PhD Scholarship within Basic and Applied Ecology

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

NMBU has a special responsibility for research and education that ensures the basis of life for future generations.

Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we provide knowledge for life.

NMBU has 1700 employees and 5200 students and is organized in seven faculties. NMBU has a campus in Ås and in Oslo. In the autumn of 2020 we are co-located on Ås.

Further information on NMBU is available at

About the position

The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management ( MINA ) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant 3-year PhD–position related to plant ecology.

Alpine plants exist in some of the harshest conditions on the planet and are among the species most vulnerable to changing climate. We are exploring how microbes such as fungal and bacterial endophytes affect alpine plant success.

The successful candidate will perform field and lab-based studies assessing alpine plant microbial diversity, the ecological effects of microbial symbionts on alpine plant performance, and long-term plant performance, all in different alpine environments.

The PhD candidate will be housed at MINA which is home to a large and diverse group of ecologists with an emphasis on field-based studies. This research is also part of a large, global network of research on alpine plants and includes opportunities for additional training and mentorship with project collaborators in the U.S.

More details about the project are available by contacting Erik Aschehoug ( ).

The project is funded by NMBU.

Main tasks

The main research tasks are focused on Silene acaulis at established research sites in Norway and Sweden. The PhD candidate will:

  • Lead field collections for assessing plant microbial diversity
  • Conduct field studies assessing individual plant performance and population demographics
  • Conduct field and greenhouse studies on the ecological effects of plant-microbe interactions
  • Work with our research team to identify species level data of microbial symbionts using metagenomics

The successful candidate is expected to enter a plan for the progress of the work towards a PhD degree during the first months of the appointment, with a view to completing a doctorate within the PhD scholarship period.

Qualifications and skills

The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education equivalent to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are at master's degree level. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background and be able to document proficiency in both written and oral English. For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the relevant PhD programme description.

The applicant must document expertise and interest in plant ecology.

Required academic qualifications

  • Experience conducting fieldwork in remote locations
  • Basic statistical competence using R
  • Experience writing scientific documents in English

Desired academic qualifications

  • Knowledge of Scandinavian alpine flora
  • Experience working with long-term data sets
  • Experience with basic microbiology lab procedures and preparation of samples for DNA analysis

Required personal skills

  • Ability to work independently to accomplish tasks on time
  • Capable of hiking to remote alpine sites with a backpack weighing 20kg
  • Ability to work in poor weather conditions for extended periods of time
  • High level of motivation and a strong interest in learning new skills

Remuneration and information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD. Fellow, wage framework 20, salary grade 52-62.
PhD Fellows are normally placed in pay grade 52 (NOK 456 400) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

Employment is conducted according to national guidelines for University and Technical College PhD scholars.

For further information, please contact Erik Aschehoug by email:

Information to applicants


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply for this job' button above. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Applications should include (electronically) a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, full publication list, copies of degree certificates and transcripts of academic records (all certified), and a list of two persons who may act as references (with phone numbers and e-mail addresses). Publications should be included electronically within the application deadline.

Application deadline: April 26th 2019

Printed material which cannot be sent electronically should be sent by surface mail to Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of environmental sciences and natural resource management, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, within April 26th 2019 . Please quote reference number 19/01792 .

If it is difficult to judge the applicant’s contribution for publications with multiple authors, a short description of the applicant’s contribution must be included.

The relevant NMBU Department may require further documentation, e.g. proof of English proficiency.

About MINA

The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management ( MINA ) has about 180 employees and undertakes teaching, research and dissemination within the fields of geology, soil science, environmental chemistry, forestry, biology and ecology, natural resource management, renewable energy, nature-based tourism.

The faculty has ca. 600 students, and approximately 90 PhD-students. The employees of the faculty are significant participants in their respective fields of expertise, both nationally and internationally and have a high level of scientific production.


Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)



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