Research Fellow (PhD student) in Ecosystem responses to Climate Change

The Department of Biology at the University of Bergen, Norway ( has a vacancy for a research fellow in Ecosystem responses to Climate Change affiliated with the project, “The role of Functional group interactions in mediating climate change impacts on the Carbon dynamics and Biodiversity of alpine ecosystems (FunCaB” funded by the Research Council of Norway KLIMAFORSK programme.

The fellowship position is for a fixed term of 3 years. The fellowship period may be reduced if you have been previously employed as a research fellow/research assistant or the like.

Project/work tasks:
Alpine regions contribute important ecosystem functions and services, and are at the same time particularly vulnerable to the ongoing climate change. FunCaB aims at understanding alpine biodiversity and carbon (C) dynamics under climate change. Specifically, we will disentangle the roles of and interactions between characteristic and important alpine primary producer (graminoids, forbs, woody, and non-vascular) and decomposer (e.g., bacteria, fungi) communities in climate change.
FunCaB will use an effective combination of gradient studies, field
experiments and model simulations. The experiments are targeted
specifically at quantifying and disentangling key climatic and biotic
controls of alpine biodiversity and C dynamics, whereas the simulations
will enable process-level understanding and assessment of larger-scale
and longer-term consequences including feedbacks to the climate system.

The PhD will focus on ecosystem C cycling and stocks. The successful
candidate will
– Initiate and maintain field experiments for the FunCaB project, in
collaboration with other team members
– Establish CO2 flux measurements using portable chambers, measure C
stocks, and litter decomposition in the experiment
– Develop his/her own research questions and hypotheses related to these
experiments and measurements
– Analyse data and write and publish research papers

Qualifications and personal qualities:
– You must have completed a master’s degree or equivalent in biology,
geology, geography, or a related field, or have submitted your master’s
thesis for evaluation before expiry of the application deadline. It is a
requirement that the master’s degree has been completed before the
decision to appoint can be made.
– You must have experience in ecological field studies, a relevant
statistical and/or programming background, and critical thinking and
writing skills. Experience in operation of LiCOR CO2 analyzer, C stock
or decomposition is an advantage.
– The successful candidate should have a  background that gives a good
understanding of ecosystem structure and function as well as global
climate and C cycling.
– You must be able to work independently, but also have good
collaborative skills as the PhD will be part of a highly integrated
– You must be proficient in both written and oral English

The research training programme:
As a research fellow you must take part in an approved study programme
leading to a PhD degree to be completed within a time period of 3 years.
It is therefore a requirement that you meet the criteria for admission
to the PhD study programme at the University of Bergen.

A final plan for completion of the research programme must be approved
by the faculty within three months after you have begun working in the

We can offer:
– A good and professionally challenging working environment
– Starting salary at pay grade 50 in the Civil Service pay grade table
(code 1017). Further increases will be made according to length of
service in the position.
– A good pension scheme in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
– Good welfare benefits
– Inclusive workplace (IW)

Further information about the position can be obtained from: Research
Scientist Hanna Lee, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research
(, +47 55589869) or Professor Vigdis Vandvik, Ecological
and Environmental Change Research Group, Department of Biology
( / +4747301794)

The application must include:
– A brief account of your motivation for applying for this job
– A research statement (maximum 2 pg) that describes your research
interests and direction focused around ecosystem function and C dynamics
under changing climate
– The names and contact details of at least two referees. One of these
may be the main supervisor for your master’s thesis or equivalent
– CV
– Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of your bachelor’s and
master’s degrees, or official confirmation that your master’s thesis has
been submitted
– Relevant certificates/written references
– A list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
– Publications (if any) including submitted manuscripts

If your diploma, grade transcripts and other documentation are in a
language other than a Scandinavian language or English, you must upload
certified translations of these.

Applications sent by e-mail to individuals at the department will not be

Closing date of applications: 2 March 2015

General information:
The teaching language will normally be Norwegian, but may also be

State employment shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the
greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is
therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit employees of various
immigrant backgrounds as well as persons with disabilities. We encourage
persons with an immigrant background and persons with disabilities to
apply for the position.

The University of Bergen adheres to the principle of public access to
information when recruiting academic staff.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant
has requested to remain anonymous. The applicant will be notified if the
request must be refused.

The successful candidate must comply with the guidelines and regulations
that apply to the position.

Please visit the following webpage to apply