Most the world’s exploited fish stocks are data-limited and lack formal stock assessment. Moreover, new marine living resources are being explored for harvesting every day. Are you interested in contributing towards assessing data-limited stocks? Would you like to evaluate the harvest potential of emerging benthic resources such as Pacific oysters, periwinkles, cockles to provide useful biological information for management purposes? Or contribute to improving assessments of important commercial species such as brown crab, king crab or European lobster?

If these research questions sound intriguing to you, the University of Agder (UiA) invites applications for a three-year, full-time, fixed-term appointment as PhD Research Fellow in Coastal Ecology at the Department of Natural SciencesFaculty of Engineering and Sciences.

The Department of Natural Sciences employs around 55 people including professors, associated researchers, postdocs, and PhD fellows. We offer PhD education in Coastal Ecology, Limnology, Molecular Ecology, and Terrestrial Ecology. The Laugen group currently hosts 2 PhD fellows, 3 MSc students, and 2 BSc students, and has extensive international collaboration. The position is a collaboration with the Institute of Marine Research (IMR), specifically the Benthic resources and processes and Fisheries dynamics units. The main workplace for the candidate will be UiA Campus Kristiansand, but the candidate is expected to spend significant amount of time at IMR in Tromsø or with other national and international collaborators. Starting date is flexible but preferably no later than 1 December 2022.


The PhD candidate is expected to generate new knowledge about the ecology of coastal crustaceans and molluscs in Norway, focusing on developing and applying methods relevant to monitoring the state of stocks, assessing their productivity, and estimating reference points such as maximum sustainable yield. Case studies are expected to include several species, ideally covering different degrees of data limitations and, thus, management challenges. The overarching objective is to build applied competence on the assessment and management of coastal benthic resources and produce biological parameters, standardized indices, stock assessments and management strategies that can be integrated into IMR’s fisheries monitoring and advisory processes.

Possible research areas include:

  • Key life-history parameters of coastal shellfish and molluscs
  • Survey design and fisheries monitoring
  • Species distribution modelling
  • Standardization fisheries-dependent and -independent data
  • Data-limited stock assessment methods applied to shellfish and molluscs
  • Management strategy evaluations for data-limited shellfish and molluscs stocks

We are looking for a highly motivated research fellow interested in developing their own project as well as contribute to the future research directions of the group. A detailed description of the PhD project will be developed in collaboration with the candidate and will depend on the candidate’s skills, experiences, and interests. Collaboration with international partners and acquiring external funding for research visits abroad are encouraged.

Required qualifications

  • The successful candidate should hold a MSc degree (at the starting date) in a relevant field such as ecology, evolution, or applied mathematics/statistics. Relevant competence in statistical modelling, notably experience working with generalized linear, generalized additive, and mixed effects models, is required.
  • Written and spoken English proficiency. International candidates that are not exempt from the English language requirements pursuant to the guidelines of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) must document this through one of the following tests with the stated results or better:
    • TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language with a minimum score of 600 for the Paper based Test (PBT), or 92 for the Internet-based Test (iBT)
    • IELTS – International English Language Testing System, with the result of 6.5

A prerequisite for employment is that the candidate is to be admitted to UiA’s PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Specialisation in Natural Sciences within three months of appointment.

Further provisions relating to the positions as Post-doctoral Research Fellows can be found in the Regulations Concerning Terms and Conditions of Employment for the post of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant and Resident.

Desired qualifications

Skills and experience within stock assessment, or other quantitative ecology/evolution is desired. Experience from relevant field work, R-coding, and analyses of data-limited stocks will be emphasized. Prior experience with shellfish or molluscs, fisheries and survey data, advisory work and reporting, as well as being familiar with coastal ecology and the fisheries management system in Norway are desirable. It is beneficial to be proficient in Norwegian and able to engage relevant stakeholders in Norway (fishers, regulatory agencies, policymakers, etc.).

Personal qualities

The PhD Research Fellow will be expected to take part in a binding cooperation with the research group and contribute to an active research environment that will give opportunities for personal and professional development. The appointee must have the ability to work creatively and independently. During the assessment process emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s previous work, master thesis, examination results, any other previous relevant research, teaching, and development work, as well as the submitted project proposal.

We offer

  • Professional development in a large, exciting, and socially influential organisation
  • A positive, inclusive and diverse working environment
  • Modern facilities and a comprehensive set of welfare offers
  • A budget for travels to international conferences, courses etc. and additional scholarships for research stays abroad
  • Membership of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

More about working at UiA.

The position is remunerated according to the State Salary Scale, salary plan 17.515, code 1017 PhD Research Fellow, NOK 501 200 gross salary per year. A compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.

General information

UiA is an open and inclusive university. We believe that diversity enriches the workplace and makes us better. We, therefore, encourage qualified candidates to apply for the position independent of gender, age, cultural background, disability or an incomplete CV.

Women are strongly encouraged to apply for the position.

The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the position, and organisational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities of the position must be expected. The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions.

Short-listed applicants will be invited for interview. With the applicant’s permission, UiA will also conduct a reference check before appointment. Read more about the employment process.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act § 25 (2), applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the names of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right.


The application and any necessary information about education and experience (including diplomas and certificates) are to be sent electronically. Use the link “Apply for this job“.

Filling in the online forms for application letter and CV is optional, but please make sure that you attach the following documents as PDFs to your online application (attachments marked * are compulsory).

  • *Application letter (max. 1 page): describe why you apply for the position and how your experiences and skills fit the description of the position
  • *A short project description (1-3 pages) that present your ideas for the project, including the relevance of the research, theory perspectives, possible data, methods and references. It is highly recommended to contact the project supervisor, Prof. Ane Timenes Laugen,, to discuss the development of the project proposal well in advance of the application deadline.
  • *CV (max. 3 pages): include information on education, work experience, scientific and R&D work, publication list, and names of two references, one of which should be your MSc supervisor or another academic advisor that knows you well.
  • *Summary of your MSc thesis (max. 2 pages).
  • *Diplomas, transcripts and up to three (3) letters of reference.
  • *Full MSc thesis.
  • Up to five (5) scholarly and other relevant publications which the applicant wishes to include for assessment.
  • Other important documentation like results from language tests (e.g. TOEFL)

Original documents of the certificates/diplomas and transcripts of records or authenticated copies of the original documents with a stamp, date, and readable signature from a public office (e.g. university, college, or police) must be presented before appointment. Shortlisted candidates who have not yet done so may be asked to submit their full MSc thesis as well as additional documentation.

The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date. All documentation must be submitted in English.

Application deadline: 01.10.22


For questions about the position:

For questions about the application process:

University of Agder

The University of Agder has more than 1500 employees and almost 14 000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.

We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.

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