A position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow is available at the University of Oslo (UiO) Centre for Space Sensors and Systems (CENSSS).

We are seeking a Postdoc to lead the development of a sensor payload on an Earth observation satellite. The tasks can be adapted to the interests of the candidate across a range of topics, as outlined below.

The appointment is for a full-time position and is made for a period of up to three years. Preferred starting date is, as soon as possible.

More about the position

CENSSS is a Centre for research-based innovation (SFI) at the UiO Department of Technology Systems (ITS), located at at Kjeller. The Centre is funded by the Research Council of Norway for up to eight years, from November 2020. The centre operates in collaboration with nine industry partners, and benefits from co-location with several industries and research institutes at Kjeller. CENSSS will address challenges and opportunities in the new-space paradigm for science, technology and business related to earth observation, as well as exploration of the Moon and Mars. A part of CENSSS is the operation of the RIMFAX ground penetrating radar on the NASA Perseverance Mars rover.

CENSSS aims to strengthen competence and capabilities of all its participants in development of space systems by designing, building, testing, and operating a satellite for earth observation research.

The person hired in this position will lead the development of the sensor payload on a small satellite, with strong influence on the definition of the scientific concept and mission. At present, it is foreseen that the satellite will a cubesat carrying at least a multifunctional radio frequency instrument capable of passive radiometry for monitoring of the arctic environment. The work will be carried out in collaboration with industrial and academic partners.

The postdoc position offers a significant degree of academic freedom, and can be adapted to the competence and interests of the successful candidate. Some possible avenues of diversification are antennas for microsatellites, radiometry on Mars, optical downlinks, or radio communication with low-resource ground terminals. The postdoc can also take part in development of university courses, or outreach to the public

Development plan:

The main purpose of a postdoctoral fellowship is to provide the candidates with enhanced skills to pursue a scientific top position within or beyond academia. To promote a strategic career path, all postdoctoral research fellows are required to submit a professional development plan no later than one month after commencement of the postdoctoral period.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition to be among Europe’s leading communities for research, education and innovation. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

The following qualifications are required for the position

  • The candidate must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in space systems, physics, electronics, cybernetics or related fields. Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the closing date. Only applicants with an approved doctoral thesis and public defence are eligible for appointment.
  • The topic of the PhD thesis must be relevant to the position.
  • The candidate must be eligible for security clearance according to the Norwegian National Security Act (Lov Om Nasjonal Sikkerhet, a.k.a. “Sikkerhetsloven”), i.e. preferably a citizen of Norway, EU, or NATO countries.
  • The candidate must have fluent oral and written communication skills in English.

In addition, it is desirable for candidates to have skills and experience in one or more of the following:

  • relevant sensor technologies
  • electronics and embedded software
  • space systems engineering
  • radio science and technology

We are seeking candidates with:

  • ability to take initiative and come up with new ideas
  • ability to solve theoretical and practical problems.
  • ability to work independently as well as in a team
  • good personal communication skills

In the evaluation of applicants, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, as well as motivation and personal suitability.

We offer

  • Salary NOK minimum 544 600 – 626 300 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (position code 1352
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement.
  • Professionally stimulating working environment with close links to industry.
  • Vibrant international academic environment.
  • Postdoctoral development programmes.
  • Lillestrøm’s family-friendly surroundings with rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities.

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interests)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
  • Copies of educational certificates, academic transcript of records.
  • A complete list of publications and up to 5 academic works that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee.
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)
  • Letters of recommendation (optional)

The application with attachments must be submitted through our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”.

Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

Interviews with the best-qualified candidates will be arranged. It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

If an applicant has applied for and been granted funding for a fulltime research stay abroad while being employed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, the employment will be prolonged with the equivalent time as the research stay, but for no longer than of twelve months (thus extending the employment to a maximum of four years)

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

For further information, please contact

Professor Svein-Erik Hamran, e-mail: s.e.hamran@its.uio.no

Work package leader, Professor Torbjørn Skauli, e-mail: torbjorn.skauli@its.uio.no

HR Adviser Olga Holmlund, e-mail: olga.holmlund@mn.uio.no

About the University of Oslo 

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society. 

The University of Oslo (UiO) is expanding the activity at Campus Kjeller to strengthen our education, research, and innovation in technology for a sustainable future. UiO is a well-ranked research university where the Department of Technology Systems at Kjeller (ITS) is focused on applied research in sustainable energy, autonomous systems, space, and security. At Kjeller, ITS is co-located with the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI) and the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), which both offer rich opportunities for collaboration. ITS also has a range of interdisciplinary research collaborations that include the UiO Blindern Campus and Oslo Science City, as well as many other national and international institutions and industries.

ITS offers several master level programmes, alone and jointly with other departments: Renewable energy systems, Cybernetics and autonomous systems, Robotics and intelligent systems, and Information security. ITS also hosts the Centre for Space Sensors and Systems (CENSSS), which incorporates operation of an instrument on the NASA Perseverance rover on Mars. A new master program in Space systems is in the planning stage. The department currently has 9 permanent scientific staff, approximately 35 adjunct staff from the research institutes at Kjeller and from industry, as well as about 20 PhD candidates. This position is part of an ongoing expansion of the UiO activity at Campus Kjeller. Campus Kjeller is located 20 km northeast of Oslo, between the city center and Oslo Airport. It is a 20 minutes commute with public transportation from Oslo city center to the campus.

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