR) which is a cooperation between UiA, Institute of Marine Research (IMR), NIVA, GRID-Arendal and University of Oslo (UiO). The preferred starting date for the position is 01.01.20 or to be negotiated with the faculty.


The position will be associated with ongoing research projects related to effects of climate change. One of the most important effects of climate change on coastal ecosystems, is changes in freshwater runoff and river-transported terrestrial organic matter. This leads to increased suspended material in coastal waters, reduced water clarity and an increased vertical transport of organic matter from the upper water column to the seabed. Further, recent findings from coastal Skagerrak suggest that increased riverine loads of terrestrial organic material over the last 30 years has induced a shift in both hard- and soft-bottom benthic communities. This strengthening in the link between land and ocean, and in turn between the pelagic and benthic comportments, needs more focused research in a time of accelerating climate change. Central research questions to be addressed are how such climate-related change affects stability, dynamics and functioning of benthic ecosystems and what main mechanisms are involved.

The candidate will be part of an excellent group of scientists, PhD students and post-docs at NIVA, UiA and CCR, working on various aspects of effects of climate change on coastal ecosystems. The research will have a special focus on the fate and/or ecological significance of terrestrial derived material, consequences for benthic-pelagic coupling and ecosystem dynamics and functioning in coastal waters. Research tools and approaches may, dependent on the candidate’s skills and interests, be a combination of field studies, field and mesocosm experiments, and analysis of existing long-term datasets (30 year) for coastal waters. NIVA’s research infrastructure in Storelva-Sandnesfjorden (50 km north-east from the Grimstad office) may also represent an important ‘outdoor laboratory’ for the scientific work. Lastly, analysis of community functioning can be performed theoretically from species composition and traits information, based on a comprehensive traits database held by NIVA.

Required qualifications
  • Applicants must hold a master-degree with specialization in marine ecology, marine biogeochemistry or related fields
  • Good knowledge of English, both written and oral, is required

A prerequisite for employment is that the candidate is to be admitted to UiA’s PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science .

Further provisions relating to the position as PhD Research Fellow can be found in the Regulations Concerning Terms and Conditions of Employment for the post of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant and Resident .

Desired qualifications
  • Ideal qualities include experience with field and laboratory work, strong statistical skills, high degree of collaborative research efforts, and good communication skills as well as experience in scientific publication.
  • Good language skills in Norwegian or another Scandinavian language, both written and oral, is an advantage.

Applicants will be assessed based on academic background and results, attainment, and any previous research and development work. Relevant practical experience, personal suitability and good teamwork skills will also be emphasized.

This year’s candidates/candidates who are in the closing stages of their master’s degree can also apply.

Personal qualities

The PhD will be expected to work closely and successfully with a wide range of expert collaborators from across multiple disciplines, and to contribute to scientific syntheses and communication efforts. The position places great demands on the applicant’s capacity for independent goal-oriented work, ability to concentrate and attention to detail.

We offer
  • professional development in a large, exciting and socially influential organization
  • a positive, inclusive and diverse working environment
  • modern facilities and a comprehensive set of welfare offers
  • membership of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

More about working at UiA .

The position is remunerated according to the State Salary Scale, salary plan 17.515, code 1017 PhD Research Fellow, NOK 479 600 gross salary per year. A compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.

General information

A good working environment is characterised by its diversity. We therefore encourage all qualified candidates to apply for the position, irrespective of gender, age, disability or cultural background. The University of Agder is an IW (Inclusive Workplace).

The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the position, and organisational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities of the position must be expected. Appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions.

Read more about the employment process here .

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act § 25 (2), applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the names of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right.


The application and any necessary information about education and experience (including diplomas and certificates) are to be sent electronically. Use the link "Apply for this job".

The following documentation must be uploaded electronically:

  • diplomas, transcripts and letters of reference
  • complete list of scientific publications
  • a description of research interests, background for the problem that the applicant wishes to study and its relevance for the above mentioned call
  • master thesis
  • a maximum of ten (10) scholarly and other relevant publications which the applicant wishes to include for assessment

The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date. All documentation must be available in a Scandinavian language or English.

Application deadline: 01.10.19


For questions about the position:

  • Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Hilde Trannum, tel. +47 905 95 603, e-mail:

For questions about the application process:

University of Agder

The University of Agder has more than 1400 employees and 13 000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.

We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.

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