PhD Candidate, Environmental and Analytical Chemistry for Analysing Marine Plastic Waste

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 07 Jan 2022

Research collaboration in sustainability

In 2015, the 2030 agenda with the 17 sustainability goals was adopted by all UN member states. The sustainability goals see the environment, economy and social development in context. The time horizon for necessary changes is short, and it is challenging to combine different considerations without conflicts of objectives and unintended consequences of measures. 

NTNU is now announcing 43 individual PhD positions that will contribute to a greater understanding of system effects, societal changes and conflicts of interest related to the sustainability challenges. These positions are divided into 9 interdisciplinary projects  with mainly 4-7 PhD positions in each project. In this position, the candidate is expected to cooperate with the other PhD students in the project “Combining skills to identify the «Sweet Spot» to solve marine plastic pollution in Norway ”

This is a 3-year PhD position with the possibility of an additional year with working duties at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management – section of Occupational health, safety and environment (HSE). The position is resident at NTNUs main campus in Trondheim. It is an educational position, which will provide promising research talents the opportunity for professional development towards a PhD-degree. The position is connected to the PhD program at the Faculty of Economics and Management and the faculty will be your employer.

About the position

The position is part of the project; Combining skills to identify the "Sweet Spot" to solve marine plastic pollution in Norway and is one of five PhD positions connected to this project. This project is a newly established, interdisciplinary initiative led by NTNU Ålesund.

The objective of the project is to bring forward outstanding research to build on current activities at different departments at NTNU to investigate transformative solutions to the marine plastic problem through circular economy. The terminology “sweet spots” reflects the idea of using mutually complementing knowledge systems to build a holistic picture of marine plastic pollution in Norway and use this as a springboard for co-developing interventions that are eco-effective.

The PhD-position is linked to the work package two (WP2) of the five work packages. The WP2 aims at assessing the fates and occurrence of microplastics.  Under this WP, the candidate will research the characteristics of the most littered items along the Norwegian coast by (1) Assessing degradation rates of macro litter items using Py-GC/MS analysis. The candidate will then (2) characterize and quantify the typical microplastic polymers across Norwegian waters to determine the source of pollution. Combined, these objectives allow for the research to uncover the extent of micro and macro littering and identify the most threating littered items along the Norwegian coast in terms of their potential to break-down into microplastic pollutants.

Duties of the position

  • The PhD Candidate is expected to work on the project ‘Combining skills to identify the "Sweet Spot" to solve marine plastic pollution in Norway’.
  • He/she is expected to complete the necessary doctoral coursework as per NTNU’s guidelines.
  • Take part in field work, sampling and surveys related to the WP2 activities.
  • Initiate and conduct the laboratory experiments for characterization and quantification of microplastic pollutants from sediment and water samples.  
  • Conduct research, publish, and write publishable papers that constitute the requirement for the PhD position.

Required selection criteria

  • The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) in Environmental Chemistry or Environmental Engineering with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale .
  • Applicants with a specific knowledge in Environmental and analytical chemistry or Laboratory analysis including application of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS) will be prioritised.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants  and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

In addition, the following qualifications will contribute positively to the evaluation of the applicant:

  • Previous experience in laboratory work
  • Excellent oral and written English
  • Previous experience in teaching / assisting in academic courses
  • Ambition to learn the Norwegian language

Primary residency in Trondheim is a prerequisite. The person appointed must live in a location enabling him/her to be present at and available to the institution.

Personal characteristics

  • You must be independent, have good work capacity and have enthusiasm for research
  • The ability to contribute to a good PhD environment and work environment in general is emphasized
  • The ability to carry out relevant projects will be given special weight

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement.

We offer

Information about Working and living in Norway can be found at the following link:

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, at gross NOK 491 200,- per annum before tax. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years with possibility to get 1 additional year for working duties.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Industrial Economics and Technology Management within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

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.

About the application

The application must include:

  • Application letter concerning your motivation for completing a PhD in this particular project, outlining previous relevant experience
  • CV (No more than 5 pages)
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted.
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Project proposal (2-3 pages excl. references and research plan timeline)
  • Name and address of three references
  • Publications or another relevant research work (Research papers, academic book chapters, conference proceedings)

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, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher 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.

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

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

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.

In accordance with The Public Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Paritosh Deshpande, telephone +47 4504 0995, email . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Hilde Selli Egelie,
e-mail: .

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI) .

Application deadline: 07.01.2021

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 Industrial Economics and Technology Management

The department has as its mission to carry out educational and research activities at a high international level. IØT’s core activity lies in the intersection between technology/natural sciences, business economics, management, and HSE, aiming to promote sustainable value creation in technology-based areas in industry, business and the public sector in Norway.

We recruit new employees who are passionate about contributing to the department’s vision “More research, interaction and cooperation which increases our value creation at the interface between technology/natural sciences and business economics, management, and HSE”. We are looking for you who have experience with and potential for continuous innovation at this interface.

Deadline 7th January 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

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