PhD Fellow in Ice Core Science
University of Copenhagen

PhD fellow in Ice Core Science, Title: Laser Ablation for water isotopic analysis with particular focus in spectral estimation for diffusion studies

PhD fellow in Ice Core Science

Physics of Ice, Climate and Earth Niels Bohr Institute
Faculty of Science

University of Copenhagen

The Department of, Physics of Ice Climate and Earth, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in Ice Core Science commencing 01.08.2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment

This Early-Stage Researcher (ESR, PhD student) position is part of EU HORIZON2020 funded framework of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) DEEPICE. The ERC will be employed by and hosted at the Niels Bohr Institute, Univ. of Copenhagen.

Project description

The water isotopic composition is going to be one of the most important parameters to be measured on the Oldest Ice Core (OIC). Together with the Greenhouse Gas Concentrations from the air bubbles trapped in the core, the water isotopic composition will provide invaluable information about the interplay between temperature and Greenhouse Gas Forcing over periods of millennia. It is therefore pivotal to obtain accurate and precise measurements of the water isotopes from the OIC together with robust depth registration and high resolution.

With these goals in mind, within the PhD project of ESR 3, we will take advantage of modern technologies in high-power Femtosecond Laser-Pulse generation in combination with high precision Infra-Red Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy in order to develop a novel system for the water isotope analysis of ice core samples. The new system called Laser Ablation – Cavity Ring Down Spectrometer (LA-CRDS) will allow us to obtain extremely high-quality measurements of water isotopes while at the same time using a minimum amount of the precious ice cores sample.

During the project ESR3, will develop skills in IR spectroscopy, laser optrics, control of ultrashort laser pulses, robotics and digital/analog electronics as well as CAD design, CNC manufacturing and 3D printing.


DEEPICE is a research and training network on understanding deep ice core proxies to infer past Antarctic climate dynamics. It is funded by the EU HORIZON2020 programme and consists of 10 academic partner organisations from 10 European countries plus 9 collaborating institutions from academia and industry. In total 15 early-stage researchers (PhD students) will be employed after a competitive recruitment process and work together within the European DEEPICE consortium.

Principal supervisor is V. Gkinis (Univ. of Copenhagen DK), Carlo Barbante (Univ. of Venice IT)

Academic secondments: Univ. of Venice (IT); Non-academic secondments: PICARRO (USA)

Job description

The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To work independently, develop and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses to learn additional skills
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis with support from your supervisors.
  • Disseminate your research, participate in network related and international conferences and workshops
  • To stay at a partner research institution for at least six months to develop new skills
  • Contribute to the everyday activities at the department

Formal requirements

The candidate for this position can have any nationality but must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. In addition, the successful candidate should satisfy at the time of the recruitment the following mandatory characteristics:

    • having not more than 4 years of equivalent research experience (i.e., working as researcher after obtaining your master’s degree)

    • having not been awarded a title of PhD.

For each of the early-stage researcher positions a recruitment panel adhering to strict gender equality and equal opportunity rules will be set up consisting of the two supervisors and a third DEEPICE representative. Selection criteria will encompass the potential as researchers, creativity, level of independence, teamwork ability, knowledge, and communication experience and availability for the intended start date. Start date of the positions can be as early as July 2021 but all positions must be filled by October 2021.

Candidates must have an MSc in Physics, Chemistry or a related field. Hands-on experience in experimental work and programming is expected. Further skills in electronics, laser physics, spectroscopy, Python and Arduino programming will be taken into consideration. The candidate must also have a keen interest in the fields of paleoclimate and glaciology. We also expect good communication skills in English, both written and spoken. As criteria for the assessment of your qualification emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.

Interested students are asked to submit their application including a letter of motivation with a statement of their research interests, a curriculum vitae, their academic credentials, abstracts of the MSc and BSc theses and contact details of two academic referees until 31st of March 2021

Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The salary is currently at a minimum DKK 330,284 (approx. €44,000) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,674). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

In addition, a family allowance of €3,000 is possible.

Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Interested students are asked to submit their application including a letter of motivation with a statement of their research interests, a curriculum vitae, their academic credentials, abstracts of the MSc and BSc theses and contact details of two academic referees until 31st of March 2021

Reference letters must be uploaded by the applicant him/herself. The recruiting person must NOT  obtain reference letters which content is not known to the applicant him/herself. This is against Danish law.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is the 31th of March 2021, 23:59 GMT +2.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at

More information on the Ice and Climate research group at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen can be found at:

More information about eligibility and employment conditions can be found at :


For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor [Assist. Professor, Vasileios Gkinis, Niels Bohr Institute,, Direct Phone: +45 60635297].

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 31-03-2021
Employment start: 01-08-2021
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Niels Bohr Institutet

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