PhD position in Marine Plastic pollution

Updated: 9 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 07 Jan 2022

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At NTNU, 9,000 employees and 42,000 students work to create knowledge for a better world.

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

The Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering has a vacancy for a PhD position in the topic “Uncertainty management in operations and stakeholder networks to handle marine litter”. The phd-position is connected to an interdisciplinary project at NTNU Sustainability.

The Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering is located in Ålesund and is known as one of Norway’s most industry interactive campus. The department conducts education and research in technology areas such as civil engineering, water and environmental engineering, ship design and product and system design, as well as nautical, shipping and shipping management and maritime logistics. About 90 people are currently employed at the department.

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. 

About the position

The position is one of five PhD positions connected to the NTNU Sustainability project Combining skills to identify the "Sweet Spot" to solve marine plastic pollution in Norway,  an 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 comprehensive picture of marine plastic pollution in Norway and use this as a springboard for co-developing interventions that are eco-effective.

Uncertainty management is increasingly critical as global challenges, like marine plastic pollution in oceans, necessitate the emergence of new stakeholder constellations and the restructuring of the operating environment of many firms. This PhD research seeks to build empirically grounded new knowledge that captures how theories from operations risk management, decisions under uncertainty, and novel methodologies and data gathering strategies, such as organizational network analysis, can aid organizations to address new sources of uncertainties (risks and opportunities). The aim is to stop marine plastic waste entering the ocean, and to increase the circularity of marine plastics through reuse and reproduction. Both objectives are best achieved when firms and external stakeholders (such as universities, governmental bodies and the public) collaborate and share resources. The characteristics of these relations can, for example, explain cooperation, knowledge transfer, facilitating innovative ideas, risk behavior, support with decision-making and cooperation. The PhD work builds on current activities at NTNU to develop clusters and innovation networks for marine plastic waste reuse and recycling, and will examine industry and stakeholder contexts on both individual and network level.

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

The PhD will report to Head of department, project manager and supervisor.

Duties of the position
  • The PhD fellowship holder 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.
  • Take part in SME engagement workshops, conduct semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, and combine quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Conduct research, publish, and write publishable papers that constitute the requirement for the PhD position.

Required selection criteria
  • You must have a professionally relevant background in Technology Management/ Operations Management, Management of maritime operations, Decision Making under Uncertainty, or equivalent education.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • 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  

Preferred selection criteria
  • Statistical and analytical skills
  • Ability to use software programming and modelling packages
  • Good written and oral English and Norwegian or other Scandinavian language skills

Personal characteristics
  • Ability to work independently and in team
  • Ability to engage in multi-disciplinary team
  • Ability to carry out projects will be given special weight.

We offer
Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 491 200 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 years. 

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in engineering. ( ) 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.

The position is subject to external funding. 

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

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. 

The application must include: 

  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • 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  
  • Research plan 
  • Name and address of three referees 
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work 

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.

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

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 Ålesund, with its population of 50 000, will provide you with plenty of opportunities to explore a region of Norway that is famous for its beautiful scenery with high mountains and blue fjords. Ålesund itself, with its Art Nouveau architecture, is by many considered to be the most beautiful city in Norway! The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world.

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 Hajnalka Vaagen, email . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Nelly Ann Longva, 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) .

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV-224/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 07.01.2022. 

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 Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering

We aim to be a hub of international knowledge and innovation in maritime operations. This involves education and research on the design of ships and marine equipment as well as on the operation of vessels. Maritime operations integrate technology, human factors and business. The interfaces between these areas often spark inspiration for innovation and new solutions. The Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

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