Post-Doc in the field of economic valuation of nature-based solutions

Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)

Oslo, Norway 🇳🇴

The Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) is recruiting a Post Doc candidate to work on economic valuation and accounting of nature-based solutions (NbS) in cities. NbS use the power of ecosystems to provide simultaneously benefits to biodiversity and human well-being. They can increase cities resilience to climate change (i.e. by managing stormwater and reducing heat island effects), improve biodiversity and provide recreational benefits to the citizens

About the Post Doc position

The position is embedded in the collaborative project SPARE – “Space for resilience (SPARE) – how do we plan for stormwater, biodiversity and recreation to increase urban resilience?”, which is funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The primary objective of SPARE is to provide knowledge, develop tools and test management approaches for a stronger inclusion of stormwater, biodiversity and recreation in urban land-use management and thereby increase space for resilience. SPARE is an applied research project, so the research team will collaborate closely with practitioners (water managers, urban planners and nature managers) from the cities of Oslo, Bærum, Lørenskog and Asker.

The post doc will together with other researchers work on research questions related to the economic and financial assessment of BGI including accounting mechanisms. As part of their post doc project he/she will have responsibility for compiling data on the costs and benefits of BGI and undertake financial cost-benefit assessment on the property level. 

The post doc is expected to contribute to other project tasks, when considered of interest and relevance for the main post doc project. For example interact with other research partners in linking their analysis to citywide accounting mechanisms for municipal environmental expenses on BGI and dedicated benefits of BGI (i.e. carbon uptake), and collaborate in developing municipal indicators on the contribution of BGI to UN SDG targets; an analysis of the policy context and political anchorage of climate change adaptation, biodiversity support and recreation using NbS, to establish a community of practice for improved stormwater, biodiversity and recreation management.

We expect further that the post doc supports the project management i.e. by help to organize workshops and a study tour, present the project on national and international events, contribute to the project reporting. The administrative tasks will not take more than 10% of the post doc´s time.

Qualification requirements

To be admitted as post doctoral researcher, applicants must have finished their PhD once they start the position. Applicants should have a background in applied resource or environmental economics or have proof experience in the field of research, which is addressed in the post doc project i.e. by published articles, PhD or master thesis. A successful candidate has strong experience with economic valuation techniques for ecosystem services and benefit-cost analysis of environmental restoration measures. Experience with spatial modelling techniques using geographic information systems (GIS) is a strong advantage, but not a requirement. Good writing skills are required and must be documented by the candidate´s publication records. The candidate must have fluent oral and written communication skills in English. Norwegian or Scandinavian language skills are an advantage, but not a requirement.  

Personal skills

We seek a highly motivated, enthusiastic, hard-working and open-minded candidate. Applicants must show good interpersonal skills and be willing to work in close collaboration with an interdisciplinary researcher team, as well as have the ability to work independently. 


At NIVA the Post doc position will be affiliated to the section “Water and Society”. The section consists of about 20 researchers primarily in social and economic sciences, but also natural scientists working at the border to social sciences and economics. Research themes covered by this section include climate change adaptation, management and governance of freshwater (including urban waters), marine and coastal waters, environmental economics and ecosystem service evaluation, circular economy, private and public sector innovation and participatory processes for stakeholder involvement. Close cooperation is foreseen with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research in Oslo, which is also project partner in SPARE.

The fellowship will be for a period of 2 years. Eventually this period can be extended by working 25-50% in other projects, which have a similar topics. This is contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the project needs at NIVA. The earliest envisaged start-date of the position is 1.11.2021, the latest 1.2.2022 with some room for flexible agreements (i.e. starting first part-time).

Selection criteria

  • Experience and /or strong interest in conducting interdisciplinary research bridging the fields of economics, social and environmental sciences
  • Experience in economic valuation and ecosystem accounting
  • Experience in working with spatial modelling techniques (secondary criteria)
  • Knowledge of scientific theory and methodology including, statistical analysis
  • Analytical ability and writing skills as demonstrated by scientific reports, papers conference contributions
  • Willingness and ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team in a multicultural environment
  • Written and oral communication and presentation skills
  • The applicant´s personal references

Niva offers

  • Exciting and stimulating tasks in a leading national water science research institute with great social significance
  • To be part of a network of national and international researchers
  • An opportunity for professional and personal development
  • A multicultural, social and creative work environment
  • Good pension, welfare and insurance schemes, and competitive wages