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PhD fellowships in arctic ecosystem element cycling

PhD positions at the CENTER FOR PERMAFROST, University of Copenhagen.
The Center for Permafrost (CENPERM) at the University of Copenhagen is recruiting three PhD-students to work in the field of elemental cycling between vegetation, soil, micro-organisms and the atmosphere under future climate conditions in Greenland. CENPERM, a Center of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation, performs interdisciplinary research in a “climate – vegetation – soil – microorganism – permafrost” approach along transects across the major climate zones of Greenland (see The center consists of ca. 25 permanent staff members and ca. 15 PhD students and postdocs have been or are currently affiliated with the center.   
1. PhD project 1 will study the role of plant roots for nutrient uptake and release, and emissions of greenhouse- and reactive trace gasses in contrasting arctic vegetation types, including the significance of soil and root respiration and gas diffusion. The work is likely to include field manipulation experiments in Greenland such as winter warming treatments, as well as field and laboratory work based on stable isotope analysis. 
2. PhD project 2 will focus on the impact of soil water and snow on soil-plant interactions, linked to existing snow fence experiments and year-round measurements at Disko, West Greenland. The study will investigate shoulder season dynamics of these interactions including changes in nutrient element availability, and will link microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, topography, hydrology and snow cover across landscape components.   
3. PhD project 3 will study the role of lateral transport of water and nutrients in the landscape, and will scale up observed water, nutrient flow and greenhouse gas fluxes along hill slopes at contrasting landscape/permafrost sites in Greenland. This project will apply process-based models for hydrology and soil and plant biogeochemistry, and evaluate these with field observations.  
All candidates will have the opportunity to collaborate with other CENPERM scientists and students working on related aspects of cryo-microbiology, biogeochemistry, ecology and ecosystem modelling.  
The positions are available for a 3-year period.
Formal requirements 
The successful candidates must hold a Master degree or equivalent qualifications in geo- or bioscience (e.g., geography, biology, or environmental sciences), or have obtained this by 1 February 2018. Fluency in spoken and written English is a requirement. The candidates are expected to be able to be involved in long-term field work in the Arctic. 
An evaluation committee will be appointed to evaluate the applications. Applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee. The final selection of the successful candidates will be made based on the recommendations of the evaluation committee. The successful candidates will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD students at the PhD school of the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, and be offered a working contract for the three-year PhD study period at either the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management or the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen. 
Terms of employment  
The positions are covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.   
Terms of appointment and payment are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Federation of Professional Associations (AC).  
The starting salary for candidates with an M.Sc degree will be a minimum of DKK 312.879 per year plus pension contribution DKK 43.219 and the possibility to negotiate wage.  
The Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen will be the main working place. 
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background. 
For further information, please contact Center director and Professor Bo Elberling ( 
The application must contain:  
  • Cover letter describing motivation and the PhD position of interest 
  • Curriculum vitae  
  • Project description including envisaged research methods (max three pages)  
  • List of publications  
  • Transcript of University examinations  
  • Contact details for two persons for references. 
The deadline for applications is October 23, 2017. Applications received later than this date will not be considered. 
Applications received after the deadline, or with insufficient documentation or otherwise not complying with the above requirements, will not be considered. It is expected that the successful candidates will be enrolled at the PhD School of the Faculty of Science no later than one month after the start of the PhD scholarships, preferably February 1, 2018. 
University of Copenhagen and Denmark 
Founded in 1479, the University of Copenhagen is the oldest university in Denmark. With 39,000 students and 10,000 employees, it is among the largest universities in Scandinavia and one of the highest ranking in Europe. 
Copenhagen is a modern capital with plenty of opportunities in culture, design, architecture, restaurants and a diverse nightlife. At the same time, the city offers beaches, beautiful parks and green nature areas, and the Copenhageners bike everywhere. The Danish society prioritises a good work-life balance, and the work culture is well adjusted for families with children. Read more at 

Københavns Universitet giver sine knap 10.000 medarbejdere muligheder for at udnytte deres talent fuldt ud i et ambitiøst, uformelt miljø. Vi sikrer traditionsrige og moderne rammer om uddannelser og fri forskning på højt internationalt niveau. Vi søger svar og løsninger på fælles problemer og gør ny viden tilgængelig og nyttig for andre.


Ansøgningsfrist: 23-10-2017
Ansættelsesdato: 01-02-2018
Arbejdstid: Fuldtid
Afdeling/Sted: Institut for Geovidenskab og Naturforvaltning

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