Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Advancing nonstationary flood frequency analysis University of Oslo, Department of Geosciences

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Advancing nonstationary flood frequency analysis


Job description

Position as Postdoctoral Research Fellowship available at Department of Geosciences.



A three year full time post-doc position is available at the Department of Geosciences at the University of Oslo. Preferred starting date no later than 1. August 2018. Please note that it is not possible to be appointed as Postdoc for more than one specified period at the same institution.



The main purpose of post-doctoral research fellowships is to qualify researchers for work in higher academic positions within their disciplines.



The post-doctoral research position is sought as part of the newly funded research project of The Research Council of Norway entitled: Advancing frequency analysis of nonstationary hydrological extremes for reducing flood risk in a changing climate (Project No. 274310).



Flood frequency analysis (FFA) is one of the cornerstones in the planning, design and management of hydraulic projects for flood control and water usages. The basic assumption of traditional FFA methods is that the hydrological data used are stationary over time (i.e. the statistical characteristics of the flood data such as mean, variance, etc. are constant over time). However, in the past decades this stationarity assumption has been severely challenged because global climate change and/or large-scale human activities. Hydraulic structures (e.g. dams, bridges, flood works) design using conventional methods based on the assumption of stationarity will not provide the assumed level of protection (increase dam failure risk). Likewise, the production of hydropower over the design life will be suboptimal, concerning both economy and environmental impact. In a changing environment, an improved physical understanding and more advanced statistical methods of frequency analysis that explicitly account for the non-stationarity of extreme flood characteristics are required.


The primary objective of the project is to expand current knowledge of non-stationary hydrological frequency analysis by incorporating original thinking and scientific renewal, and to develop an integrated frequency analysis approach incorporating nonstationarity and uncertainty for hydrological design and sustainable water resources management. The Secondary objectives are:


  • Assessment of the concepts and inference procedures involved in nonstationarity analysis of hydrological extremes and their relationship with stationary concepts.
  • Development and evaluation of frequency analysis approaches incorporating nonstationarity and uncertainty.
  • Evaluate the practical use of the resulting approach, and quantitatively highlight the difference and operational challenges when moving from stationary to nonstationary frequency analyses in real-world applications.



The candidate will be part of a motivated research team with a high number of early career scientists working together in a highly interdisciplinary environment in the section of Physical Geography and Hydrology at the Department of Geosciences.


Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. 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.


Applicants must have a doctoral degree in a hydrology, water resources engineering or related scientific field with documented knowledge relevant for the qualifications given above.


We are seeking candidates who have a strong interest and documented competence in mathematics, statistical methods and their applications in the field of hydrological analysis and water resources engineering. Candidates should have a good understanding of hydrological processes (Experience in using global database, analysis of the results of global and regional climate models, and use of hydrological modeling software are a strong plus). The successful candidate should further demonstrate:


Strong skills in quantitative frequency analysis of hydrological extremes (of nonstationary data series),

Experience in using both station-based and gridded hydrological datasets (observed and/or modeled),

Technical expertise in computer software and programming

A proven track record in peer-reviewed relevant publications

Evidence of creativity and capability of independent research as well as team work


Applications are encouraged from dedicated candidates with excellent writing and communication skills, good cooperation skills and ability to work in a highly team-orientated environment.


Please also refer to the regulations pertaining to the conditions of employment for post-doctoral fellowship positions:


We offer

  • Salary NOK 490 900 – 569 000 per year depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (position code 1352)
  • A professionally stimulating working environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities


The application must include


  • Cover letter (statement of research background, motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
  • Copies of educational certificates, academic transcript of records and letters of recommendation
  • 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)


The application with attachments must be delivered in 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).



In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability. 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 and 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.


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


The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.


No one can be appointed for more than one specified period at the same institution.
According to the Norwegian Freedom and 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.


Contact information

Professor Chong-Yu Xu,


For questions about the recruitment system, HR Officer Helene Jansen, +47 22857196,


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 geosciences are the studies of planet Earth; the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and cryosphere, the earth's surface and it’s interior. The Department of Geosciences is Norway’s widest ranging academic geoscience



research environment, encompassing four sections (Meteorology and Oceanography, Geography and Hydrology, Geology and Geophysics, Physics of Geological Processes) and one Centre of Excellence (Centre of Earth Evolution and Dynamics). In addition we participate in other centres and hold several ERC grants. The staff consists of 40 professors and associate professors, in addition to postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, researchers, technical staff and administrative personnel, to a total number of 240.



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