PhD Research Fellowship in Long-term climate perturbations

Job description

A PhD Research Fellowship position is available at the Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED) at the University of Oslo (UiO).

The successful candidate will pursue his/her PhD studies for a total period of 36 months. The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. We are looking for self-motivated, highly qualified candidate with solid theoretical background and in the upper segment of his/her class. The successful candidate will work in international teams, and good written and oral communication skills in English are required.

Starting date July/August 2019. We offer a joint PhD position in Long- term climate perturbations at CEED/Department of Geosciences.

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Project description

The process of plate tectonics plays an intricate role in shaping the climate on geological time-scales. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere in regulating planetary temperature, and on geological time-scales it seems to be principally controlled by plate tectonic forcing, both via sources (volcanic emissions and metamorphic decarbonation in continental arcs) and sinks (silicate weathering and organic carbon burial). On shorter time-scales, large igneous provinces (LIPs) perturb the climate system through massive release of gases to the atmosphere, either from lavas and shallow intrusions, or remobilized from sedimentary rocks subjected to metamorphism in contact with sub-volcanic sills, dikes, and igneous centres. Depending on the fluxes during the evolution of LIPs, the released gases may cause a range of environmental and climatic effects on various timescales.

The position is affiliated with several research groups at CEED in an interdisciplinary effort to explore the intricate role of plate tectonics in shaping the long-term climate, and the PhD work will focus on:

(1)   Refining Palaeogeographic reconstructions

(2)   Assembling palaeogeographic biome maps to delineate climate gradients and weatherability

(3)   Estimating continental flooding to construct flooding maps with effective land-area weatherability.

(4)   Evaluating enhanced silicate weathering effects due to LIP emplacement

(5)   Modelling atmospheric CO2 (in close collaboration with Dana Royer, Wesleyan University, USA)

For plate reconstructions the PhD candidate will use GPlates, and for carbon modelling the GEOCARBSULF ─ a long-term carbon and sulfur cycle model.

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants must hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in Geology, Geophysics, Geochemistry, Climate science or an otherwise related field
  • Experience working with plate reconstructions, paleogeography, paleoclimatology, carbon cycle, weathering processes, and/or large igneous provinces is advantageous for the position
  • Desired (but not required) qualifications include familiarity with ARC-GIS systems, Python Programming, GPlates reconstruction software and GEOCARBSULF modelling

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

Candidates without a Master’s degree have until 30 June 2019 to complete the final exam.

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position. For more information see:

A good command of English is required.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 449 400 – 505 800 per year depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow, position code 1017.
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Application letter summarizing applicant’s motivation and accomplishments
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work – scientific publications)
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript of records and letters of recommendation
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the eventuelt “project description” and the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project.

Successful candidates will be selected for interviews in person or via Skype.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

Contact information

Professor Trond H. Torsvik; or Researcher Henrik H. Svensen,

For information about the electronic recruitment system, please contact HR manager Torunn S. Guttormsen;

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About the University of Oslo 

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society. 

Centre for the Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED) is a Norwegian Centre of Excellence that provides a stimulating and well-funded research environment. The main goal of the centre is to develop a model that explains how mantle processes drive plate tectonics and trigger massive
volcanism and

associated environmental and climate changes throughout Earth’s history.
The centre explores the distribution and history of tectonic plates in time and space, and examines the driving mechanisms that steer all stages of the ‘Wilson Cycle’, and aims to establish the links between Earth’s interior, crust and oceans, atmosphere and biosphere. CEED endeavors to also unravel similarities and differences of our planet with earth-like planetary bodies.
The centre was established in 2013 and consists of ca. 70 full time and part time professors and researchers, PhD Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Research Fellows.




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Post expires on Wednesday May 15th, 2019