Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Sustainability Analysis of Land-Based Negative Emissions

Updated: 7 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 05 Mar 2023

About the job

We have a vacancy for a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Industrial Ecology Programme (IndEcol). The position is between 2 and 4 years duration.

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.

The series of IPCC assessment reports increasingly make clear that how we manage our land resources (agricultural systems and forestry) is essential to achieve the large-scale negative emissions that are required to stabilize temperature changes at low levels. Afforestation, biochar, and bioenergy coupled with CCS (BECCS), are among the most popular negative emission technologies (NETs), but the potentials, implications (trade-offs), and opportunities (e.g., co-benefits) of their large-scale sustainable deployment are unclear, and largely vary with geographical context, socio-economic conditions and technologies. Integrated sustainability analyses where life-cycle assessment (LCA) is integrated with land availability scenarios and/or 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 NETs. They are also useful to support the optimization of NETs deployment in ways that can minimize adverse side-effects from increased competition for land and resources, with the ambition to maximize co-benefits for the achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals.

We seek a person that is strongly motivated to address the interactions between NETs (afforestation, BECCS, biochar, integrated agricultural/forest systems) and the environment across different spatial and temporal scales, using and developing novel environmental sustainability methods. This position will perform both methodological and applied research, and will have the opportunity to access the most up-to-date approaches in LCA, interact with the major global experts in the field, and collaborate with national and international stakeholders (industries and public authorities). The successful candidate will have a dynamic personality, motivation to work with environmentally relevant problems, and a solution-oriented approach. The postdoc will have the opportunity to carry out policy-relevant research in an interdisciplinary and international environment.

You will report to Prof. Francesco Cherubini .

Duties of the position

  • Environmental sustainability analysis of NETs, sustainable land management systems, and biogenic carbon technologies
  • Study land availability and biomass resource potentials, limitations, and opportunities under varying geographical regions, management practices, and socio-economic contexts
  • Address co-benefits and trade-offs of NETs
  • Data processing, compilation of datasets, and integration of primary data, emission inventories, 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  (In Norwegian).

  • A PhD in the field of the duties of this position (e.g., environmental sciences, industrial ecology, natural sciences, ecology, 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. The candidates are requested to clearly list in an independent attachment their peer-reviewed publications and key metrics of their scientific productivity (number of articles, h-index, and total citations, from Scopus).
  • 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 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

    We offer 

    Salary and conditions

    The employment period is 2 to 4 years. 

    As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 584 700 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 engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants  (in Norwegian), 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 follow 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 (Departments to choose from the following): 

    • 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 (up to 3 works)
    • Provide two reference letters, and the name and contact details of three referees

    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 suitability.

    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 and permanent academic employees currently within the Department. This support aims to help develop the careers of female PhD Candidates and Postdocs 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 200,000. The 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 Emmy Høiseth, 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: 05.03.2023


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    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.

    Deadline 5th March 2023
    Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
    Municipality Trondheim
    Scope Fulltime
    Duration Temporary
    Place of service

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