PhD Position in Physical Oceanography
University of Bergen, Geophysical Institute

The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university with more than 14,000 students and close to 3,500 employees at six faculties. The university is located in the heart of Bergen. Our main contribution to society is excellent basic research and education across a wide range of disciplines.


PhD position in physical oceanography


There is a vacancy for a PhD position at the Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen within the field of physical oceanography. The position is for a fixed term period of 4 years with 25% compulsory duties (e.g. operational, administrative or teaching related). The position is connected to the research project The Nansen Legacy (


About the project/work tasks

The Nansen Legacy is the Norwegian Arctic research community’s joint effort to establish a holistic understanding of a changing marine Arctic climate and ecosystem. The project will provide a scientific knowledge base needed for future sustainable resource management in the transitional Barents Sea and the adjacent Arctic Basin. It is a collaborative project between ten Norwegian research institutions, and will run from 2018-2023. Activities in the project will include international cooperation, and several cruises with the new, ice-going research vessel Kronprins Haakon.


The PhD study aims to use advanced technology and autonomous platforms (underwater gliders and autonomous underwater vehicles, AUV) to sample environmental parameters to address the vertical and lateral mixing processes at high latitudes, in the marginal ice zone, and in ocean front systems. The study will concentrate on two sites: north of Svalbard, with particular focus on the warm Atlantic boundary current, and the central Barents Sea, with particular focus on the thermohaline polar front.


The successful candidate will investigate the processes on scales from oceanic eddies and fronts to turbulence and mixing. The research will be based on observations from underwater gliders and AUVs, supplemented by modern shipboard and moored oceanographic instrumentation. In addition to the common sampling parameters, microstructure measurements are planned from the gliders, AUVs and vertical microstructure profilers. The candidate will participate in research cruises on board the research vessel Kronprins Haakon. This work will be conducted in close collaboration with research groups from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) andthe University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), as well as a strong international network. The vacant position will be part of the Physical Oceanography Research Group at the Geophysical Institute.


Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • Applicants must hold a master's degree or the equivalent in oceanography, meteorology, physics, applied mathematics or related fields, or must have submitted his/her master's thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master's degree has been awarded.
  • Good knowledge of physical processes in the ocean and good skills in mathematics and programming are required
  • Experience from oceanographic field work, particularly from underwater gliders, AUVs, or microstructure profilers is an advantage
  • Experience in data analysis is an advantage
  • Authorship or co-authorship in scientific publications is an advantage
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English. 

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.


About the PhD position

The duration of the PhD position is 4 years, of which 25 per cent of the time each year comprises required duties associated with research and glider operations, teaching and dissemination of results.


The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a qualifying post (e.g. research fellow, research assistant).


About the research training

As a PhD candidate, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. A final plan for the implementation of the research training must be approved by the faculty within three months after you have commenced in the position. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.


We can offer:

  • a good and professionally challenging working environment
  • salary at NOK 449 400 gross per annum (code 1017) according to the Basic Collective Agreements in the state upon appointment. Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position.
  • enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • a position in an inclusive workplace (IA enterprise)
  • good welfare benefits


Your application must include:

  • a brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position
  • the names and contact information for two referees. One of these should be the main advisor for the master's thesis or equivalent thesis
  • CV
  • transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees, or official confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted
  • relevant certificates/references
  • a list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • any publications in your name


The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.


General information

For further details about the position, please contact:Professor Ilker Fer, Geophysical Institute,


The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.


The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.


Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.


Further information about the employment process can be found here.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


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