PhD fellowship

Bø in Telemark, Norway
apporx. 57,000 USD/year
Feb 19, 2021
Mar 15, 2021
Job Level
Entry level
Employment Type
Salary Type

About the position

The Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences has a vacancy for a 100% position as PhD Research Fellow in Ecology from 01.05.2021, or as soon as possible after this date.

The position is located at the Department of Natural Sciences and Environmental Health, and the immediate superior is the Head of the Department. The main work place is in Bø, in the Municipality of Midt-Telemark, Vestfold and Telemark County, Norway. The employment
period is 3 years without teaching oblications, or 4 years including 25% of teaching obligations. The period of employment is determined during the recruitment process. There is a premise for employment that the PhD Research Fellow is enrolled in USN’s PhD Program
in Ecology within three months of accession in the position. 


Please apply via this link:


About the PhD-project

“Effects of climate and management on diet, stress and life history in brown bears”

The proposed PhD project is based on the long-term individual-based data set of the Scandinavian Brown Bear Project (SBBRP) as well as data sets created as part of two projects funded by the Norwegian Research Council and the European Comission, i.e.
“BearConnect”(Functional connectivity and ecological sustainability of European ecological networks: a case study with the brown bear) and “GLOBE” (Global climate change and its impact on brown bear populations: Predicting trends and identifying management priorities).
The principal objective of the proposed project is to contribute towards a fundamental understanding of how the interactions between habitat, nutrition, fear and stress, hunting, and climatic change affect large mammal populations and their management. Research will be
based on a long-term (1984-today) and invididual-based (>800 individuals) data set of brown bears in Sweden. All physiological samples have already been collected, of which the majority already have been analyzed in the lab. No additional field work is needed, but it is
recommended that the successful candidate spends a short period in the field to obtain a better understanding of the study area and system.

The following research questions are proposed:

  • Assessment of how the dietary compositionof bears, based on stable isotope analysis of hairs, changes in space and time in relation to climate and antropogenic effects.
  • Investigate the climate and human-induced factors affecting the spatio-temporal variation in patterns of long-term stress of individuals, measured as cortisol concentration in hairs.
  • Investigate if and how individual behavioral and physiological responses translate into spatio-temporal patterns of fitness and population dynamics.

Publication of research results in international peer-reviewed journals is expected.

The primary supervisor will be Prof. Andreas Zedrosser at USN, and the secondary supervisors will be Assoc. Prof. Øyvind Steifetten from USN, Assist. Prof. Agnieszka Sergiel from the Polish Academy of Sciences, and PhD Anne Hertel from Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Germany. Additional collaboration partners from the Polish Academy of Sciences or from within the frame work of the SBBRP will participate in the research activities. The applicant will be part of the research group Laboratory of Evolutionary and Behavioral Ecology at USN.


Applicants to the PhD position must have a Master’s degree (120 ECTS) or equivalent higher education qualifications in ecology or related areas. The degree must be accomplished before application deadline. It is a requirement that the successful candidate is granted admission to the USN’s PhD Program in Ecology within three months of accession in the position. For admission to the
Program, the candidate must have a grade B (weighted average) or higher in his/her Master’s degree or equivalent higher education.

The successful candidate should have:

  • Qualifications in the field of ecology or other related areas, such as eco-physiology, behavioral ecology, landscape ecology, etc.
  • A very strong background in statistics, especially the ability to handle and analyze large spatio-temporal data, and the analysis of eco-physiological and/or stable isotope data. Use of the statistical platform R.
  • Good oral and written English skills.
  • The ability to work independently and at the same time have the motivation to share knowledge and take part in team work.
  • The willingness to cooperate with other PhD students, postdoctoral researcher and researchers in an international environment is essential. The candidate is expected to contribute to lab work, and should also be willing to spend a certain amount of the PhD period with collaboration partners abroad, for example at the Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Poland, or the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Germany.


An ideal candidate should be:

  • Creative
  • Analytical
  • Highly self-motivated
  • Possess good collaborative skills.

Demonstrable skills in the publications of scientific papers and experience in handling of biological samples and analysis of stable isotope and/or cortisol data is advantageous, but not required. The staff at the faculty work within subject teams to a
large extent, and the candidate must be motivated to share his or her knowledge and

Personal suitability for the position will be emphasized.

We offer

  • A stimulating and growing research environment, with good opportunities to develop your career and your academic skills
  • A good social environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits in the State Pension Plan
  • Opportunity for physical activities within working hoursS


PhD Research Fellow (code 1017): NOK 482 200 a year. Further promotion will be based on time served in the position.

A statutory contribution to the state pension plan will be deducted from the employee’s salary.

Other information

The Academic Appointments Board for PhD Research Fellowships is responsible for the appointment. An expert assessment of applicants will be carried out. The candidates deemed best qualified will be invited to an interview.

The person appointed must comply with the laws, regulations and agreements that apply at any given time to the post. Please note that approved work permit is a prerequisite for the employment.

According to its human resources policy, the University of South-Eastern Norway targets a balanced gender composition and aims to recruit persons with immigration background.

The University contributes to the Inkluderingsdugnaden (a voluntary scheme to promote inclusion), and it is our aim that our employees, to the fullest extent possible, shall reflect the diversity of the general population. We therefore encourage qualified applicants with disabilities to apply for the post. The University will facilitate the workplace for employees with disabilities.

Pursuant to section 25, 2nd paragraph of the Freedom of Information Act, information on the applicant may be disclosed even if the applicant has requested not be included on the list of applicants. Applicants will be notified if such requests are not allowed.

Please apply via this link: