Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA) at Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant 3- year PhD position within soil microbiology and GHG emissions.

We are looking for a PhD candidate to study the biophysical mechanisms involved in soil carbon sequestration and assess interactions with the turnover of non-CO2 greenhouse gases. The PhD position will be part of an international team of the European Joint Programming (EJP) – Soil project “TRUESOIL: True SOC sequestration: understanding trade-offs and dynamic interactions between SOC stocks and GHG emissions for climate-smart agrisoil management”.

This PhD position will improve our mechanistic understanding of soil carbon stabilization and vulnerability under different pedoclimatic conditions. The work will be based on both field flux measurements and laboratory experiments. Familiarity with modern methods of soil biology, particularly use of stable isotopes will be an advantage. Travels to partner labs/sites may occur.  

The applicant is made aware that an application for a PhD position at NMBU is at the same time an application for admission to a PhD programme at the institution. Necessary documents ensuring that the admission requirements met must be uploaded as an attachment.

Main tasks

  • Measure GHG emissions and ancillary variables in field experiments testing management practices targeted to increase soil C sequestration in Norway
  • Study the partitioning of isotopically labelled plant litter in selected soils of the TRUESOIL consortium
  • Determine microbial carbon use efficiency and exoenzyme stoichiometry in selected soils
  • Extract DNA and prepare samples for shipping and sequencing
  • Host and collaborate with PhD students from other TRUESOIL partners
  • Communicate and disseminate results to the TRUESOIL consortium, EJP-Soil and the wider public
  • Publish peer reviewed articles

The successful candidate will work with a supervisory team to develop a more detailed PhD plan during the first 4 months of the project, including a progress plan towards a PhD degree within the scholarship period.


The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are at master’s degree level. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and be able to document proficiency in both written and oral English. For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the relevant PhD programme description.

The applicant must document expertise and interest in the research subject.

Required academic qualifications

  • Master’s degree within a relevant scientific field, such as biology, soil science, environmental sciences, preferably obtained within the last 5 years
  • Documented experience with soil biological methods

The following experiences and skills will be emphasized

  • Participation in and organisation of experimental work
  • Strong academic capacity and analytical skills
  • Experience with using stable isotopes in soil studies
  • Proficiency in written and oral English
  • Driving license class “B”

In addition, you need to:

  • have an inquisitive nature and desire to work with complex environmental questions in Global Change biology
  • have enthusiasm for research, be motivated to learn new techniques and show ability to work independently while being an active member of a research team
  • be capable to work structured, accurate and independent
  • have good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Norwegian/Scandinavian language skills are considered an advantage

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD Fellow. PhD Fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 501 200,-) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

Employment is conducted according to national guidelines for University and Technical College PhD scholars.

For further information, please contact Professor Peter Dörsch, E-mail: peter.doersch@nmbu.no; phone +47 91663372

Information to applicants


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the ‘Apply for this job’ button above. This will route you to the University’s Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Application deadline: 15.10.2022

In the application, the candidate must confirm that information and documentation (in the form of attachments) submitted via the job application can also be used by NMBU in a possible admission process.

Applicants invited for an interview are expected to present original diplomas and certificates.

The following documents must be attached to the application:

  • Motivation letter (maximum 1 page)
  • Complete CV 
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates. (i.e. Di-ploma, transcript. Diploma supplement for both bachelor and master). Diplomas, transcripts and diploma supplements that are not in Norwegian or English must be uploaded in the original lan-guage. An English translation of these documents must also be at-tached.
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement, or a similar document, which describes in detail the study program and grading system.
  • Documentation of proficiency in written and oral English
  • Names and contact details for two references
  • Additional relevant documentation of professional knowledge (for example, list of scientific works)

About The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management

The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA) works with nature and the environment, sustainable use of natural resources, biological and geological processes.

MINA’s employees undertake teaching, research and dissemination within the fields of geology, hydrology and limnology, soil science, environmental chemistry, forestry, ecology, natural resource management, renewable energy, and nature-based tourism.

Our vision is to be a key actor in knowledge production and dissemination, and our goal is to deliver research of high, international quality, and varied and excellent teaching. The faculty’s employees are significant participants within their respective fields of expertise, both nationally and internationally. The faculty is dominated by a vital research culture and high levels of scientific production.

The faculty has about 200 employees, 90 PhD students and 650 students.

Read more about MINA here.

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

NMBU has a particular responsibility for research and education that secures the basis for the life of future generations. Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we deliver knowledge for life. NMBU has 1,900 employees of which about 500 phd scholarships and 6,700 students. The university is divided into seven faculties.

NMBU believes that a good working environment is characterised by diversity.

We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, functional ability, cultural background or whether you have been outside the labour market for a period. If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at www.nmbu.no.


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