January 2021
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[Met-jobs] Two Ph.D. Student positions in Renewable Energy at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)

From Anna Sjöblom Coulson <>
To "" <>
Date Thu, 28 Jan 2021 12:06:04 +0000

Two Ph.D. Student positions in Renewable Energy at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) 



UNIS is the world's northernmost educational institution, located in Longyearbyen. UNIS has technical and scientific equipment, laboratories and infrastructure well suited for teaching and research in Arctic natural science and technology for sea, land and atmosphere. The disciplines include Arctic Biology, - Geophysics, - Geology and - Technology. All courses are taught in English, and about half of the staff and students are from abroad. UNIS is a state-owned corporation. The administrative language is Norwegian. 




The department of Arctic Technology seeks two Ph.D. students for full-time four-year positions in Renewable Energy. The Department of Arctic Technology currently has 2 Professors, 1 Associate Professors, 2 Ph.D. students and 13 Adjunct Professors. The department conducts education and research in ice mechanics, offshore engineering, loads and structures, geotechnics, environmental technology and toxicology, arctic safety and renewable energy solutions. The department provides 16 courses at Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. level.  



Description of the vacant positions 

Renewable energy is a focused theme in Svalbard due to an aim to reduce the current dependency on fossil fuels. Several local companies are shifting to more environmentally friendly alternatives, including wind and solar energy. Building these types of systems in the Arctic poses unique logistical and technical challenges due not only to the remoteness, but also to the special meteorological conditions in a cold climate, such as the strong stable atmospheric boundary layer. 


Renewable energy is a new subject area at UNIS. As part of this, the Department of Arctic Technology is now seeking two Ph.D. students to focus on renewable energy production. The Ph.D. students will be involved in ongoing and new projects around Longyearbyen and at other locations in Svalbard and work together with local partner organisations some of whom are investigating business opportunities within green energy in other Arctic regions. 


Individual focus for the Ph.D. projects could include: 



  • Renewable energy production technology for cold climates. Control and steering systems. Solutions for off-grid regions with strong seasonality (e.g., polar night and short summer period) and remotely located systems to be developed and evaluated.  



Observational data are to be used in the Ph.D. projects, and the studies may also include modelling, reanalysis of data and machine learning.  


Qualifications and personal qualities 

Applicants must have a strong academic background hold a M.Sc. in Energy engineering, Meteorology, or a related subject directly relevant for ongoing projects. Previous knowledge of renewable energy meteorology/engineering is an advantage as well as general knowledge of renewable hybrid energy systems. The successful candidate must be able to be declared for security. Candidates in the finalization phase of their master thesis work may be considered if they can document that they are particularly suitable for these positions. Experience of field work, as well as working with observational and model data, is an advantage. 



Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and demonstrate good collaborative skills. The applicant must be proficient in both written and spoken English and, due to local Norwegian company cooperation partners, the candidates must be fluent in a Scandinavian language to enable efficient collaboration. Additionally, scientific writing including authorship of scientific publications is advantageous.  


Motivation and personal suitability will be emphasized. To allow assessment of this, a statement of personal and scientific interest in taking a Ph.D. degree, including an outline of a Ph.D. project idea, must be included in the application.  


Employment conditions  

The total duration of the PhD position is 4 years, of which 25% comprises teaching duties at UNIS, including supervision of M.Sc. students. 



All salaries are set in accordance with the Norwegian government's University salary scale. Ph.D. candidates are paid in salary steps 54, which is a gross salary of NOK 481 000.-. As a resident in Svalbard an annual allowance of NOK 34 560.- (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 8, 2 per cent toward National Insurance coverage. 



About the research training 

The candidate must satisfy the enrolment requirements for the doctoral degree program at a Norwegian university. A plan for the implementation of the research training must be approved by the faculty. The candidate is expected to complete relevant courses as part of the formal PhD training. 


 Selection and appointment 

A committee appointed by the Managing director of UNIS will evaluate the qualifications of the applicants, and invite the highest ranked person(s) for an interview. The appointment will be made by the Director of UNIS based on the recommendation from the committee. 



Inquiries about this position may be directed to Prof. Anna Sjöblom, email:, or Assoc. Prof. Aleksey Shestov, phone: +47 79 02 33 44, e-mail:   


The application, submitted electronically in, must include: 


  • A short research proposal (max 2 pages) that outlines the research area, including research questions, research methods and hypothesized results 
  • CV (including a complete overview of education, professional training and professional work) 
  • Name and contact information for two or more referees  
  • Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees, or official confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted 
  • Relevant certificates/academic references 
  • A list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list) 
  • Any peer review publications in your name 
  • A copy of the master thesis  


The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded in Jobbnorge. 

Deadline for applications is 18 February 2021. 


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 accepted, the candidate will be contacted.


Longyearbyen is located in Svalbard, in the midst of a varied and beautiful Arctic nature with good opportunities for outdoor activities. Longyearbyen is a modern town with approx. 2200 inhabitants and has a good service offering including kindergartens, swimming / sports hall and a varied association, sports and cultural life. 



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