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OPEN POSITIONS Doctoral Student in climatology/physical oceanography

The Department of Earth Sciences has 65 employees. We have Bachelor and Master’s programmes in Earth Sciences and in Geography as well as third-cycle education. Our strongest research areas lie within climatology, biogeochemistry, petrology/geochemistry and applied geoscience. The research strategy for the department emphasizes on further development of Earth System Science.

More information on our website:

Subject area description

The Arctic sea ice is experiencing dramatic changes. Since satellite observations began in the late 1970s, the summer sea ice extent decreased by 40% and volume by 65%, while the winter 2018 had the lowest extent ever recorded. Yet models have so far proven incapable of reproducing current Arctic sea ice decay, and hence cannot be trusted to provide accurate prediction of future sea ice conditions. One possible explanation for the models’ failure is that the role of the oceanic heat content in melting sea ice from below all year-round has so far been overlooked. This project focuses on the least studied yet largest contributor (in volume) to this oceanic heat: the deep Arctic Ocean.

The deep Arctic Ocean has so far been so under researched because observations are too few. This unique Doctoral Student project is thus embedded in two large international field campaigns to the Arctic, MOSAiC and the Synoptic Arctic Survey, to collect simultaneous hydrographic and chemical measurements over an entire year in the entire Arctic Ocean. Using all these observations, this Doctoral Student project aims to determine the processes responsible for deep Arctic water renewal, mixing and transport; their spatio-temporal variability; and their response to a warming Arctic climate.

Job assignments

The Doctoral Student will combine new in-situ observations with historical and modelling data. She or he will quantify the impact and variability of the inflow from Fram Strait and the Siberian shelves as well as geothermy on the deep Arctic Ocean. She or he will not only determine the mean climatological state but also the variability at high spatio-temporal resolutions, over the whole deep European basin of the Arctic, currently and in future climate change scenarios. The overarching aim of this project is to determine for the first time the complete dynamics of heat transport into the deep Arctic Ocean in order to accurately project changes on the resulting sea level rise and sea ice notably.

The main tasks are:

- To collect hydrographic measurements and deploy autonomous sensors in summer 2020 from the Swedish ice breaker Oden as part of the Synoptic Arctic Survey.

- To contribute to mapping the entire deep Arctic Ocean circulation, from its sources to the deepest measured point.

- To quantify the variability of deep Arctic water properties, and identify the drivers of this variability from historical measurements and new autonomous sensors.
- To forecast changes in the deep Arctic Ocean and entire climate system using the most accurate climate models available to date.


To be admitted to doctoral studies it is required that you have been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or have satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Eligible are those who hold a second cycle university degree in any of the following subjects; Physics, Physical Oceanography, Fluid Dynamics, Climatology, Earth Science or any other field that the employer consider to be related. Basic knowledge in Physical Oceanography and Environmental Science is a requirement, as well as a strong interest in the polar oceans. The Doctoral Student has to participate in the ship-based two-month field campaign to the Arctic in August-October 2020 (note that there is no swimming requirement). Proficiency in English, both written and spoken, as well as in Matlab or Python are requirements as well.

The Doctoral Student will participate in fieldwork on board the Swedish ice breaker Oden, with a mostly Swedish team. As such, proficiency in one of the Scandinavian languages is desirable; so is past experience at sea, as well as some experience with handling of large dataset, especially in a Linux environment.


The following criteria will be applied to select among applicants:

- Qualifications from basic education
- Qualifications of advanced education and special requirements
- The applicant’s ability to successfully take part in a research expedition
- The relevance and motivation of the candidate for the planned project
- The relevance of previous studies for the planned postgraduate studies
- Assessment of the applicant's ability to benefit from research studies
- The applicant's ability to work in a research group


Type of employment: Temporary employment, HF 5 kap 7§ Doktorandanställning
Extent: 100 %
Location: Department of Earth Sciences, Gothenburg
First day of employment: As agreed, but no later than 2019-08-19

A third cycle education at our department will lead to the degree of doctor of philosophy in Natural sciences. This Doctoral Student is funded by external funds and by the department.

Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1998:80. Only those who are admitted to third-cycle studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. They may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research and administration according to the regulations.

The initial appointment may apply for no longer than one year. An appointment may be renewed for no more than two years at a time. The total employment period may not exceed the time corresponding to full-time third-cycle studies for four years.

Salaries for doctoral students are regulated in a local agreement at the University.

For further information regarding the position

Céline Heuzé
Associate Senior Lecturer


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. Along with the application:
- CV (max 2 pages);
- Cover letter, stating your motivation for joining this project and this team, and how you plan to contribute to it (max 2 pages);
- Name and email address of two references: one from master’s studies, and if prior experience at sea, the other reference must be expedition leader or equivalent.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 38 000 students and 6 000 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

Page Manager:|Last update: 2/23/2017

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