PhD position in Marine Geology

The Department of Arctic geology of the University Centre in Svalbard has a vacancy for a PhD position for four years in marine geology and geophysics.

UNIS is the world’s northernmost institution for higher education and research, located in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Approximately half of the staff and students are from abroad, and all teaching is in English. UNIS has modern facilities to support educational and research activities, in the class room and laboratories as well as in the field and at sea. More information about Svalbard can be found at

The Department of Arctic geology presently consists of 4 professor, 3 associate professors, 9 adjunct professors, 7 PhD students, and 3 Post Docs. Additional information about the Department of Arctic geology can be found at

Description of the vacant position and qualifications of the candidate

One of the core research topics of the department is the reconstruction of glacial-interglacial cycles in Svalbard and along its continental margins. This is pursued in close collaboration with national (UiB, UiT) and international (Stockholm and Durham Universities and Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge) partners.

We are seeking a creative and motivated candidate with background in marine geology and/or marine geophysics to work with submarine glacial morphological and sedimentary records in the poorly investigated areas of eastern and northern Svalbard. New multibeam bathymetric, side-scan and sub-bottom profiling data, as well as sedimentological data, will be acquired during annual cruises to the northern Barents Sea. These data will be analyzed for former sedimentary processes and paleoenvironments in these poorly known areas.

The successful candidate must have a Master’s degree or equivalent in marine geology or geophysics. The applicants should document their experience working with marine acoustic and sedimentological data. Knowledge of multibeam and shallow acoustic data acquisition and processing techniques as well as familiarity with seabed mapping and GIS software packages is an advantage.

The candidate should be able to participate on research cruises on research vessels in harsh Arctic conditions for periods up to several weeks long. He/she should be able to work independently as well as in an international research team. Strong problem-solving and good communication skills are essential. Fluent English is a must.

Admission to a doctoral program at one of the Norwegian mainland universities is a condition of employment as a PhD student at UNIS. The final project description and study plan will be developed jointly with the co-supervisor at the mainland university and approved within six months of the commencement of the position.

Employment Conditions

The employment contract is for 4 years. 25% of the time of the employment the candidate is expected to fulfill teaching and/or administrative tasks related to the project.

All salaries are set in accordance with the Norwegian government’s University salary scale. PhD students starts at salary step 50, which currently is a gross salary of NOK 416 300. As a resident in Svalbard an annual allowance of NOK 29 600 (Svalbardtillegg) will be added to the salary. A Social Security contribution of 2 per cent, to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, will be deducted from the salary. Income tax on Svalbard is 8 per cent, plus 7.8 per cent toward National Insurance coverage.

Selection and appointment

An expert Committee appointed by the Managing director of UNIS will evaluate the qualifications of the applicants. Selected candidate(s) will be invited for an interview. Final appointment will be made by the UNIS’ Appointment Committee. As UNIS would like to increase the percentage of females in academic positions, women are especially invited to apply.

Application and further information

Inquiries and additional information about this position may be directed to: Dr. Riko Noormets (Tel: 79023331;

Application deadline is 17 December 2012

Please apply online by using application form at

You can request to have your application kept from public access cf. the open files act § 25. The request must be explained. UNIS will determine if the application will be kept from public access or not, based on the explanation and the regulations from the open files act. If the application will not be exempted, the candidate will be contacted.

Please attach copies of academic records and other documentation relevant for the application.



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