PhD Fellow in Cross-Ecosystem Food-Web Responses to Climate Change: Freshwater and Terrestrial...

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 10 Jan 2022

The position

A PhD position is available at the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology  (AMB), Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics  (BFE). The position is within cross-ecosystem food-web responses to climate change, with a focus on freshwater and terrestrial ecosystem linkages in the Arctic and is associated with the Northern Populations and Ecosystems   and Freshwater Ecology  research groups.

The position is for a period of four years. The nominal length of the PhD programme is three years. The fourth year is distributed as 25 % each year and will consist of teaching and other duties. The objective of the position is to complete research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to the PhD programme is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position.

The workplace is at UiT in Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer.

The Department of Arctic and Marine Biology (AMB)

The Department of Arctic and Marine Biology (AMB) includes 5 research groups distributed across several buildings. Research and teaching at AMB has a broad span, from molecular mechanisms at cellular/subcellular levels via studies of adaptations at the organismal level, to ecological interactions in aquatic and terrestrial environments. The Department is an exciting and cutting-edge academic and research unit in biology that addresses professional challenges in basic research, industrial and administrative-oriented research with a strong focus on North. The Department has extensive national and international research collaboration including regional institutions like the Fram Centre. The staff counts 56 permanent scientists, 25 technicians, 12 administrative positions and 50 temporary employees (researchers, postdocs, PhD research fellows, technicians).

The position’s field of research

This PhD project will address key pressures in stream and terrestrial cross-ecosystem linkages in an Arctic ecosystem (northern Norway tundra). The PhD student will closely collaborate with the Freshwater Ecology group, the Northern Populations and Ecosystems group, and researchers at the Fram Centre, ensuring strong networking possibilities. Primary office and laboratory space for the student will be located within the Freshwater Ecology group. The student will also join and utilize existing infrastructure from the Climate-ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra  (COAT). The candidate will have access to a large network of researchers with arctic and quantitative expertise.

The major goals of the PhD are to advance the currently very limited understanding of connectivity between freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems in the Arctic, and in particular how these linkages may change in response to climate and land cover change.

Specifically, the PhD candidate will 1) Quantify Arctic terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem connectivity based on energy flow through the food web, and 2) Evaluate how recent changes in Arctic tundra-forest ecotones and freshwater stream ecosystems have altered energy flow dynamics across those two ecosystems. The scope and focus of the PhD project will also depend to a large degree on the research interests and background of the successful candidate.

The applicants must present a description outlining the academic basis of the PhD project. The project description shall not exceed 2 pages, literature references included. It must include a description of the theme, research question(s) and a reasoning of the choices. It should also indicate the methodologies to be used. The final project description will be developed in cooperation with the supervisors.


For further information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Jarad Mellard:

Associate Professor André Frainer:

or Associate Professor Amanda Poste:


This position requires a Master’s degree or equivalent in biology or a relevant branch of biological/environmental sciences such as ecology.

Desired competence for this position (one or several):

  • Quantitative analyses (particularly multivariate and/or generalized linear models, eg., mixed effect models)
  • Experience with field work, lab work, and experimental design

Additional advantageous skills for this position:

  • Knowledge of stream and/or terrestrial invertebrates
  • Experience with isotope and/or fatty acid analyses
  • Knowledge of aquatic carbon and nutrient cycling

We will prioritize candidates with training and/or experience in combining theoretical and empirical perspectives, and in a cross-ecosystem perspective when possible.

Applicants must be able to write and communicate in English and be able to work in an international environment. Working knowledge of Norwegian or a Scandinavian language is also beneficial.

In the assessment, the emphasis is on the applicant's potential to complete a research education based on the Master's thesis or equivalent, and any other scientific work. The 2-page project description will also be considered. In addition, other experience of significance for the completion of the doctoral programme may be given consideration.

We will also emphasize motivation and personal suitability for the position.As many as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized research training. If you already hold a PhD or have equivalent competence, we will not appoint you to this position.

Admission to the PhD programme 

For employment in the PhD position, you must be qualified for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics  and participate in organized doctoral studies within the employment period.

Admission normally requires:  

  • A bachelor's degree of 180 ECTS and a master's degree of 120 ECTS, or an integrated master's degree of 300 ECTS. 
  • A master's thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 30 ECTS for a master's degree of 120 ECTS. 
  • A master's thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 20 ECTS for an integrated master's degree of 300 ECTS. 

Grade requirements applies both to the master thesis as well as courses part of the master’s degree. The minimum requirements are grade C or better on the master’s degree, and grade C or better on courses that are part of the master’s degree. A grade lower than C in one course may be compensated by a higher grade than C in another course. If the applicant has two subjects with the grade D or lower, the applicant is not qualified for admission. A more detailed description of admission requirements can be found here .  

Applicants with a foreign education will be subjected to an evaluation of whether the educational background is equal to Norwegian higher education, following national guidelines from NOKUT . Depending on which country the education is from, one or two additional years of university education may be required to fulfil admission requirements, e.g. a 4-year bachelor's degree and a 2-year master's degree. 

If you are employed in the position, you will be provisionally admitted to the PhD programme. Application for final admission must be submitted no later than six weeks after taking up the position. 

Inclusion and diversity

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is working actively to promote equality, gender balance and diversity among employees and students, and to create an inclusive and safe working environment. We believe that inclusion and diversity are a strength and we want employees with different competencies, professional experience, life experience and perspectives.

If you have a disability, a gap in your CV or immigrant background, we encourage you to tick the box for this in your application. If there are qualified applicants, we invite at least one in each group for an interview. If you get the job, we will adapt the working conditions if you need it. Apart from selecting the right candidates, we will only use the information for anonymous statistics.

We offer
  • Involvement in an interesting research project 
  • Good career opportunities 
  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues  
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement  
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund  
  • More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here:


Your application must include: 

  • Cover letter (1 page) explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV
  • Diploma for bachelor's and master's degree
  • Transcript of grades/academic record for bachelor's and master's degree
  • Explanation of the grading system for foreign education (Diploma Supplement if available)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Two names of reference persons with contact information (at least e-mail address and phone number)
  • Master’s thesis, and any other academic works
  • Project description (max 2 pages, including references)

Qualification with a master’s degree is required before commencement in the position. If you are near completion of your master’s degree, you may still apply and submit a draft version of the thesis and a statement from your supervisor or institution indicating when the degree will be obtained. You must still submit your transcripts for the master’s degree with your application.

All documentation to be considered must be in a Scandinavian language or English. Diplomas and transcripts must also be submitted in the original language, if not in English or Scandinavian. We only accept applications and documentation sent via Jobbnorge within the application deadline. 

General information 

The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants . 

A shorter period of appointment may be decided when the PhD Fellow has already completed parts of their research training programme or when the appointment is based on a previous qualifying position PhD Fellow, research assistant, or the like in such a way that the total time used for research training amounts to three years. 

Remuneration for the position of PhD Fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1017.  A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act (Offentleglova). According to the Personal Data Act information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication, if you have requested non-disclosure. 

UiT - Developing the High North

The Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics (BFE) consists of Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, Norwegian College of Fishery Science (NFH) and School of Business and Economics. The main task of BFE is to conduct teaching and research dissemination at a high national and international level within all relevant fields. Prioritized research areas are aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, climate, life in the arctic, marine bioprospecting, fish health, seafood products, business and macroeconomics, resources and environment, markets and management of marine resources.

The interdisciplinary profile of the faculty provides good opportunity to develop research projects involving several research groups at the faculty according to its strategy.

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