PhD Positions in Ice Flow Modelling
University of Copenhagen Niels Bohr Institute

2 PhD positions (3-year) in ice flow modelling at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen

Two PhD fellow positions (3-year) are available in the field of ice flow modelling at the Centre for Ice and Climate, at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen from 1 August 2021 or later upon agreement.

We invite applications from highly motivated candidates from worldwide with an interest in the following themes: ice flow and climate modelling, paleoclimate, radio echo sounding of ice, complex numerical modelling, coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice processes and ice sheet mass loss.

The Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen is a world-leading research group in ice-core related climate research. The main activities of the centre are drilling and analysis of ice cores with the objective to understand past climate change in order to  improve our understanding of present and future climate change. The research group is part of the Niels Bohr Institute’s section Physics of Ice, Climate and Earth (PICE), which studies the elements of the Earth and its climate system as well as interactions between them, and it offers a stimulating and international environment with a strong network of national and international collaborators. For more information on the centre’s activities, see

Project descriptions

PhD 1: Ice flow modelling and radar layers in the Greenland Ice Sheet

We seek a Ph.D. student to use depth penetrating radio echo sounding data in connection with ice flow models to  model the past, present and future ice flow and mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet. Of special interest are the North East Greenland Ice Stream, the Upernavik Ice Streams and the Muellers Ice Cap in Arctic Canada where we plan field work including deployment of ice-penetrating radars. The PhD will work in a team that also includes researchers and early career scientists from University of Manitoba, Canada and researchers at the Alfred-Wegener Institute.

The PhD project is part of the IceFlow project, which is a Villum Investigator Project (2017-2023) with the overall aim to improve knowledge of the flow and deformation of ice with special emphasis on the NEGIS ice stream, Northeast Greenland. The project spans ice core studies, borehole observations, and an extensive surface program including radar and drone measurements. All observations are interpreted with the help of computer models and the final goal is to improve ice-stream models and thereby enable better predictions of sea level rice.

Principal supervisors are Professor Dorthe Dahl-Jensen (Email:, Direct Phone +45 2289 4537 and Associate Professor, Christine S. Hvidberg, Email:, Direct Phone: +45-35320563.

PhD 2: Modelling Greenland Ice Sheet mass loss

The aim of the PhD project is to use state-of-the-art numerical ice flow models and climate forcing fields to simulate the evolution of ice mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet through the last 2000 years. Together with project partners, we will compile climate forcing fields informed by paleo-climatic records from ice cores and combine with ice flow models using statistical approaches, initially focusing on fjords where marine records are available. The PhD student will be part of an interdisciplinary team with researchers at the Geological survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), the Danish Meteorological Insitute (DMI) and University of Iceland. A stay abroad at University of Iceland will provide training in coupled ice and climate modelling.

The PhD project is part of the project GreenPlanning – depends on reliable seasonal to decadal climate predictions, which is a research project from the Independent Research Fund Denmark (IRFD) with the overall aim to improve predictions of episodes with extreme weather in Europe in order to plan green climate solution more efficiently. The project will combine paleoclimatic records with ice flow and climate modelling in an effort to improve the understanding of the North Atlantic climate system, specifically addressing the role of ice melt and freshwater fluxes from the Greenland ice sheet on climate and weather systems.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor, Christine S. Hvidberg, Email:, Direct Phone: +45-35320563.

Job description for PhD 1 and PhD 2

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

  • To manage and carry through your research project 
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements

Applicants should hold an MSc degree in physics, geophysics, mathematics or similar with good results and good English skills. Applicants should preferably have strong numerical skills and experience with programming and/or ice flow and climate modelling. It is not an essential requirement, but any relevant work experience you may have, or publications (if any) can also be considered in the assessment of your qualifications.

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 starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 330,817 (approx. €44,108) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Application Procedure

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

Please include

  • A Cover Letter, stating which PhD project you are applying for and detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
  • CV with relevant work experience (if any)
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  • 1-3 reference letters (if any) 

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 31 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


For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor.

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

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


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