Postdoc research fellow focusing on the glacial-hydrological systems in Norwegian and Chinese mountain regions

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Trondheim, Norway 🇳🇴

About the position 

We have a vacancy for a postdoc research fellow within the field of Physical Geography (glaciology and hydrology branches) at the Department of Geography. The fellowship will be for two years with the possibility of an extension for a maximum of six months.

The position is a part of the Groundbreaking research project ‘Glacier impacts On The Hydrological systems in Europe and Central Asia: A pilot study of drivers and societal impacts of freshwater discharge from glacial systems in Norway and the Chinese Karakoram (GOTHECA-NOCK)’ funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The candidate’s work will contribute to understanding the interplay between the climate system, glacio-hydrological change, local communities and infrastructure in Norway and Chinese mountain regions, as well as the development of a comprehensive risk assessment scheme for local climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The successful candidate will lead the work package focusing on the coupling of a snow evolution/runoff routine model and an ice flow model as well as simulating the historic and future glacio-hydrological changes in five glacierized drainage basins. Topics might include but are not limited to model input data acquisition through field observation and remote sensing, developing the coupling scheme, model calibration, sensitivity studies and model results validation.

The candidate will have freedom in the choice of models and the methodology.  The modeled high-resolution surface mass balance and glacier geometric changes will provide input to the ice dynamic-subglacial hydrology modelling of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) in the same project.

The candidate will co-lead the glacier fieldwork together with the project manager. Fieldwork on four glaciers in different parts of Norway will be carried out in collaboration with the research team in the Western Norway University of Applied Science. Two joint field expeditions in China with the Chinese Academy of Sciences are planned for 2023 but are subjected to changes according to external circumstances.

The candidate will work in a vibrant and international team of a researcher, two PhD candidates and several master research assistants under the umbrella project GOTHECA ( He/she is also supported by other members in the larger research group focusing on natural hazards and the effects of climate change and other project participants.

This position must be filled by January 2022 and will report to the head of the department.

Duties of the position

  • Building a database for model calibration, validation, and interpretation of results through compiling existing data (including glacier geometric data, climate forcing such as IPCC class future projections) and carrying out in-situ observations in Norway and China.
  • Developing the coupling scheme between a snow evolution model and an ice flow model together with other members in the research team.
  • Calibrating the coupled system and conducting historic and future regional glacio-hydrological simulations for five study sites; providing input data to the ice dynamic-subglacial hydrology modelling of GLOFs.
  • Publishing article(s) in open-access and peer-reviewed scientific journal(s); presenting research results in international conferences.
  • Contributing to science communication and dissemination activities.

Required selection criteria

A postdoctoral research fellowships is a qualification position in which the main objective is qualification for work in academic positions.

  • Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in geosciences, geophysics, physics, computer science, engineering, applied mathematics, or other relevant fields.
  • The applicant must have a strong quantitative background and extensive experience in programming with Python, R and/or MATLAB and familiar with Fortran (or similar language) and Linux operating system.
  • The applicant must have strong interests in glaciological research; previous experience in glacier surface mass balance modelling, hydrology or ice flow modelling are highly desirable.
  • The candidate must have proof of excellence in research as demonstrated through publication of manuscripts in high-impact refereed journals and presentations at scholarly conferences. The candidate’s publication record must show evidence of creativity and capability of independent research.
  • An excellent command of written and spoken English is required.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

  • The applicant should have experience or keen interests in glacier fieldwork, ideally supported by professional trainings for glacier safety including crevasse rescue techniques.
  • Postdoctoral experience and experience in using High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities are an advantage.
  • Knowledge of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language can be an advantage but not required.
  • Interests in producing science communications material and organizing outreach activities.
  • The ability to work independently while actively communicate and co-operate within the larger research team.
  • Driver’s license, which can be used in Norway, and experience in driving during snow seasons and in high-mountain environments are desirable.

Personal characteristics

  • Self-motivated, enthusiastic, and creative
  • Strong collaborative and leadership skills
  • Goal-oriented and independent in research
  • Interest in multidisciplinary problem solving
  • Ability and willingness to spend considerable time on glaciers and at glacial lakes during spring (April) and summer (August-September)
  • Good analytical skills and enhanced ability to identify important research problems and design alternative solutions to problems, including multidisciplinary approaches.

We offer 

Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 553 500 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. 

 The period of employment is two years.  

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work. 

The position is subject to external funding. 

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution on a daily basis during working hours and working days.

About the application 

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above.  

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result. 

The application must include: 

  • Cover letter describing your qualification and motivation (maximum 2 pages).
  • A sketch of the model coupling scheme, required input data and the timeline of implementation (maximum 2 pages).
  • CV including a complete list of publications.
  • Degree certificates or diplomas.
  • Names, phone numbers, and email addresses of three referees, including information about the origin of your relation to them. 

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well. 
Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation. 

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – DORA. 

General information 

Working at NTNU 
A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background.  

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.  

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted. 

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants. 

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Yongmei Gong, email [email protected] If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Renate Lillian Johansen, e-mail: [email protected]
Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).  

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number SU-638 when applying.  

Application deadline: 31.10.2021