The Niels Bohr Institute (NBI) invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Holocene sea ice variability in the Arctic.

Start date is 1st of December 2022.

The project
The Arctic climate is changing twice as fast as the global mean and the Arctic Ocean is undergoing dramatic changes as sea ice thins and retreats further north during both summer and winter seasons. The sea ice greatly affects the climatic conditions of the land masses surrounding the Arctic Ocean, these are particularly sensitive to change and might act as wildcards in the climate system with amplified trends and unidentified thresholds possibly triggering irreversible changes. Understanding the dynamics and interactions of the high latitude sea ice in the Holocene and how it relates to climate is the main scope for this PhD.

The project will involve field work, laboratory analysis and interpretation of ice-core records. During the project, you will investigate how arctic sea ice has varied over the Holocene using multiple sea-ice proxies from the ice cores. In addition, a new proxy for sea-ice variability based on diatoms in the ice cores is to be developed and finally the ice-core sea-ice proxies will be evaluated by comparing them to available sea-ice records and climate proxies from other paleo-archives.

The project “1131-00007B Holocene sea ice variability in the Arctic” is funded by the independent Research Fund Denmark special fund “Inge Lehmann”, which aims to strengthen the talent in Danish research by promoting a more equal gender distribution in Danish research environments.

Who are we looking for?
We are looking for candidates within the field(s) of physics, geophysics, environmental sciences, climate science, biology or chemistry. Prior experience with diatom analysis or projects involving sea ice or land ice cores is an advantage

Work place
The Niels Bohr Institute’s section Physics of Ice, Climate and Earth (PICE) studies the elements of the Earth and its climate system as well as interactions between them. PICE offers a stimulating and international environment with a strong network of national and international collaborators. Within PICE the Ice and Climate research group leads international ice core projects in Greenland to study the climate of the past.

The Niels Bohr Institute is part of the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen.

Principal supervisor is Assistant Professor Helle A. Kjær, PICE, NBI. (E-mail:, Phone: +4550528004).

The PhD programme
A three year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme), if you already have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master’s degree.

Getting into a position on the PhD programme

Qualifications needed
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. geophysics, environmental sciences, climate science, physics, biology or chemistry. For information of eligibility of completed programs, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Salary range starts at DKK 28,365.85 per month incl. PhD supplement (1 April . 2022 level).

Responsibilities and tasks in the PhD programmes

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments including stays at another research institution and field work
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other relevant professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in Climate Science
  • Good language skills

Application and Assessment Procedure
Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include: 

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  2. Your motivation for applying for the specific PhD project
  3. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  4. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  5. Publication list (if possible)
  6. Reference letters (if available)

Application deadline:
The deadline for the applications is Sunday 8 August 2022, 23:59 GMT +2

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and the assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at

Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in week 36+37. 

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website:

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


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