December 2018
Message 65

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[Met-jobs] PhD position in meteorology and oceanography related to polar lows, UiT, Norway

From Rune Graversen <>
To "" <>
Cc "" <>, Harald Johnsen <>
Date Tue, 18 Dec 2018 07:46:40 +0000

Dear met-job list:

At Department of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø (UiT), Norway, we 
have the following open PhD position (4 years):

Best regards,
Prof. Rune Graversen
Department of Physics and Technology
University of Tromsø


PhD Candidate in meteorology and oceanography related to polar low events

Application deadline: January 14, 2019
Ref. No 2017/3217-3319

The Department of Physics and Technology announces a vacant PhD Candidate 
position in the area of meteorology and oceanography related
to polar low events at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Faculty of Science 
and Technology. The research will be conducted in the Centre for
Integrated Remote Sensing and Forecasting for Arctic Operations (CIRFA).

The appointment is for a period of four years. The nominal length of the PhD 
program is three years. The fourth year is used for teaching or
other duties for the department. The duties are normally distributed evenly 
over the four years.

The Department of Physics and Technology consists of five research groups: (1) 
Earth Observation, (2) Energy and Climate, (3) Machine
Learning, (4) Space Physics, and (5) Ultrasound, Microwaves and Optics. The 
department provides education on the Bachelor, Master, and
PhD levels, and comprises 22 permanent scientific positions and a 
technical/administrative staff of 12 persons.

The successful candidate will work at CIRFA. CIRFA conducts research on 
integrated remote sensing for Arctic operations by developing data
analysis methods and technologies for reliably characterizing and monitoring 
the physical environment of the Arctic. The Centre also explores
methods to efficiently assimilate the derived information into models to 
perform improved predictions of sea ice state, meteorological and
oceanographic conditions. The project is associated with WP1 and WP5; the 
former conducts research within remote sensing, and the latter
within weather, ocean, and sea ice prediction as well as drift modelling. See 
more at

Further information about the position, project details and UiT is available by 
Professor Rune Gravesen, UiT, by email,
Dr. Kai Christensen, Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET), by email, or
Professor Harald Johnsen, Norut and UiT, by email

The position’s field of research

Polar lows are mesoscale cyclones occurring mostly at high latitudes. They are 
often associated with cold-air outbreaks where cold Arctic air
masses developed over the sea-ice regions flows over a warm ocean surface. They 
are associated with very strong winds and are therefore a
threat to operations at sea, such as fishing and shipping, and to society in 
coastal regions at high latitudes. In addition, they are small in scale
and therefore difficult to forecast. The CIRFA project is aiming at improving 
predictions at the high latitudes, and part of the PhD project is
dedicated to evaluate improvements of the prediction systems as regard to 
polar-low dynamics and to suggest and perhaps implement further

Polar orbiting weather satellites are regularly used to detect and monitor 
polar lows by imaging the spatial structure of the associated cloud
patterns. However, very little research has been done on utilizing the polar 
orbiting radar satellites to monitor and characterize polar lows. The
radar satellites have the capabilities to measure the strength and spatial 
structure of ocean surface wind fields with spatial resolution of less
than 1x1 km2. Part of the project is dedicated to develop methodologies to 
detect, track and characterize polar low based on data from polar
orbiting radar satellites, and to assess the potential impact of assimilating 
these data into the forecast systems.

The roles and responsibilities of the Research Fellow

The PhD Fellow will be associated with the CIRFA work packages on numerical 
modelling (WP5) and on ocean remote sensing (WP1). The
candidate will collaborate closely with researchers at MET.

The research may include:

Polar-low detection and development: Development of automatic segmentation 
techniques for detection and characterization of polar
lows in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and optical satellite scenes.
Evaluation and development of forecast systems: Evaluating forecast systems 
with coupled ocean, sea ice and atmosphere
components, being developed by MET, for their ability to represent polar low 
dynamics, and suggest and perhaps implement further
Polar-low ocean wind vector retrieval: Establishing a geophysical model 
function for both co- and cross-polarization SAR data, and
developing a wind retrieval algorithm for measuring polar low wind field from 
radar images in different polarizations.
Assimilation of SAR wind data: Applying assimilation of SAR-generated wind data 
into the atmospheric component of forecast systems.

Qualification requirements and assessment

The position requires a Norwegian Master’s degree in physics, mathematics, 
meteorology, oceanography or similar, or a corresponding
foreign Master’s degree recognised as equivalent to a Norwegian Master’s degree.

The suitable candidate must have a background in fluid dynamics and should have 
excellent skills in programming. Knowledge of atmospheric
physics, atmosphere or ocean modelling, image processing, SAR, and optical 
remote sensing is an advantage. Other required qualification
skills include:

Excellence in Master’s thesis work and from grade transcripts
Independence and self-motivation
Creativity and ability to think outside the box
Excellent work ethics and commitment to the job

We are looking for an interested, active and highly motivated candidate, who 
likes to explore new technologies and enjoys working in a
collaboration with others. Good communication skills in English are therefore 
necessary and documented fluency in English is required.

To gain admission to the PhD programme, you must have a grade average of C or 
better. Further information about requirements for admission
to PhD studies is available here:

The assessment will emphasize motivation and personal suitability for the 

During this assessment process, emphasis will be put on your potential for 
research as shown by the Master’s thesis and any other academic
works. In addition, we may consider work experience or other activities of 
significance for the PhD studies. International experience is also an


Your application must include:
Application and motivation letter (max 1 page)
CV (max 2 pages)
Description of your academic production
Diplomas and transcripts (diploma supplement)
Documentation of English language proficiency
Three references, preferably including the Master’s thesis supervisor
Master’s thesis and any other academic works, up to ten

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 concerning termination of your

All documentation has to be in English or a Scandinavian language. Submit the 
application electronically through Jobbnorge.

We offer:
An interesting research project
A good academic and highly innovative centre environment with dedicated 
Good career opportunities
A large degree of independence in work
Opportunities to travel and meet other leading scientists within the field
Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement
Pension scheme through the state pension fund

The UiT campus is located near the centre of Tromsø, a vibrant city located in 
Northern Norway with approximately 75 000 inhabitants. The
location also offers ample opportunities for e.g., sighting aurora, hiking and 

Terms of employment

Remuneration of PhD Candidate positions are in salary code 1017. The starting 
salary is at a minimum 37 400 NOK/month in 2018. There is a
2 % deduction for contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. In 
addition, UiT pays 12 % directly to the Pension Fund on top of
the salary.

You have to be qualified for and participate in our PhD study program. As many 
as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized
research training; thus, if you already hold a PhD or have equivalent 
competence, we will not appoint you to this position.

More information about moving to Norway:


We make the appointment in accordance with the regulations in force concerning 
State Employees and Civil Servants and guidelines at UiT. At
our website, you will find more information for applicants.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway has HR policy objectives that emphasize 
diversity, and encourages all qualified applicants to apply
regardless of their age, gender, functional ability and national or ethnic 
background. The university is an IW (Inclusive Workplace) enterprise,
and we will emphasize making the necessary adaptations to the working 
conditions for employees with reduced functional ability.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the 
Personal Data Act. You may request to not be registered on the
public list of applicants, but the University may decide that your name will be 
made public. You will receive advance notification in the event of
such publication.

We look forward to receiving your application!

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