Postdoctoral Fellow in Sustainability Analysis for a Circular Bioeconomy Transition

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 19 Sep 2023

23 Aug 2023
Job Information

NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Department of Energy and Process Engineering
Research Field

Environmental science » Natural resources management
Engineering » Chemical engineering
Engineering » Process engineering
Engineering » Industrial engineering
Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

19 Sep 2023 - 23:59 (Europe/Oslo)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description
This is NTNU

NTNU is a broad-based university with a technical-scientific profile and a focus in professional education. The university is located in three cities with headquarters in Trondheim.

At NTNU, 9,000 employees and 43,000 students work to create knowledge for a better world.

You can find more information about working at NTNU and the application process here .

About the job

The Postdoctoral Fellowship position is a temporary position where the main goal is to qualify for work in senior academic positions.

We have a vacancy for a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Industrial Ecology Programme (IndEcol). The duration of the position is between 3 and 4 years.

IndEcol is a well-known research group with an international leading role in the field of environmental sustainability analysis and climate change mitigation strategies. IndEcol currently consists of 70+ employees in scientific positions and features publications of scientific articles in high-ranked journals, direct contributions to assessment reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and leading roles in several projects at national and European levels.

In order to achieve ambitious targets of climate change mitigation, the sustainable expansion of a bio-based circular economy is a fundamental prerequisite. At the same time, the series of IPCC assessment reports increasingly make clear that we should change the way in which we manage our land resources (agricultural systems and forestry) to sustainably deploy negative emissions at a scale required to stabilize temperature changes. A sustainable transition can be secured by a better quantification of the environmental implications of novel technologies in terms of resource supply and competition, energy efficiency and climate-friendly solutions. Biomass supply through sustainable land management, multifunctional systems, and circular economy offers opportunities for a sustainable transition, but holistic approaches are essential to discern the interlinkages of the land-climate-energy nexus, prevent adverse effects from resource competition, and guide future societal and technological developments. Environmental sustainability analyses where life-cycle assessment (LCA) is integrated with outcomes of alternative socio-economic pathways from Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) are emerging as novel tools to improve the quantification of the climate change benefits of negative emission technologies (NETs). They are also useful to support the optimization of circular economy strategies and NETs deployment in ways that can minimize adverse side-effects and maximize co-benefits for the achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals.

We seek a candidate that is strongly motivated to study the interactions across space and time between climate change, emissions of greenhouse gases, and the growing needs for clean energy and material sources from an expanding circular bioeconomy, with a particular focus on cascading applications and negative emission technologies. The main objective is to improve existing methods of environmental sustainability analysis (mostly for climate change, air pollution, or future scenarios) and apply them to case studies that are relevant for the decarbonization of our economy. The postdoc researcher will perform both methodological and applied research, and will have the opportunity to interact with the most up-to-date approaches in Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) and the major global experts in the field, within national (Norwegian) and European research projects. The postdoc will also have the opportunity to carry out policy-relevant research in an interdisciplinary and international environment. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, we deem interest and ability to explore new fields and sub-fields important.

You will report to Prof. Francesco Cherubini.

Duties of the position
  • Advance climate impact analysis with up-to-date methods and metrics, and devise optimal climate change mitigation strategies for a sustainable and circular bioeconomy
  • Environmental sustainability analysis applied to case studies of circular economy systems, bioeconomy, negative emission technologies, and biogenic carbon technologies
  • Integrate the climate analysis of emissions of GHGs and/or future scenarios with a life-cycle assessment approach, and apply/develop methods to assess co-benefits and trade-offs for land use competition, air quality, human and ecosystem health impacts
  • Data processing, compilation of datasets, emission inventories, scenario analysis and impact assessment models
  • Publishing in peer-reviewed journals
  • Presentation of results at international conferences

Required selection criteria

A postdoctoral research fellowships is a qualification position in which the main objective is qualification for work in academic positions. You must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree in climate sciences, atmospheric sciences, meteorology, statistics, environmental science or in a related field or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree is required.

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Ph.D Candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate.

  • A PhD in the field of the duties of this position (e.g., environmental sciences, industrial ecology, natural sciences, engineering, etc.).
  • Documented advanced experience with LCA, IAMs or environmental sustainability analysis
  • Good understanding of fundamentals in mathematics and physics
  • Peer-reviewed scientific publications in the topic of this position.
  • In addition to the cover letter, candidates are required to submit a one-page research plan on how they intend to use their scientific background and research ambitions to address the research challenges of this position.
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills

Preferred selection criteria
  • Experience in successfully performing research activities in international research groups and within externally financed research projects (e.g., timely completion of deliverables, interactions with other research partners, industries, and stakeholders)
  • Good programming skills in one or several languages
  • Previous experience with LCA softwares (e.g., Brightway, SimaPro) or IAMs, preferably in the field of circular economy, bioeconomy, NETs, bio-based products, or land management.
  • Experience with handling large datasets (e.g., IAM outputs, LCI databases).

Personal characteristics
  • Strongly motivated to advance the current state of knowledge on the topic of this position.
  • Strong analytical capabilities
  • Be a good team player while also being able to work independently
  • Open to interact in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment
  • Soft skills

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer 
  • Exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment 
  • An open and inclusive work environment  with dedicated colleagues 
  • Favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund 
  • Employee benefits 

Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 615 700 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

The period of employment is 3 to 4 years.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants , and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU.  

After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution on a daily basis.

About the application 

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must be attached to the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above.  

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result. 

The application must include: 

  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • In addition to the cover letter, candidates are required to submit a one-page sketch on how they plan to use their scientific background and research ambitions to address the research challenges of this position.
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment
  • Fully complete the online survey in Jobbnorge associated with the application process.
  • Provide two reference letters, and the name and contact details of three referees.


If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education. Description of the documentation required can be found here . If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well. 
Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation. 

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA. 

General information 

Working at NTNU 

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is a strength. We want our faculty and staff to reflect Norway’s culturally diverse population and we continuously seek to hire the best minds. This enables NTNU to increase productivity and innovation, improve decision making processes, raise employee satisfaction, compete academically with global top-ranking institutions and carry out our social responsibilities within education and research. NTNU emphasizes accessibility and encourages qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender identity, ability status, periods of unemployment or ethnic and cultural background.

NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality . EPT has established EPT Women in Science . The group is focused on supporting female PhD Candidates, Postdoctoral Fellows, Research Assistants and permanent academic employees within the Department. This support aims to help develop the careers of female PhD Candidates, Postdocs and Research Assistants, and is also made visible to our student body to encourage them to consider an academic path. As part of the EPT Women in Science initiative we are building an international network, inviting prominent female academics within and beyond the field of Engineering to speak at our events. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.  

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted. 

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation . You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Francesco Cherubini, email . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Renate Fjellheim, e-mail: .

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation. 

Application deadline: 19.09.2023


NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Energy and Process Engineering

We conduct research and teaching covering the entire energy chain, from resources to the end-user. We look at how energy is produced and used by humans and machines in a sustainable way with regard to health, climate change and the resource base. The Department of Energy and Process Engineering  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Research Field
Environmental science » Natural resources management
Education Level
PhD or equivalent

Research Field
Engineering » Chemical engineering
Education Level
PhD or equivalent

Research Field
Engineering » Process engineering
Education Level
PhD or equivalent

Research Field
Engineering » Industrial engineering
Education Level
PhD or equivalent

Additional Information
Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Where to apply



Kolbjørn Hejes veg 1B
Postal Code


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